In which I consider my options of publication and the future of my book(s)
I’ve been thinking about avenues of publication lately. Thinking about where I want my books to go, where I want my career to go, what I need writing to be for me and my life.
I want to see my books in bookstores. I want to hold shiny shimmery copies in my hands, to stack them on my personal shelves, on the edge of my desk. I want to write poetry collections as well as novels. I want my poetry to sit between Billy Collins and e.e. cummings on the shelf of my mother’s hometown bookstore.
But I don’t want to be under the control of a bigger house, one that decides for me what my cover will be, what my story will be. I know that there’s a chance my book(s) will find a home with the right editor, one that lets me explore worlds that no one else will touch, existences that don’t revolve around common themes and beasts and character-types. I might be able to contribute to design, marketing. I might impress someone enough to have some sway. But not likely, not at first. And it’s okay, I understand why it is that way. I’m not questioning the system — merely questioning if it’s one I can exist within.
All the same, self-publishing doesn’t feel right. Essentially, that’s what I’ve already done with The Stories We Tell, and while I love the unfiltered connection with my readers on Wattpad, I’m not sure I’d have it in me to do everything myself with my next novel. I also can’t afford to pay an editor, or a cover designer, or or or…which I would have to do in order to give my work the best chance.
I’ve recently discovered the independent publisher’s market, and started doing research on the process. I appreciate the hybridity of independent publishers — somewhere between trad-pub and self-pub — but I’m still worried about making enough money, getting enough exposure, finding an editor that understands and respects and collaborates with my vision. I’m worried about making the right decision for my career.
The decision I make now isn’t going to make or break the rest of my life — but it is going to affect the decisions I can make immediately thereafter.
Advice? Would be greatly appreciated. I feel like I’m frozen.