As my regular readers know, I have written and revised a novel. When I last mentioned it, I had finished some heavy revisions and needed to write a few more chapters. Since then I have completed the chapters and sent it out for review to some trusted readers. And, I have done a lot of research. I have talked to successful writers who were published in the traditional way and I have talked to and read about numerous writers who have taken the indie publishing route with varying degrees of success. I have crunched the numbers to figure out how much I would have to spend on editing, proofing and design versus what I would gain by not sharing my proceeds with an agent. This is to say, I am informed.
Recently, after doing all that research, I left a job I had held for 12 years and started a rigorous technical training program, and became a morning person. My manuscript languished in a virtual desk drawer, loved but neglected. In the past few months, I have occasionally thought about it, but I haven’t done anything with it.
I knew I needed to decide what to do with it, or do about it, but it all seemed so overwhelming. Self publish? Start looking for an agent?
Abandon the whole idea of becoming a writer and put my energy into excelling in aviation?
That’s crazy talk! I already wrote the manuscript. I have done one of the hardest parts already. I was getting blocked because I believed that whatever decision I might make, if it were the wrong one, that would be it. Somehow the universe would find out that I had tried to make it as a writer, and that it didn’t go well, and then the universe would somehow block me from ever writing or publishing again (this universe of my anxious imagination, she is powerful).
This week I attended a panel discussion about e-publishing. I’m glad I went because it broke up my mental logjam. One of the panelists pointed out, “you can always go in a different direction later. Self-publishing doesn’t preclude traditional publishing.” Oh, yeah … once I heard the words they made perfect sense, and the choice was clear. Spend another year looking for an agent, then wait another year or two to see my book in print, or devise a marketing plan, hire a designer and editor and get this puppy out to the world? I like option 2.
So, I am committing to it. I will hire an editor and designer over the next couple of weeks and will e-publish the book within 6 months. Stay tuned.