This isn’t one of my usual blogs, but after spending time on my new platform, I felt compelled to write this. As a recent Twitter joiner, or joiner of Twitter, however that goes, I’ve noticed a trend and this might just be me. There are a lot of Indie writers on Twitter and they are some of the most prolific Twitters/Tweeters, out there.
Back in December I decided that if I wanted to be taken seriously by agents and publishers that it wasn’t enough to have a free website, www.ljfetters.weebly.com. I’ve had a Myspace page since the beginning, initially started as a way to keep abreast of the children and when they moved to another, I joined Facebook. As I started to pursue my desire to write and be read, I realized I needed to put MY money where my mouth is, so I bought a domain name and started www.lostinthewriting.net. This has been and is a work in progress as is my entire writing venture. At the same time, I joined Twitter and LinkedIn and I don’t know, a few other social type medias’ to promote myself. In several ways I feel like a fake, as if I’ve put the cart before the horse hanging in the wind without a published piece of work, but I’m told by those with more knowledge than myself, that one is supposed to grow a following even before being published. I am working on it. I have a cyber-presence. I am putting myself out there on the web and sending queries to agents along with submissions to contest.
Now we fast-forward to May, up until this point I did nothing with the Twitter account because I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with it. Still don’t. In my quest for world domination (joking), I started to become active on Twitter, started with only a couple of followers, friends/writer group writers, growing my following to 40. I had few expectations as to whom might decide to follow me on Twitter, but as it turns out, a large portion of that populous are indie writers. I’m not sure why I’ve gained their allegiance, although I’ve kicked the idea around, I have yet to publish on my own. Again, I’m still trying to figure out the Twitter phenomenon, I mean I get it, but I don’t get it. I’m thrilled to have them and any and all of those who choose to grace me with their attention. After all, isn’t that the idea, more Twitter followers, more blog followers, more opportunities to have readers once I publish traditionally, or self?
And now three paragraphs later, I’m on to the reason for my unusual blog. These Indies are self-promoting the hell out of their books. More than any of the traditional writers that I know who have published a book or two. Sure, you have the big names, Michael Connelly, Christopher Moore, Janet Evanovich, they’re there, selling, but the relatively unknown authors, aren’t pushing as hard as the Indies. I am amazed, surprised, and very impressed with how doggedly these people promote themselves and their work and their fellow Indies. They’ve got this great field of dreams going and they’re all promoting each other. We all know people who are published and we have gently shared those works with our families and friends, but as a group, Indies really put themselves, their fellows, and their work out there. They press forward. Where the traditional publishers are feeling the sting of another rejection, the Indies are rejoicing in the euphoria of selling another book.
There has been some discussion, okay, a lot of discussion among the masses and my small writer’s group, as to the benefit and quality put out by Indies. Not going there. In every genre, in every avenue of publication there are great reads, ones that should have had another edit and those with huge gaping plot holes. These greats and not so greats are on both sides of the publishing industry, traditional and self-published. In many ways, the self-publisher takes on a greater responsibility and thus amount of work in order to get that book published and that should be applauded. Not to say traditional writers don’t put in their time; however, we rely on editors, agents, etc to help move this process along. Indies also have far more control over the final product. Again, not where I want to go with this. I’m just seeing the effort the Indies put forth in promoting themselves and their fellow Indies and I think some of us on the other side of the barrel, could take a lesson.
One of the common themes I see among my fellow traditionalist is the lack of self-confidence in our work. We are often quicker to promote someone else’s work over our own, a little insecure in our abilities because we’ve been pounded down by the last rejection. Some take days after a rejection before they’re willing to try again. But that’s not going to get your work out to the readers. Put yourself out there. Standing on the top of Mount Everest of your life and shout about what you’re writing. Be brave and be courageous. Hold your head up high and let the world see what you are up to. Share your work with the same fervor that you would pass on someone else’s work. Take a page from the Indies and promote the hell out of yourself, your work, and those of your fellows, no matter their publishing path.
I’m still on the fence about self-publishing. As many of you know, I am seriously considering ebooking my fantasy series, starting with a freebee of the novella. Currently the series is sitting at eight. I am patiently waiting for some cover art by a very talented young graphic designer before going forward. As for Not Her Father’s Son, I am querying several agents and a few publishers who accept submissions without an agent. Death of a Political Nobody will also be queried and I’ve already submitted my two shorts to an online magazine.
What am I working on now? I have five WIP. In my fantasy repertoire, the final book for the series and a spin-off, with some of the minor characters present, but entirely new majors. Death of a Political Assassin follows Death of a Political Nobody. What I lovingly and jokingly refer to as The Second Book of Alex (no tittle yet) which is actually Jack’s story, the characters from Not Her Father’s Son. And another untitled piece that started out as an idea for a collaboration. Now tentatively titled Angel’s Vice. (thanks Cyndi)
Want a short blurb on my finished works, go to Musings of a Stiffled Writer.
Tell me what you’re writing? What’s finished looking for a home and what’s in the works? Inquiring minds want to know.