Sorry folks, I'm a little late getting started in the YA Indie Carnival. If you'd like to know why I write YA Scifi, please visit my first blog post "Black People Don't Read Science Fiction." It'll give you a good idea of the craziness inside my mind. LOL! Today, I'd like to talk about my journey to becoming an Indie author.
Last year I burned a path towards becoming RWA Pro. I'd set my goal and I was sure to attain it. What's RWA Pro? It's a designation in the Romance Writers of America where an unpublished author completes a full manuscript, submits it to agents and editors, then receives a letter of rejection or acceptance. It's a HUGE step because it shows that you're no longer a novice or hobbyist as a writer. There's a nice pinning ceremony and special perks. I wanted my RWA Pro pin bad.
But something happened to me on the way to my Pro pin. I certainly didn't hit my head on traditional publishing i.e. I didn't get a boat load of rejections nor did I have a super terrible experience with editors or agents. What I hit my head on was the shake-ups or changes in traditional publishing. As I listened to seasoned authors discuss the flip flop in the landscape, my ears opened wide. In fact, learning about the upheaval in traditional publishing caused me to become physically ill. No joking! During my illness, I continued to read, listen, and view the changes in traditional publishing and it dawned on me that my road to traditional publishing was narrowing and the rewards on the other side might not pan out the way that I thought.
At the time, I'd been working on launching my website with a friend that I met at Margie Lawson's Immersion workshop. When I say that Lisa is awesome with techie stuff, I mean it. Lisa was instrumental in helping me launch my website. She gave me excellent advice, reading materials, time to digest everything, and taught me how to make my own changes as well as work with my website. She is bright, intelligent, and helpful. We were talking about the changes in traditional publishing and she said that she'd been thinking of shifting her web business so that she could help an author launch a website all the way to the first publication.
A light bulb went off. All of a sudden, I had another publishing option. Something happened, that little voice got excited and I felt empowered. I could be a published author but not in the traditional way. For a while, I went back and forth. Should I or Shouldn't I? And then, it dawned on me. Why was I thinking so linearly? Why did I believe that it was Indie vs. Traditional? It certainly didn't have to be that way. I realized that the publishing landscape had changed and that my Indie publishing could be a door to traditional publishing and I could have the best of both worlds.
So, I haven't given up on RWA or even my Pro pin (Hmm. Maybe RWA will create a new Indie pin. *Grin*). My experience will just be different as an Indie author, I'm learning so much about the publishing industry. I love the idea of being able to see my whole project from beginning to end. I just released my book cover and it's beautiful. I'm able to make critical decisions about the direction of my manuscript but with the help of professional editors. I love it and when I tell you I couldn't do this without Lisa and Heart Ally books, I'm not lying. Lisa helps me with the techie digital publishing, formatting stuff and marketing while I work on what I love, writing books. Folks, I'm not a self-publisher. I'm on my journey to Indie publishing and loving it.
BTW, I'd like to thank the YA Indie Book Carnival for allowing me to participate. It's both an honor and a privilege. Indie Publishing is just awesome!
If you have questions about my Indie Publisher, Heart Ally books, please don't hesitate to ask. I'm sure Lisa would love to answer questions as well. *Smiles* She's also great with author websites.
Other Participants in the YA Indie Carnival. Check them out each Friday.