Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Face the Music... erm... Publishing Gods


Welcome to Insecure Writer's Group, which happens the first Wednesday of every month! And I haven't been here since July, since in August I was on a plane, so I opted out (not able to visit, best to not post, I figured).

This support group is one of the best things going for writers to network, meet some other writers, and get some good old fashioned support for this hard thing we do. You might even learn something! So why don't you go visit a few OTHER insecure writers while you're at it? (See the list at the bottom of the post)


As for my post this month...

I am in the process of changing gears. I've just had a year of VERY hard work where I self-published an episode (about a hundred pages) of a long story each month (Twelve in all, finally DONE). It was a scramble to keep up, a constant state of production and promotion (probably not as much promotion as I needed to do, but hey), but you know what it was NOT? Querying. Submitting. Throwing myself at the mercy of publishing professionals. No query letter production, no new instructions to read with a fine-toothed comb, no synopses... NO REJECTION LETTERS.

So my current insecurity cycle is about putting myself out there for judgment again. It takes a kind of courage I haven't had to muster for a while—muscles unused to use, if you will. And it is a couple degrees farther from writing, so it doesn't have the same connection to my passion, even if in the end I DO want to publish.

Still, I have come to believe that self-publishing is a lot more work than traditional (at least done right) and while I have a day job, I just don't have the time to attend to every detail. Besides that, most of my genres sell well traditionally, so I think it's a better match for me at this point in my career. I will do another serial eventually, but I will do it differently, so not for a couple years. Instead, for now, I am going to focus on my second 'nearly cozy' series and my YA series—get them completely ready and try my best to sell. (anyone interested in details of the specific stories I have almost ready can read Monday's post—the next one down in line).

So it is time for all those naked exercises that will toughen my skin while I polish... it will hurt for a while, but it must be done.

26 comments:

Michelle Wallace said...

You've self-pubbed twelve episodes of 100-pages each? All in one year? I'm speechless...
That's a major accomplishment!
Congrats!
...and still the second 'nearly cozy' series and the YA series...? You are ON FIRE!
Happy IWSG Day!

Ted Cross said...

You are a much more productive writer than I am, that's for sure! It takes me five to six years for each of my books.

Nick Wilford said...

That's a lot of series going on! Maybe the serial thing is the way forward... it worked for Dickens... but I can see how the promotion would be constant. Well done on a year of hard work!

Caitlin Coppola said...

You're right - it does take a kind of courage to to put your stuff out there. I think all of us writers can emphasize that that's one of the most difficult things about writing. Sharing. Letting others read our words. It's scary and it's nerve-wracking and IT'S WORTH IT. Never let fear stop you.

Denise Covey said...

No wonder i haven't seen you around Hart, unless I've been missing you. That is what puts me off self publishing. I know what a lot of work it will be. I wish you well whatever you do.

Denise

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I haven't done any traditional ms submitting in awhile either. I can't remember the last time I wrote a query letter!

Good luck! :)

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

Trisha F said...

I think what you've done this last year has been amazing!! You are one of those inspirations that makes me want to get off my arse and at least self-publish one thing in the next year. :P

I can see your point about traditional publishing being far less work, though. And for the genre you generally write, it makes sense to submit where it's going to get sold!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It's like riding a bike - you'll pick it back up again. Take a breath and then full steam ahead.

A. B. Keuser said...

Wow! Congrats on your 12 episodes. That is quite the acomplishment. And Good luck with putting yourself out there! It is a rough and tumble world, but I agree that having the publishing industry do most of the heavy lifting for you is definately a perk.

Chemist Ken said...

Congratulations on being able to write so productively. I think you deserve a week or two of rest now.

Andrew Leon said...

Well, doing a serial is way more work than normal self-publishing.
Way.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Hart
Sounds like I could get some advice from you on promotion. Anyway, I'm veer curious as to the idea of a serial. Did you sell a lot of your chapters?
Nancy

G. B. Miller said...

Nothing like being a "Type A" writer.

Seriously though, that is an impressive accomplishment.

Father Nature's Corner

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm very glad I've stayed with my small publishers. Most of my experiences are great.

Jenni Enzor said...

I think putting your stuff out there is so hard, but for me, it's gotten easier the more I do it. Like using your muscles, as you said.
Good luck with your series and your submissions!
It sounds like you've already accomplished so much.

SittieCates said...

Not sure if my comment went through. Anyway, repeating it...

Changing gears? I'm in the same boat this year.

I'm rooting for you. Go for it! Best of luck!

Michael Di Gesu said...

You're doing a great job, Hart. Published, self published, working, a mom... Congratulations...you are a writer!

All the best with your new endeavor... I'm still querying and getting the old rejections... such fun. But hey, at least I am now getting PERSONAL rejections. The last two weren't form letters. YAY for me. LOL.

Thanks for joining in on the BIG C hop! You will be a lovely asset to the Anthology.

Helena said...

Self-publishing is really tough and means taking care of endless details that can drive any writer nuts--it certainly sent me into crazy land for a long time. Yes, being traditionally published is easier, but then the whole querying process and trying to line up an agent and publisher means lots of masochistic self-torture. Sigh. But hey, Hart, you're doing great as a hotshot PUBLISHED writer!

Feather Stone said...

I tip my hat, or bonnet, to self publish authors - particularly those authors who produce high quality books (thoroughly edited and polished). From what I hear, self published authors need to be astute business people. Congratulations on your success.

Stephanie said...

You self-published twelve stories in the span of a year: I bow to you! That's amazing. Good luck with jumping back on the query wagon, and congrats on all you've done so far.

Jan Morrison said...

Scary yes, but you, dear tartlette, know how to 'pitter patter fly atter' and you will. You'll stick your neck out and go for it. That's why I think you are the best.

VR Barkowski said...

Twelve stories in one year is an amazing accomplishment. Take a bow!

Still, I have come to believe that self-publishing is a lot more work than traditional (at least done right) and while I have a day job, I just don't have the time to attend to every detail.

Thank you for saying this, Hart. I'm so tired of hearing how easy it is to slap a book up on Amazon. I'm sure it is if you don't care about editing, covers, formatting, and promotion.

VR Barkowski

Donna Hole said...

You'll be fine Hart. You've already mastered the worst of writing fears: sending to critique partners, progressing spectacularly in ABNA, self publishing and promoting. Querying will be a breeze :)

Georgina Morales said...

Ah, the rejection game. Who doesn't hate it? But you have accomplished something very demanding and difficult to pull out. Think about it, not only you were working under constant pressure and a never-ending deadline, but you were also subjecting your work and yourself to the will of your readers. You could've still be rejected and garnered negative reviews, so you were still exercising those muscles in a way. =)

Medeia Sharif said...

You've done an amazing amount of work. I know self-publishing the right way isn't easy. I'm also polishing some things. Ambition drives us all.

Melissa Sugar said...

Congratulations to you! You have accomplished more in a year than many do in seven or eight years. You have every reason to be proud. I hope your sales and reviews are everything you hoped for and more. I'm extremely impressed. I'm amazed you managed to accomplish so much while maintaining a day job. Good for you. I'm eager to read your work.