Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time - and return comments. This group is all about connecting! Be sure to link to the IWSG page and display the badge in your post. And please be sure your avatar links back to your blog! If it links to Google+, be sure your blog is listed there. Otherwise, when you leave a comment, people can't find you to comment back.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

September 5 question - What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?

The awesome co-hosts for the September 5 posting of the IWSG are Toi Thomas, T. Powell Coltrin, M.J. Fifield, and Tara Tyler!

I don't have much to report about my own writing. I've been on the road for the last couple of weeks, so my writing (as it has been for most of the summer) has mostly been my journal. At least when we are traveling I write more regularly and more extensively than at home, so I hope at least I get some good exercise out of it.

Moving on to the question of the month... My publishing path and why I chose it.

I have been self-publishing my books since the first book in 2012 (though I kind of prefer the "author-publisher" designation). At that time, I had (over the course of a couple of decades) completed and shopped around 3 different MSS, with limited success. That is, I never got an agent, but each one did garner more personalize responses and requests for larger samples. That being the case, I could have concluded I was making progress, and gone on shopping books to agents. Two things changed my mind (or maybe 3). For one thing, I was losing patience with a very slow process that I didn't know how to manage emotionally.

A second, and larger, reason for the move was the state of self-publishing in 2012. It really was at the perfect point: there was a degree of respectability that the vanity presses never had (and, of course, it was fiscally plausible, unlike vanity presses),  but the market was not then so saturated with self-published books of dubious quality that it was as hard to get seen. A friend had recently published that way, and encouraged me to consider it.

I think that the thing that pushed me over the line to try self-publishing was that although I knew The Ninja Librarian was a good book, I also knew it didn't fit categories well. I market it as a children's book, and kids like it, but the writing is not simple, and adults may find even more to like in the book and the sequels. It's historical fiction and humor and tall tales and adventure. I might have been wrong--an agent might have seen something and figured out how to help me make it marketable (I know--now--that it would have benefited from some editorial advice). But I didn't really believe I'd even find a publisher willing to take a chance on it, and I wanted to share it with the world.

Of course, I made all the usual rookie mistakes, from not using an editor (at least I knew enough to have it proof-read) to making my own cover (I got a professional cover a year or two later when I wrote the second book, Return to Skunk Corners). I would like to think that I've learned enough to start really considering myself a publisher as well as an author. I just need to make one more leap, to buying my own ISBNs and removing the CreateSpace label. On the other hand, since I don't expect to ever make a fortune at this, I may never bother to do that.

How about you? What's your path, and do you think you made the right choice?


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