Imminent Change – I’m Going Traditional


I’m learning self-publishing may not be for me.

I’ve been a self-published author for close to four years now. I’ve handled the writing, most of the editing, the formatting, and the marketing essentially all on my own, with some help from some writer friends. I like to think that I’ve really honed my skills over the years, and, well, it’s just not working. I love the writing and the freedom of self-publishing, but the sales just aren’t there. This isn’t to say I’m only doing it for the money, but I’d like to receive some monetary compensation for my work. And, well, I just don’t know what I’m doing wrong. Blogging, social media, and conversation, and I’m just not seeing the results I want. I’m not where I want to be. I’m not where I should be right now. I’ve published nine works in these four years, and I feel that I should have more than I do. I take this writing thing seriously, and I want to make a career out of it, and so far self-publishing isn’t the way it’s going to happen.

So what’s next?

I’m writing, of course. I’m working on a post-apocalyptic novel which has a working title of Koval Unlimited. I like the way it’s turning out so far. It’s dark, and everything has a matter of life and death to it. It also has a lot of my personal views on religion to it–in that I don’t believe in a higher being–which is something I don’t often discuss in any aspect of my life. Because of that, I think it has a really provocative allure to it. It’s still in its early stages, though, so we’ll see how it turns out.

When it’s done, I plan to begin querying agents. That’s something I’ve been putting off for a few months now, but I just need to do it. That’s the only way to get it done and find out if I’m a real contender in the writing world.

More details will follow as things progress, and I’m still getting in the frame of mind that this is something that isn’t easy and could take years to accomplish, but I think I have the drive for it. If I can do as much as I have in these past four years, I know I’m capable of doing this.

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13 thoughts on “Imminent Change – I’m Going Traditional

    • Thank you! Especially with the way things have unfolded with the most recent book–granted, I haven’t given it any time, really–it’s just not working. I don’t like how things are in my writing world, and I need to do something to change it. A drastic change might be exactly what I need.

      • I totally understand. I’ve heard so many people say the magic number is 3-5 books, but you have more than that out there. I’m sure it’s frustrating. It’ll be interesting to see if your numbers improve while you write this next book, or if they kindof hold steady with what you’ve been experiencing so far. Absolutely wish you the best!!

      • That’s true. I mean, I’m not giving up on self-publishing so, during the writing of this new book, if something magical happens and I start to see some sort of rising success I might as well stick with that. On the other hand, being a hybrid author isn’t a terrible idea. Self-publishing success might delay my transition into traditional publication, but I think ultimately I’d like to end up traditionally published as well.

  1. Chris, don’t wait until you finish the book to start queries. Writing is a business. What happens if an agent likes the story idea, believes he can sell it, and you get signed on the premise that the publisher wants the story to evolve a certain way to suit a particular genre or niche? Best Regards, Mardou Red Petal Press

    • That is a valid point. I hadn’t considered that. At what point do you recommend I try and pitch to some agents? I have yet to do any extensive research into it.

  2. It’s worth trying a different avenue if you’re feeling unsatisfied…absolutely! I started off on the traditional route with no luck, then decided to go my own way. Will I ever make it this lonely way? I have no idea. Writing is such a difficult profession, as you know.

    I think the work and the following you already have out there will be very appealing to agents. They want to see the “platform” established, not being figured out. Good luck to you, Chris! Can’t wait to read The Rotten Apple. : )

    • Thanks, Britt! You’re right. This business sometimes seems to be more about luck and less about writing.

      I’ll do my best to make what I can of this traditional business, but, who knows, maybe my self-published works will pick up and I can stick with it. That sort of makes it sound like I’m only in this for the money, though, which isn’t true. But I think every writer does this, in part, for the potential for at least a living, and potentially high-scale success.

  3. Look at you go with all your novels! Plural! Whatever publishing route you go down, nine works in four years is a huge achievement. I’m in awe.

    • Thank you! I may not be where I want to be at this point, (who is, though?) but I try to never forget how far I’ve come. What I write now is miles ahead of my first novel, and I try to use it as inspiration as often as I can.

      • Do, because coming from someone still slogging away at the first unfinished novel, what you’ve achieved IS inspirational. Keep on keeping on, sir.

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