The last few weeks have been a flurry of activity, in part due to prep for the upcoming release of the second edition of Eolyn, Book One of The Silver Web. We’re at the two-month horizon, and this means an important set of deadlines. Advanced reading copies (ARCs) must be sent out for review, on-line tours and blitzes must be booked, and if you’re smart, now is the time for pre-order options to appear on Amazon and elsewhere.
We’ve a couple more pieces left before everything is 100% ready for the launch, but I’m very happy with the schedule we’ve kept. There’s a positive energy about this whole endeavor. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help but think something good this way comes.
Still, it’s been kind of a scary time. Those of you who are privy to my inner circle know by now that I’ve decided to let go of my contracts with Hadley Rille Books. This was one of the toughest decisions I’ve made as an author, in part because HRB was such a good home for me for so long. But as I finished the third book and began to consider how to roll out Eolyn’s saga as a cohesive trilogy, it became more and more apparent that it was time for a fresh start.
The traditional publishing route still appeals to me. I’ve queried agents and new publishers, and will continue to do so going forward. But even as I’ve queried, I’ve been hatching a parallel plan. That plan includes releasing the second edition of Eolyn under my own micro press this spring.
So here I am, taking my first brave step into the world of self-publishing.
Self-publishing has changed a lot since I signed my first contract with HRB all those years ago. Back then, it was seen as the last resort of the desperate, or the first resort of the lazy. Now, self-published works make up a significant part of the market, and everyone seems to be taking independent authors more seriously.
For any author who has the skill set, motivation, and tenacity to oversee the entire publishing process, self-publishing can be a very attractive option. While I’m keenly aware a traditional publisher can offer certain things I won’t be able to do on my own, I have to confess I like the autonomy I’ve felt these past few weeks. There’s much to be said for having so much creative control over my own project.
As we’ve prepared for the release of the second edition, I’ve also learned some very important things about myself. First and foremost, I am much more confident as an author. I know more about the market than I did five years ago. As a result, I believe in my product in a way that I didn’t before. I am telling a story that needs to be told, from a perspective that isn’t explored very often. And I tell this story very well.
I wasn’t so sure about that five years ago, on the eve of the release of the first edition of Eolyn. Though I had written a fantasy, I wasn’t all that familiar with the genre, and I didn’t have a clear sense of my place within it. That’s changed now, giving me the sort of confidence I need to publish and market my own novel in my own way.
I’m not sure where this new path will lead in the long run, except perhaps, to new stories. Maybe the second edition of Eolyn will sell better than the first. Maybe it won’t. Maybe I’ll pick up some new readers. Maybe I won’t.
But however I evaluate this experience six or twelve or more months down the line, I hope I can remember the sense of fulfillment I had on this day, when I knew in my heart that I was doing the right thing.