I consider myself a pretty successful indie author. I have published seven novels, three short stories, and have co-written two novellas with Jeremy Robinson in his hugely popular Jack Sigler Continuum series. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished as a writer. But if we’re honest with ourselves, we’re never really satisfied, are we? We always want more. Always set goals for ourselves higher than the ones we set before. That’s precisely where I’m at now. After five years as an author, I want to push the boundaries beyond where I’ve never had any interest in trying before. Yes, I’m talking about that whopper of authorial aspirations—traditional publication.
Truth is, traditional publishing never appealed to me. When I decided to publish my first book back in 2010, I’d read all the how-to books on getting published and I decided right there at the beginning that I wanted no part in the so-called legacy publishers and self-published every book I’ve written since. As a result, I sold quite a few books. Not enough to live on, but more than enough to pursue those pleasures in life we all desire. I was very satisfied. I’d write a book, revise it, edit it, format it, upload it, and … BAM! Instant accolades from the masses telling me how much they loved something I created (or, of course, instant introspection of why I didn’t listen to my mother and become a dentist when the horrific reviews started popping up on Amazon). But whether the reception was good or bad, there was one thing I love most about indie publishing. It’s instant. Publication is instant. The kudos are instant. Dejection is instant. And it’s wonderful … until the newness wears off and we scramble to write another book for our next “instant” fix.
Or, you do something really crazy and decide no more “instant” for me! I’m going to go where I’ve never gone before. You decide to traditionally publish and … BAM! You come to a sudden, unexpected screeching halt. From the moment you send that first query letter to that first agent, you have to wait. Wait for him to reject your query outright. Or wait for her to ask to see the full manuscript. Then you have to wait for them to eventually get to the manuscript and wait some more to receive that rejection letter so that you can move to the next agent (because agents don’t like it when we submit a query to more than one of them at a time!). And we do this over and over again, until we finally land that agent and guess what? That’s when the waiting really begins because now we have to wait for the agent to find a publisher who wants our book. Once that happens, we have to wait a year or two before they ever get around to publishing it. What the heck is taking those guys so long to get a simple book out?
But that’s just it. There’s something powerful in that waiting. It’s pregnant with unlimited potential. The sky is the limit for where we can go if we break away from our addiction to that instant fix and wait for success to catch up. That’s what I believe anyway. That’s my hope. Oh, I’ll always continue self-publishing. Of that, there’s no doubt. I love it too much and I find it has equal avenues of success as traditional publishing. I just think that once, every so often, it wouldn’t hurt us to sit back, be patient, and see the amazing things we can achieve by waiting.