My previous six books were all published conventionally, by mainstream publishers. But the week my agent began to pitch Sea Changes, the stock market crashed and the economy disappeared down the toilet. The agent’s recommendation was, “Put it aside for a year or so, until things improve.”
I’m 68 years old. (My father died at 68) And I know that after publishers acquire a book, the publication date is typically 18 months to 2 years later. So it was really a matter of waiting three years or so, and I didn’t want to do that.
I’d noticed that in any case, nobody cares who the publisher is. And few readers bother with Publishers Weekly, Library Journal or Foreword. We go on-line and read what the book bloggers and Amazon reviewers have to say. Word of mouth is important, too. Traditional publishing is already moribund.
For me, independent publishing seemed a risk worth taking. So far, so good. Sea Changes has already made it onto a regional best seller list.
What’s been unexpected is the satisfaction of being able to control vital things like cover design, interior design, format and pricing, not to mention being able to hire publicists of my own choosing and keeping Sea Changes in print for as long as I like.
It’s been an adventure and a great ride. I’ve enjoyed every minute- so much so that my next novel will probably be independently published as well.