When talking to some other authors recently – in person, not online – one of their first questions when I told them my book releases this summer was, “So who’s your publisher?” Not what it was about or where it takes place or even genre (though those all eventually came out, but not first). Is this common? Do published authors discuss their publishers, editors and agents as soon as they meet each other? Because, honestly, I took the tone as someone who recently moved to LA is asked “What’s your zip code?” You know, with the unasked question of do you matter.
Maybe I’m a little on the defensive because I know there’s a stigma out there that independently published authors “just aren’t good enough.” At one point not too long ago, many indie authors went indie mostly because they received rejections from every agent and publisher out there. However, times are changing and many of us now see going indie as a great opportunity, not a last resort.
In fact, for me, it was considered as one of my first resorts, but I told myself I was just being an impatient control freak and needed to at least try the traditional route. Guess what? I am an impatient control freak. I am also an entrepreneur at heart and know when I have a great team who can accomplish awesome things. There are too many people I want to involve in my journey and I just couldn’t see how I could when handing everything over to a publisher. Going indie just feels too natural to me. And the other way – not at all.
So, I never even queried PROMISE, never even tried taking it the traditional route. Yes, it’s the beginning of what was once PURPOSE, which I did query, but the blurbs and synopsis I provided were too convoluted to say that it’s just a title change. I may have had more success querying after the split. Then again, I may not. Because the most common feedback I received from partials was the marketability.
See, my main character starts off at 18 years old, starting her first year of college. This is a no-man’s-land age when it comes to fiction. Supposedly, nobody wants to read about 18-22-year-olds. It’s not Young Adult and, I guess, it’s not quite Adult. There is a push for a new category called New Adult, which may eventually happen. I’m not waiting around for it to succeed. Because, honestly, it annoys me that a book is automatically labeled “not marketable” because of the MC’s age – because they don’t know how to categorize it.
I do. PROMISE is an adult novel. Trust me – the content is at least rated R. And PURPOSE picks up over seven years later, when the MC is 27. She continues to age (sort of) throughout the series. Just because she starts off at 18, doesn’t mean it’s YA or even New Adult. Just like The Lovely Bones isn’t YA, though the MC is 14.
So, basically, I’m bucking the system all over the place. Just call us rebels with a cause. We’ll see how it pans out. But I’m up for the challenge and so is my team. It’s a fun, exciting journey and I can’t wait for the sites and experiences along the way. I don’t feel badly about it at all. And I’m not going to let others make me feel inferior because I know the real story.
And by the way, if you really want to know who my publisher is, it’s called Ang’dora Productions. Keep your eye on it. It’s going places. ;-)