Moving on

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Self-publishing or Not, That is the Question....

Recently I had the privilege of speaking to a group of writers at the Charlotte Write To Publish Group. They invited me to talk about my experience acquiring an agent, so I gladly stepped up to the plate and gave them the full monty.  I traced my humble publishing history from Sunday School supplements to write-for-hire curriculum, to adult poetry, to my yet-to-be-published YA novel, CRAZY.

I talked about the time and money I have poured into professional critiques, workshops, and conferences to fine tune my manuscript.  I described my 4-month quest to snag an agent. I detailed the grueling year-and-a-half of rejections, close-calls, near misses,  agonizing waiting and elevated blood pressure. And I bravely divulged that my agent and I have come to the recent conclusion that I should launch my own search targeting small, independent presses who do NOT wish to see an agented piece of work. The writers listened politely and showered me with intelligent questions in the end.

Then I sat back and listened to them share their stories, and one after another they unveiled their self-publishing or subsidy publishing journeys.  Someone passed around a shiny finished product, another shared pieces of his glowing Kirkus reviews, and yet another outlined the ease and efficiency of getting her book edited and uploaded.  I listened politely, asked intelligent questions, and left with my head spinning.

This morning I woke up with a gross WHY headache.  Why am I doing this to myself when I could take half the money I was going to spend for yet another workshop, go to and within hours be on my way to published bliss?  In fact, with a little design savvy I could click my manuscript into the published realm before dinner tonight without spending a pretty penny.  Why not?

Fellow writers who have gone this route, please hear me.  I am not bashing you, your work, or the choices you have made.  Quite the contrary, for the first time in my writing career, I am seriously asking myself why not?

My head is in a muddle, but I'd love to hear from clear thinkers out there on either side of this slippery slope.

Monday, September 3, 2012


On this fascinating sojourn to find a publisher for CRAZY, my Young Adult novel written in verse, I find myself launching into new territory.  Backing up a bit, I have worked with an agent for the past year and-a-half to no avail.  While she loves my book and has found a publisher who also claims to love my book, no contract offer has been made, and the hope of one coming in any time soon is fast waning. The tight state of the writers' market these days, particularly for Young Adult fiction, is a whole topic for another day's discussion.  

But getting back to the here and now, my agent has become a friend and advocate who has agreed to look over any contract offers I might land on my own and to help with foreign rights should this book ever make it to the shelves.  So I find myself once again polishing up the queries and cranking out the submission lists, something I mistakenly thought I could abandon forever once I landed that agent.  

My intention here is not to invite you to a pity party, but to join me in a new venture which is the exploration of e-publishing and alternative markets.  As luck would have it, one of the first days out on this new trail I snagged the interest of Tod Davies,, publisher of Exterminating Angel Press and its e-magazine by the same name.  And no, neither she nor her site is about eliminating heavenly beings, and I'll leave it up to you to discover the origins of this unique name.  She has invited me to share some of my work from CRAZY. If you will go to and click on EAP: The Magazine at the top, my piece called "Beth's Opinion" is listed in the column on the right.  It wouldn't hurt my feelings if you "liked" it and I will love to receive comments here, since that option is not open on the site.

Thanks for joining me on this arduous but ever-fascinating journey!