Post 20: Going Indie

I am now an indie writer. Let’s break that down.

It seems to be conventional wisdom in writing these days that becoming a hybrid writer is a good idea. (TM). I was going to give that a go, and to start, I had planned to publish a book of short stories, which I did yesterday, by the way. I published The Devil’s Wingman and Other Stories as an ebook, with a print book to soon follow. You might remember from the last time I wrote an authorly post (not the one about my new studio, but post 18) I had lost my agent and Curiosity Quills had turned down my Klaereon sequel (coming out on March 19th, you betcha!). I planned to leave The Vessel of Ra with CQ and let it ride out its contract, and I also planned to pitch Abigail Rath Versus Mad Science to likely agents.

Think again. 😀

CQ recently radically changed its business model, and I decided to take them up on the option of getting my rights back for Vessel. And I’ve been having this unsettling question about time as it keeps on slipping (slipping, slipping) into the future. The Vessel of Ra took two years from acceptance to reach publication. Finding an agent to represent me came about because of that book deal, but it took me pretty much from 2009 until 2015 to find an agent. Mind, I do think I could find an agent again, but my mind has been moving in some strange directions during the past year.

First of all, what I want to write are the stories I want to tell. I want to write 7 Klaereon Scroll books, and I want to write about 7 Abby Rath books. I also have novellas and a serial to tell in the magical family universe, and I expect some other tangents I could explore. In the case of The Klaereon Scroll series, the publisher told me they didn’t want any more. In the case of Abby, my agent didn’t want to support it. And no harm, no foul to them. But I wanted to do these things.

Here’s the conundrum. What is more important to me? Is it to have an agent and a publisher? There are advantages to that, including wide distribution and a different kind of work. I have found out, however, what is important to me is to TELL the stories I want to tell, rather than to SELL the stories someone else thinks they can sell.

I used to be afraid of all the work self-publishing entailed, but I am enjoying editing, working with formatters and cover artists, and learning the ins and outs of each piece as I go. It is a lot of work, but it is also rewarding. For me to get my story out there, and have other people read it; for me to forego the winnowing and unlikelihood that I will be traditionally published, and sell well enough for my publisher to keep me, and for me to write and share the stories I want to, all of these are the reasons I have embraced self-publishing.

This is not to say I will never return to traditional publishing. But right now I want to be in a place where I can write what I want, that is flexible around my job. I am luckier than many, as I have some income I can devote here as I start up. And I am also lucky to be writing in a time where independent publishing does not have the stigma it once did. So, these posts will take a turn toward what it takes to self-publish a book, as well as many of the other overlapping aspects of being an author.

Take care, and happy writing to you. I’ll be over here, telling the stories I want to tell.

Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

3 thoughts on “Post 20: Going Indie”

  1. It’s a hard leap to take, but I felt burnt by my publisher at the end, and it made the call easier. My reasons for going hybrid are very similar to yours… more control over what I was doing and what happened to my end product.

    May you have all the success in the world!

  2. Thanks, Catherine, for sharing your insights. I am approaching a similar choice in getting my YA horse-setting series published. I’ll be sure to keep an eye on your blog, especially if I decide to follow the same Indie path.

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