Some of you may have noticed: there’s a lot of talk going around about independent publishing, especially e-publishing, and I know that I, for one, have been trying to listen in on as much as I can. Part of me wonders if my interest is purely pre-preemptive, as I have nothing even remotely close to being publish-ready in my arsenal at the moment, but, on the other hand, I have someone who is really interested in helping me through the journey of e-publishing and I’d like to take him up on that offer.
This process, I feel, will call for a change in the natural order of things. It will call for focus and drive and dedication. It will require prioritization.
Wait, hold the phone. Laura and prioritization? What has the world been coming to?
If there’s anything certain that’s come out of following various aspects of the e-publishing journey, it’s the fact that I am in dire need of some focus. Really, I started to latch onto this idea earlier this month, with the progress of Serpent in a Cage managing to make it difficult for me to write anything else. It’s made me question my motives and my processes, which have been scattered at best. Do I really need to be working on three writing projects at a time? More than likely, that scatter-brained multi-tasking is likely to hurt my process and success rather than support it. Now that my focus is mostly on SiaC, things are actually getting done. Sort of. I’m still distracted with various things here and there, but it’s been progressing at a very nice pace, while I’ve basically abandoned my novel project for August.
And I’m okay with this. My goals have changed, and the ability to change one’s goals to be more efficient is a good sign of a successful person. My inentions in writing is no longer “produce as much as you can,” but rather, “just finish something.” I need to finish something (and be satisfied with the results) if we’re going to consider playing around with e-publishing, getting something out there, and testing the waters.
But what does one test the waters with? Serpent in a Cage is the closest thing I have to being finished. One finished draft, working on the much improved second draft, and then probably another round of editing before I’d feel comfortable with it being somewhat ready. But the problem with that is that SiaC is so iconic to me. It’s the first book of what I hope will one day be a popular, well-loved series, filled with loyal fans and terrible fanfiction. It’s something well over a decade in the making, and something that I’ve always expected would be a matter of traditional publishing. I’d want it to follow through with traditional publishing; that had always been its intention.
Time change, though, and perhaps the future I had planned for SiaC is really not what’s best for the book or the series. On the other hand, self-publishing and e-publishing is a risk, it’s new territory, it could go anywhere. Do I really want to throw out my most cherished work to date out to the potential sharks? It could swim, and swim beautifully, but it could also sink, sink, sink. So the other solution is that I go ahead and plug on with SiaC, but I work on something that I could hopefully dedicate myself to until it was finished, revised, and ready to go, something to just sort of play around with and test, without it being something that, should anything go terribly, I’d be devastated as I would with SiaC.
Do I have the ability to throw together a novel in, say, two months? Perhaps some of the novels for the New Novel Project might be a good jumping start. I’ve been leaning toward Ragnarok: Space Vikings; it’s completely removed from anything Aryneth, it has a title that might garner a few glances, and I really feel that, so far, it’s a pretty good story, too. Should I stick with something genre, to take advantage of a readership that might already be present? Or should I lean toward a more accessible general fiction? What would be the most effective experiment?
These are the questions that have been plaguing me lately, but I know I won’t have much by way of answers until I actually start trying. Any advice? Do you do any independent or e-publishing? How did you get started into? Which types of books do you feel you have more or less success with? What do you personally like to read? Have you ever been able to spit out something in two months and been satisfied with the results?
It’s so exciting to be on the cusp of something new; I hope I can ride the momentum and have it work out for me in the end, but we shall see.