Much has transpired of late to beckon the likes of these inquiries. Perhaps this is as much an introspection as it is a request for comment. In either case, here goes.
The recent bloodletting in the publishing industry, including at least one major house calling an immediate halt to all manuscript acquisitions, left me wondering if any hope existed for a fledgling novelist to find an agent and a publisher. As of right now, the entire sector is in shambles—right along with the rest of our economy—and it appears I will face great difficulty in the pursuit of getting Dreamdarkers published within the next year—and that’s assuming the best (i.e., it could be longer than that if a precise recovery is not forthcoming).
And I’ve already begun work on End of the Warm Season (both parts).
What hope does someone like me have in such an environment? Do I put my future in the hands of chance, or do I take action on my own?
Which leads me to this question: While it would not put my works in front of as many people as might otherwise be possible, I can easily self-publish my novels, so why shouldn’t I?
The income would not be as fluid given that this venue lacks the reach of major-house publishing. On the other hand, I would retain all control of the work, all rights would be mine, no more trees would be killed than are necessary for the books sold, and all income save the on-demand publication would belong to me. So why not?
I could soon offer both online and print editions of my first novel, Dreamdarkers, and could avoid the incendiary costs associated with having an agent and having a publisher.
But I would also forgo the income of advances and signings and other goodies, not to mention the exposure that comes with publication by standard means.
So which is it? I honestly don’t know the best route to take.
And that leads to the next quandary…
I’ve thought much of late about publishing a photo-and-text nature book, one centered on White Rock Lake as I just posted. And I have ideas for other encounters, other places, other experiences.
Similarly, I ponder the real chance of publishing a photo-and-text book about The Kids, one photographic and anecdotal and less than serious.
The ideas are endless.
I’ve read the horror stories about self publishing. I’ve read the warnings and dire predictions.
But I have my own mind about such matters. And I wonder…