Like so many other authors, I walked a fine line for years as I tried to create a viable writing career while not upsetting the publishing apple cart. I knew there were fifty worthy authors out there waiting to take my place on the list if I made waves with my agent or publisher. The majority of writers in the last many years were playing real-life Chutes and Ladders and more than likely we were all going to end up at the bottom of a chute.
I made a decision not to continue pursing a traditional career when I submitted a book that I believed would take my work to a new level. It was rejected by any number of publishers. They didn’t want to take a chance, and I couldn’t blame them. If they published a book that was not what my reader’s had come to expect, they might not make back the investment they had made in me. Coming from a business background, I understood that editing, cover design, distribution, sales, and returns could all be translated to a line item on the publisher’s balance sheet.
Realizing that distribution channels were tightening up, wanting to explore how far I could take my craft, I published that book on my own. Happily, I found the editors were wrong. Readers bought it, liked it and understood it. I went on to republish and expand a series that the publisher believed had run its course. The first book has had over 4 million downloads, and the series has over seven thousand reviews.
Today, the chutes remain the same but there is more than one ladder to climb, and an author’s fate is in her (or his) hands.
So here are my answers to your questions, and a little advice. First my answers.
Yes, it is possible to publish both traditionally and independently. I’ve met many authors who have had great success as hybrids.
Your editor will be upset only if you don’t pursue hybrid publishing in a professional manner. If the editor has turned down your ideas, then you are free to pursue other avenues. If you are contractually bound to first right of refusal with your publisher, then show them your new ideas and make your decision after you hear what the editor has to say.
And now for the advice:
Treat both your traditional and independent publishing with the same professionalism. Your readers won’t change; they will still expect good writing, an excellent story, and a well-produced book.
When marketing, use your traditional success to bolster your independent publishing, use your independent success to bolster your traditional work. This is a win/win for the hybrid author.
So go for it. Execute those ideas that may not be in the mainstream. Be bold; be brave. Publishing is exciting, scary, full of choices and marvelous no matter which road you take.
Not being an expert on the publishing industry I’m certain I don’t have an expert response, but I do know there are a lot of hybrid authors. A quick Google search reveals a ton of articles on the pros and cons of hybrid publishing — mostly pros. Traditionally published writers who go indie, and vice versa, often find having a stake in both worlds to be a lucrative model. If there isn’t an existing contract with a publisher, what’s there to be mad about? Indie is a fabulous opportunity.
What I am certain of is the Indie option makes the issue of quality even more critical than in pre-digital days. All work that leaves your hands, all work with your name on it must be the best it can be. For a traditional publisher you have to offer the best work you possibly can if you want to even be considered for publication. But traditional publishers have the back up of a slew of editors who expect to work with a compelling manuscript to make it the best they feel it can be. Your work simply has to be so good it merits a publisher’s investment. That bar is set pretty high. A good freelance editor will improve your odds of clearing it.
An Indie writer has only the back up she invests in her work. If you release a poorly edited book, regardless of how exciting the premise is, or how charming your characters or how riveting your action, you lose readers and the credibility of your name — you lose your opportunity. An Indie author must themself invest all the necessary effort and services offered by a publishing house. The return on that investment is success, creative control and much juicier royalties.
I edit each of my clients as if their work were going to the Nobel committee. The goal is to make a perfectly crafted story that can measure up to both a Random House editor and all those discerning readers downloading to their devices. That should be every writer’s goal — traditional or Indie. The services of an editor are a part of achieving that.
Ever wonder what industry professionals think about the issues that can really impact our careers? Each month The Extra Squeeze features a fresh topic related to books and publishing.
Amazon mover and shaker Rebecca Forster and her handpicked team of book professionals offer frank responses from the POV of each of their specialties — Writing, Editing, PR/Biz Development, and Cover Design.
Frankly, who cares if your publisher is upset?
Of course, as a PR professional, I love to make sure there is harmony amongst the people, that protocol is maintained, and that diplomacy is the hallmark of all relationships.
But here is the reality: it is tough being a professional writer. You have a right to make a living as a writer in a world that often does not value your talent appropriately.
If your publisher wants to throttle your ability to earn an income, I would be very concerned about working with that publisher. Anytime there is oppression, fear, or a sense that you must go out of your way to manage your publisher’s emotional state, walk away. Being told how and when and what to do—and not do–with your career is suffocating. You can do better. It is possible to publish traditionally and independently simultaneously and create a promotional strategy that allows both profit streams to flourish.
Please think of your career as a business. You are the brand. The publisher is a business partner. If you are kept in the dark or restricted from succeeding, what kind of partnership does that make? Not one that is good enough for you.
If only I were published traditionally, I would have a better answer to this!
I do know of another fantasy author who has done both. He started off as self-published and then signed over some of his books to a big-name house. In that situation, both parties were winners. He gained more publicity, and they knew they were supporting a writer who was already popular (and could therefore make money from him).
If it’s the other way around, I’m not so sure. They may be spending ££££ on your PR, so might not appreciate it if (as a ludicrous example) they had built and sold an image of you as a sweet, softy romance author, and then you went and published a treatise on the pros of Nazism. I guess that’s the question to ask: “Will my publishing independently cause a loss on their investment in me?”
Award winning author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but her true passion is the much happier world of romance fiction. Though her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California and hasn’t looked back. She shares a midcentury home with her husband, her spunky, blonde, rescued terrier, and the blue-eyed cat who conned his way in for dinner one day and decided the food was too good to leave.
She is the author of several Regency romances, including the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner, Rosalyn’s Ring. She is hard at work on her next series of Regency romances, but loves to hear from readers!
Visit her at:
Elena Dillon from the Confused &Terrified Writer has launched a FREE Scrivener class. The above links to a quick video overview of the free class! Just click the “watch promo” button.
We’re coming up on NaNoWriMo like a freight train and I know everyone is getting nervous and excited. In honor of National Novel Writing Month, I’ve launched a free Scrivener class to help get your first document either set up or exported into Scrivener along with tips and tricks on that make Scrivener a powerful productivity tool.
Along with this if you sign up for the class you will have access to my free Confused and Terrified Writer Facebook Group where you can ask questions, get help with your writing projects and we support each other through this fabulous but difficult journey!
It covers how to set up your first document along with tips and tricks on that make Scrivener a powerful productivity tool.
The course is “on demand” which means you can watch each video lesson when you want and as often as you want.
I’m Elena Dillon, an author of the award winning Young Adult “Breathe” series. When I’m not writing, I love to help my author friends with technology and social media. I’ve taught the Social Media for the Confused and Terrified, Pinterest for the Confused and Terrified, Visual Content for Authors and spoken at numerous conferences, chapters and groups about social media and indie publishing.
Most of the time, I’m busy being a wife to my husband of twenty-six years, mom to my two grown kids and servant to my high-maintenance English bulldog, Brutus while I wait, not so patiently, for grandbabies.
And the link again is: https://confused-and-terrified-writer.teachable.com/p/scrivener-basics
Kingdoms and Legends, Part 2
Steamy Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
By Lyndi Lamont
Seek help of the Lord of Drakkenberg. Only he can aid you. You must fly with the dragon.
Tova Svensdottir, an earth mage, is on a mission to save her homeland, the Kingdom of Velosia from the evil wizard Bruno of Grimmdorn. Her grandmother tells her to seek help of the Lord of Drakkenberg, but the old lord is dead. In his castle, high on a mountaintop, she instead encounters his son, the Outlaw Kane.
Kane fled Velosia after a futile attempt to rescue his father and his mate from Bruno’s cruel prison, killing the head guard in the process. Now that Bruno has been banished, Kane has returned to clear his name, but his purpose changes when he meets Tova. Tova’s warmth stirs his passions and her courage touches his heart, but he dreads telling her of his true nature, certain she will recoil. But Tova is made of sterner stuff.
Together, Kane and Tova have the power to save Velosia. If they survive the coming battle. But can an earth mage find happiness with a dragonshifter?
Release date Oct. 24, but now available on pre-order. Go to Amazon for purchase or to read via Kindle Unlimited:
Seek help of the Lord of Drakkenberg. Only he can aid you. You must fly with the dragon.
Her grandmother’s words rang in Tova’s head as she climbed the path into the mountains. Why had Mutti Zee sent her out of her way on a fool’s errand? Everyone knew the dragonfolk had fled Velosia years ago, driven away by Bruno of Grimmdorn’s crusade against them. Until he’d been driven from power. Now Bruno had returned at the head of a mercenary army, if Mutti Zee’s vision could be believed. And Tova had no doubts. She’d felt the vibrations in the earth.
And somehow she was supposed to save the kingdom?
She raised her gaze to the sky and asked, “Why me? I’m no hero.” The heavens gave no answer, though she saw clouds form to her left. She shook her head. Now she was talking to herself, like mad Magnus, the village idiot.
She stopped to catch her breath and rest her tired legs in a level area. The path ahead grew steeper and narrower the higher it wound into the mountains. She groaned. After walking all day, her legs ached. She was glad she’d worn men’s breeches and a tunic with her sturdy boots. A gown and petticoats would be but a hindrance.
After a deep breath, she started to climb again. Dusk came early in autumn, and she needed to find shelter before dark. Castle Drakkenberg, abandoned and forlorn, perched high above on a cliff, its turrets silhouetted against the leaden sky. Almost as if mocking her with its remoteness. Too much was at stake and her chances of reaching the capital in time to warn the king were slim at best. Even without this detour, she estimated the journey to Castle Novita would take three days or more.
For centuries, the dragon lords had resided in the castle, ruling the isolated mountain communities. People in this area were known as dragonfolk, though Tova knew not why. A great puzzle, but one she had no time to ponder. With luck, she had but to find the dragonlord, and he would take charge of the quest.
A shadow blocked the sun, and she looked up at an enormous bird silhouetted against the sky. Goddess, she’d never seen such a large raptor. It turned and the sun’s rays glinted on its shiny red-gold wings and barbed tail. She stopped and stared after it, shaken to the core of her being.
No, impossible. Dragons didn’t exist. They couldn’t.
About the Author:
Lyndi Lamont is the racy alter ego of romance author Linda McLaughlin. Writing sexy stories gives her a license to be naughty, at least between the pages of her books! She has written several full-length novels plus numerous short stories and novellas, ranging from historical to futuristic. She believes that love is unending and universal, and enjoys transporting her readers into a different world where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward.
Reading Room blog: http://lindalyndi.com/reading-room-blog/
To celebrate the release of Tova’s Dragon, Linda is doing a Rafflecopter giveaway for a $25.00 Amazon gift card, ending October 30. There are three ways to enter for the Rafflecopter:
1. Like her Lyndi Lamont Facebook page
2. Subscribe to her mailing list and upcoming newsletter
3. Subscribe to her blog at https://lindalyndi.com (on right sidebar or scroll to bottom of the page)