Recently I made a decision that many writers are contemplating. Maybe you’re one of them. After researching, mulling, and head scratching, I’ve decided to independently publish my next novel and utilize crowdfunding to both promote and fund it.
My Kickstarter campaign runs this month – CLICK HERE!
If you’re new to publishing, you may not be aware of how rapidly our industry is changing, almost daily. When I contracted for the publication of my first novel, a major shift in attitude toward indie publishing had just occurred.
A bestselling Christian writer had just launched his own self-publishing company, first aiming predominately at writers who had been trained by his Christian Writers Guild. It was as if a bomb had exploded.
At his writers’ conference a few days after his announcement, every agent, editor, and publisher asked me – a writer at the conference – if I also planned to self publish, as if this were now the expected norm. They all encouraged it.
Everything had changed.
Between 2011-2013, it was estimated there were 1 to 2 million books on Amazon. By the time my novel reached publication in early 2014, there were 8 million books on Amazon, and now there are 12 million! That is an enormous glut, if you’re an unknown writer promoting your first book.
As I considered this market, often completely overwhelmed, my autoimmune disorder worsened. And as I talked with my readers, I became even more acutely aware of their needs. I spent a lot of time crying, feeling hopeless and frustrated for them and for me.
Even if you’re completely healthy, this writing world may prompt you to feel the same. What’s a writer to do?
We must remember this: God is still God. None of this surprised him.
He created humanity to work and to create. Innovation brings change. Therefore, change is a mark of the image of God within mankind.
With change come challenges, which have always simultaneously inspired and plagued creative people. This time in literary history is similar to when the printing press was created, and everyone’s words could garner a hearing if they were willing to embrace a new writing world.
As I prayed and considered, the Lord brought encouragement from unlikely sources, including strangers (now friends) I met on ACFW Group boards and social media. Simultaneously, the Lord impressed upon me his deep love and his gentleness with the speed at which I can now work with a chronic illness. He gave me hope in him.
Eventually, my way became clear. The decision was made easier by the fact that my publisher, a small traditional house, will be providing the editing and design, as well as the distribution connections for my indie project. I love my publisher, so his creative input made this even more enticing.
My decision is unique to my health, my personality, my savvy publisher, and my readers. Another significant consideration was the fact that I’ve already been published traditionally. This was a very personal decision. What was right for me may not be right for you.
Our God is innovative, and so are the brilliant human beings he created. You are one of his marvelous creations! As a writer, he designed you to tell his stories.
My encouragement to you in this crazy publishing world is that the Lord will help you to make these decisions. He will lead you. No matter how he directs, he will get your stories to the market he has planned for them. He is sovereign over all. Never forget this.
(To follow the discussion on Seriously Write, click HERE.)