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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I'm Getting Tired of Talking About Self-Publishing, and This Is Why....

Remember WAY back in 2010, when self-publishing e-books was still new to everyone, and some of us were beginning to dabble and experiment? Remember when there were only a few brave, hearty souls out there trying this previously lambasted way to get our books to readers? Remember when it was weird and scary and we didn't know if the traditional publishers we were still working with would sue us for taking this new path? Yeah, that was sooooo three years ago. As we close in on the end of 2013, it seems like everyone is doing it or thinking about doing it. It's become "mainstream," a part of doing business for many authors, and it's no longer the headline-making development it was back in 2010. Or is it?

A month or two ago I read a blog post by an author who was taking the "brave, courageous step" into self-publishing. That made me chuckle. I wanted to post on her blog that there was nothing all that brave or courageous about taking that step—not anymore. Sure, it can be a daring move to turn down a decent contract with a traditional publisher to go totally indie. But it's not really a "brave" move anymore when it's been proven over and over by other authors that it can be a path to success if managed correctly. If thousands of other authors are doing it successfully—and by successfully I mean living off their proceeds—then those who are making the move now are doing so with far more information than many of us had back in 2010 when only a few hardy souls had taken this new path and NO ONE knew how traditional publishers would react to authors who decided to do both. That was truly scary.

At what point does the topic of self-publishing stop being all we talk about as a community? When does it become so much a part of our routine that it stops being "new" or "innovative"? For me, I think it happened sometime this fall when I realized I'm starting to get tired of talking about it. Yes, I said that out loud... I've talked about it a lot and tried to share what I've learned over the last three years. During that time I've self-published 18 books and turned my extremely well-rejected McCarthys of Gansett Island Series into a New York Times bestselling self-published series that has sold well over 1 million ebooks since Maid for Love debuted in 2011. For a long time, I enjoyed sharing what I've learned along the way, but now... I'm getting tired. I'll still talk about it because so many people are interested, and I'm always happy to lend a hand to another author, but... I'm looking forward to the day when self-publishing is as run-of-the-mill as traditional publishing, and it's not that big of a deal anymore.

How long do you think it'll be before we get there?




About the Author
With more than 2 million books sold, Marie Force is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling, award-winning author of 30 contemporary romances. Her New York Times bestselling self-published McCarthys of Gansett Island Series recently recorded its 1 millionth e-book sale since Maid for Love was released in 2011. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling Fatal Series from Harlequin’s Carina Press, as well as the Treading Water Series and numerous stand-alone books. All You Need is Love, book 1 in her new Green Mountain Series from Berkley Sensation, is out on Feb. 4, 2014. The second book, I Want to Hold Your Hand, will be out in June, and Marie has agreed to a significant deal with Berkley for three more books in the series. In 2014, Marie will have eight mass-market print releases—the first five Fatal Series books from Harlequin and the first three Green Mountain Series books from Berkley. While her husband was in the Navy, Marie lived in Spain, Maryland and Florida, and she is now settled in her home state of Rhode Island. She is the mother of two teenagers and two feisty dogs, Brandy and Louie. Join Marie's mailing list at http://marieforce.com/ for news about new books and other possible appearances in your area. Follow her on Twitter @marieforce and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarieForceAuthor/. Join one of Marie's many reader groups by viewing the complete listing at http://marieforce.com/connect/. Contact Marie at marie@marieforce.com.



15 comments:

  1. Marie, I know what you mean, but I also understand why this "brave new frontier" talk will be with us for a long while. Even though there are plenty of veterans, there are also people who are tackling it for the first time (like motherhood -- there's always a new mommy blog and there have been mothers since...there have been children :-) I think it is the difference between a small business mindset (self pub) and a tapping on the shoulder with the knighting sword mindset (trad pub). Once you're tapped on the shoulder, you have marching orders and castle colors to fight under. When you go out on your own, you have to design, sew, and fly your own colors.

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  2. All true, Kelly, but I guess I wonder when the time will come when it's not such a big deal for people. Maybe we aren't there yet!

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  3. Hi Marie,
    I feel exactly this way myself and in the last month announced a pivot on my blog - I will now talk about writing and creative entrepreneurship. Not a "self-publishing" mention in sight anymore.

    I feel that the basic publishing side of things is pretty sorted now, and we can move into audiobooks, foreign rights deals and selling in different markets, as well as creative collaboration and interesting new opportunities. That's what I'm excited about in 2014.

    Thanks for sharing! Joanna

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    1. NO ONE is talking about writing anymore, and some of the self-pub books I've read lately have been proof that we still need to talk about writing. I bought one that has been a runaway success this year and the writing was SO BAD, I couldn't get through it. That's rare--I almost always finish the books I start, but this one was awful. The story was interesting, but the writing was impossible to bear. I hope people will start talking more about the writing again soon. That ought to be our NY's resolution in the community!

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  4. Hi, Marie--I'm not quite ready to self-publish but heading that direction. And I'm avidly reading your selfpublish loop for information daily. As I continue to write my books. Your help and perspective has been invaluable for me. I know what I want now. I simply have to find the time to do it all. But I fully understand your need to go on to other subjects. And I'll follow where you lead.

    Barb

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    1. Glad you find the loop helpful and good luck with your self-pub efforts.

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  5. Now we're getting like Swearingen and Tom in Deadwood when they start reminiscing about the gold old days before all these newcomers rode into town. Yeah, all the re-inventing of the wheel and people blogging about things as if they just discovered it for the first time and no one else knows about it.

    My favorite is people acting like hybrid author is a new term when I blogged it back in 2011. Oh well. There will always be people new to it and for them it is exciting and daring and whatever.

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    1. Waving hello Bob! As a hybrid author of the highest order, I give you FULL credit for that term. You were the first to use it years ago, and you were spot on then as you are now. I'm tired of people acting like this is something that's just been invented. We both know better.

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  6. The good news is that I think 2013 was the year of self-publishing getting to the early majority (based on the innovation diffiusion model). For the most part self-publishing is now accepted as a viable writing career. It was innovators like you and Bob and Joanna and Orna, Kris and Dean (probably others I don't even know) in 2009 and 2010 who set the stage.

    When I entered self-publishing in 2011 I thought I was an innovator. I knew about Joanna Penn and Bob Mayer and a few non-fiction writers. But I thought the innovator world was small. I soon learned I was part of the early adopters, not the innovators, because many others had come before me, I just wasn't aware of them. I think this is also what happens as new people enter self-publishing now. To that individual it is new and different and scary. That individual doesn't know it's been going on for five or more years already.

    I believe in 2013 the early majority phase of adopters--those who wanted significant proof before they jumped began stepping to the plate. I suspect that will last another two years. Then in late 2015 we will finally get to the late majority acceptance. IMO that is when people will stop talking about self-publishing as the new kid on the block.

    I'm also a bit fatigued. I do enjoy helping people with their careers. I believe strongly that by helping others we all get better. However, the sheer numbers of new entrants into the self-publishing world can seem like a cacophony of babies all needing to be fed at the same time. That is why I wrote my DIY Publishing book, to give people guidance without answering so many one-on-one questions. Unfortunately, the early majority often doesn't look for what has already been written or tried because they come into it believing it's too new still. They still pay attention to the naysayers and the agendas of those who prefer self-publishing didn't exist. Early majority people tend to feel like they are still cutting the path through the snow because acceptance is not 100% definitive.

    I've certainly appreciated all that you have done Marie--from creating formatting fairies to help the technically challenged to your self-publishing loop to provide support and information. I think it's okay to pull back and pick and choose where to place your efforts. Sometimes its good to let people search a bit on their own too. I think they learn better. (This is something hard for me to do too). Truly thanks to you and Bob, Dean and Kris, Orna and Joanna and all the others who went first.

    You all saved my dream. After going the big NY agent route and firing her, getting a contract, being orphaned by an editor who left the company, and trying a small press that did nothing for me, I had thought there was no way I'd publish before I died. Seeing you and Bob and others not only making it happen but thriving made me keep with it when my sales were crap. I'm not at your level yet, but I know I can be and that means everything to me. I truly thank you.

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    1. Thank you Maggie, that's nice to hear. Glad we were able to show you there was new hope!

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  7. Oh Marie. Please tell me this doesn't mean you'll opt away from the self pub loop. But I do understand how weary you must be. Back in pre-indie days I thought I might barf if one more writer asked me how to write a synopsis. I don't get that question much now and I'm still doing workshops. Now most of the queries are about self publishing. You were ahead of the curve. Many maybe even most authors are just approaching it. You are a beam of guiding light for them. Thank you so much for that on behalf of all of us. And Happy Holidays. You deserve happy because you are a gift yourself. Alice

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    1. No, nothing to do with the loop, Alice, which I enjoy and other step up to help out with the questions there. It's more this attitude that it's some sort of NEW thing that irks me. I'm just tired and cranky and in need of a vacation!

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  8. I'm about 11 months into publishing, but I followed self-publishers and their blogs for two years before I published my first. So, I'm pretty well educated IMO, and sometimes someone sends me something they think is sparkly new, but the blog post is just reposted from one two years earlier... It makes me want to raise my cane and shake it while screaming "Get off my lawn!"

    I really loved Maggie's response above. I agree with a lot of what she said so I won't rehash that. And I hope you get a nice vacation, too! Enjoy yourself! You've worked hard for it.

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  10. I have featured your blog in my themed A to Z blogging Challenge. Here is the link:
    http://eannmartin.blogspot.com/2014/04/a-to-z-blogging-challenge-e.html

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