Tuesday, April 11, 2017

7 The Joy, Control, and Terror of Publishing Indy

I’ve heard from a lot of you that you’re surprised at how absent I’ve been, both here on the blog and social media such as Twitter and Facebook. I’m sorry about that! I am. I miss you guys and feel woefully out of touch. But for the past year, there’s been so much anger and vitriol on Twitter and Facebook that it has sapped my energy and creativity. It got so that I was actively hating writing, and the idea of getting out there and promoting my books amid so much crap going on in the world made me want to cry.

So here’s what I did. In September, I started working on a book idea that I had filed away in my idea file. The words poured out of me, literally. I couldn’t stop writing, and because I couldn’t stop writing, I wasn’t on social media. I didn’t get sucked into the negativity in the echo chamber, and I focused on checking mentions and scrolling through the feed of the people I can always count on to be positive. That made me feel a little guilty, but I couldn’t emotionally support my family or my work otherwise.

Anyway, I LOVE the book. It’s YA, and it wrote itself. It’s still a work in progress, but I finished the core of it shortly after ILLUSION launched.

The process of writing for the pure, sheer joy and exhilaration of writing, about not worrying about news or anything else was so restorative. It got me out of my head.

So I wrote another book. Purely escapism. An uplifting, chic-litty unabashedly romantic feel-good novel set in Scotland with men in kilts, legends, a great location in the Highlands, humor, and tons of warmth. The kind of book I needed to read to get me through all the crap news going on in the world.

That book is called LAKE OF DESTINY: A CELTIC LEGENDS NOVEL, and it’s aimed for adult readers, but I made it sweet and clean so that my young adult readers can read it without fear.

Largely because I don’t have an adult agent, and because I really needed this to just be a feel-good novel, I decided to dip my toe into the indy publishing waters and put it out without any expectations.

There are a lot of benefits to doing that:

  • Fewer expectations 
  • Increased focus on pure writing 
  • Super-fast turnaround 
  • More control 
  • The ability to learn, respond, pivot, and retool quickly 

I wasn’t even halfway through the writing of LAKE OF DESTINY before I decided that I was going to do more adult romances. Why? Because suddenly writing was fun again. Pure, unadulterated joy. I looked forward to sitting down at my computer every day, and ideas were pouring out of me again.

Obviously, there are also drawbacks—chief among those being income. You don’t get a big advance going indy, and I’m not going to lie—I miss that, which is why I’m still planning on traditionally publishing as well. (And of course, because I also still have a ton of YA projects that I’m working on!)

I came out of the business world, and I’m not the kind of person who will work for free, which means that if I plan to continue publishing indy, I need to figure out how to make it pay. For that reason, I’m setting about making a five-year-plan, and setting goals and schedules and learning as much as I can, including and starting with—always—continuing to learn how to write a better book. Going indy with my name on the cover does not in any way mean that I am willing to skimp on quality, and I am honestly proud of how LAKE OF DESTINY came out.

There’s a huge learning curve in this, and I’m sure I’ll fall flat on my face before I pick myself up and figure it out, but I know a lot of you are interested in different versions of the writing journey, so I’m going to take the next few weeks to cover a bit of what I’ve learned.

Hope you’ll join me. And in the meantime, wish me luck!




XOXO




Martina

About the Author

Martina Boone is the author of Compulsion,  Persuasion, and Illusion in the romantic Southern Gothic Heirs of Watson Island trilogy from Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse, and the new upcoming romance for adult readers, Lake of Destinya magical exploration of destiny, family, healing, and the often twisted path to love set in the Highlands of Scotland--with men in kilts : ).


7 comments:

  1. Can't wait to read what you have to say! I'm thinking of trying to independently publish a novel I finished a year ago, so will look forward to what you have to say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been a really steep learning curve! Looking forward to sharing. And good luck with the novel! Will keep tabs on progress! Hugs!

      Delete
  2. Good luck, Martina! I'm happy to hear you're loving the writing process again.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's awesome you could do a "fun" project and try out indie! Best of luck to ya!!! :o)

    ReplyDelete
  4. It definitely suits my control-freak nature, Carol! Thank you! : ) XO

    ReplyDelete

Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you! :)