It’s a good question. Why? Why indie publish?
I think I’ll let what I’ve come to think of as The Letters speak for themselves. (Names have been redacted; typos and grammar glitches have been left in.)
Hi! I seriously love your books! I read the first three in one day! Your books are so exciting and fun that I can’t wait to turn the next page! I hope you make more books of their adventures!
I love your series of sisters eight write more
Can you make more series like THE SISTERS 8 because I just finished reading all of them. Thank you for writing these great books.
i never liked to read a then my dad gave me this books and all i wanted to do was read and that was good because im not the best at spelling but the thing is that i wanted to tell you that you should make a movie and writte more books i would love to read some more of your books thank you.
The above are just a few of The Letters, received from kids in the month of May. Some of The Letters in May also came from adults:
I just finished the 9th book of the Sisters 8 series. I am 61! Very cute books, and as a retired teacher, I enjoyed the little puns in the books. Laughter is the best way to teach kids! I hope that someday you will decide to write a book about the Sisters and [spoiler]! Thanks!
I’m an adult fan who loves cats and books. This was a fun series and I loved every minute of it. You kept me guessing where the story was going and I eagerly awaited each installment. Bravo! I hope there will be more.
And this, as I said, is just a sampling from one month.
The Letters come. They come every day. They come from kids, parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians. They are often funny and sometimes moving as well, particularly the ones that make it clear that the books make the young letter-writer feel less alone in the world. All of The Letters share one thing in common, some version of: “We love The Sisters 8.” Nearly all contain one other thing in common, some version of: “We want more.”
So, what is THE SISTERS 8?
It’s a nine-book series for children ages 6-10 that I created with my husband Greg Logsted and our daughter Jackie. It’s about octuplets whose parents go missing one New Year’s Eve, leaving the Huit sisters to try to figure out what happened to their parents while keeping the rest of the world from realizing that they’re living home alone. The books have mystery, adventure, humor and just a little magic. THE SISTERS 8 was published by a major commercial publisher, beginning in 2008, and have sold over 200,000 copies to date.
So why, after all of that, would I decide to indie publish a new series?
Because the publisher, in the way that publishing sometimes goes, decided not to do any more books after Book 9 came out last fall.
And yet, still, every day The Letters come. And every day, my heart breaks a little as I write back to kids that, no, there will be no more books.
So the question, really, is not Why? Rather, the question becomes Why not?
Why not start a new series, on my own, so that I can give the legion of fans something that they will hopefully enjoy?
Writers write. Having written, writers want to be read. And, if a writer has had the great good fortune to have been part of something that has struck such a strong chord with young readers, writers want to be able to give those readers more.
Do I say that indie publishing is the answer or the only answer? Hardly. I’ve had over 30 books published to date – for adults, teens and children. Twenty-three of those have been from commercial publishers; nine have been some version of indie. I’d do commercial again – I’d do indie again! At the end of the day, all I want to do is go on writing books that will hopefully go on pleasing readers.
I mean, after all: Why not?
Lauren Baratz-Logsted is the author of over 30 books for adults (The Thin Pink Line; Pursuing the Times); teens (The Twin’s Daughter; Little Women and Me); and children. Before becoming a published author, she was an independent bookseller, a PW reviewer, a freelance editor, a sort-of librarian and a window washer. You can read more about her at www.laurenbaratzlogsted.com or follow her on Twitter @LaurenBaratzL