Saturday, January 11, 2014

My mind blown, self-publishing style

I've been reading and re-reading this completely fantastic post by Hugh Howley this week. Over and over. I have shown it to all my writing friends (except you guys - so now you're in the loop!) I keep sharing it and thinking about it and talking about it and…

Fundamentally the only conclusion I can reach is this.

In 2014, I just need to publish my own stuff.

You see, I've been looking to go traditional for many years. I have an agent who has sent around a novel of mine and I've had a very good, detailed rejection from at least one excellent house that publishes the kind of thing I write (but it would require a detailed rewrite of THAT book to meet the concerns of that editor. Instead of the rewrite I took her feedback to heart and try to resolve those issues proactively in the books I've written since. I already know that editing is the Pit of Despair for me. I do my best to avoid spending too much time in it.)

I have an agent, I have completed novels (my agent has read another of my novels but it ends on a cliffhanger and he suggests, rightfully so, that he can't pitch it well as-is without at least the second book in the series. Which I haven't written yet. Details, details.) And yet, it's been a year and I haven't sold anything. More than, now that I think of it.

I think it's time for me to do something different.

So I'm telling you, dear readers, here and now I resolve in 2014 to just put my fiction out into the world via the typical channels (amazon,, apple) and see what happens.

Wish me luck. I have a feeling I'm going to need it!

If you'd like to support me in this endeavor (I would REALLY appreciate your support!) you can find my existing books for sale on the typical platforms under the author name Karen T. Smith, or go to my website (which I am hopefully updating right as soon as I finish this post, I'll include a mailing list signup and would very much love your subscription!) I have a free short story, MOON CLIQUES, available on all platforms, as well as two other 99c short stories (LIBRARY OF THE APOCALYPSE and APPLES ON THE MOON) and a $2.99 novel (CONVERGENCE.) I mostly write upbeat kid-friendly science fiction, with a particular emphasis on girls who are good at tech. The kinds of books I wanted to read when I was a geeky girl in 7th grade, the only one who played video games.

At any rate, wish me luck! And check out Hugh's post. If you're a writer, too, please comment and let me know if his post has changed your thinking on trajectory or plans for your career.


  1. My mind is blown because that article finally made it sink in to my mind that I have to write if I want a job as a writer. I have to write A LOT. These crazy writing festivals I've been having lately? They are for always.

    I would still love to publish something the old-fashioned way, just because it would be lovely, but for now I'm really happy with the world of self-publishing. It is a lot of work, but it works.

  2. What he says makes a lot of sense. I hope the publishing industry is listening. Some things do need to change. Especially in publishing more scifi, fantasy, and romance. Readers of those genres are insatiable.

    I can't help but wonder if pricing of e-books has to do with the success of the indie publishing. Every e-book I have bought has either been from a self-published author or was a special offer. I just can't spend $8 or more on an e-book, even if I will pay that much or more for the physical book. There is something psychological there, but a file on my kindle just doesn't seem to have the same value as a physical book even though I know they are technically the same thing, I don't think I'm alone in this.

    I bet the e-book sales will soar if traditional publishing would just lower their prices closer to what the self-published prices.

    I wish you tons of luck, and I'll definitely pick up Convergence. Awesome cover.

  3. Hugh Howley was a huge part of the reason why I decided to go into self publishing. Him, and several other books I picked up on my kindle were fantastic. I had always connected self publishing with a lower quality of story, but that's actually not true. Not anymore. I went into indie publishing, because I got tired of waiting for someone else to tell me I was good enough before I decided to jump in and make this my life. I put out the very best book I could, and then learned via readers, and reviews, how I could improve. I also learned there were people out there who actually liked what I did. So I started writing for me and for them, and keep learning and growing.

    Self publishing is just a step, but as Hugh says in a diffrent article. Self publishing is just another slush pile. I know so many authors now who've gone self publishing, found success, and then sold their books or their series to traditional publishers, or who decided to keep the rights because they were making money and connections bigger than traditional publishing could offer them. I think the future for most authors will be to have a mix of trade and indie. Least that's my goal.

    Best of luck!


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