So I’ve finished editing my manuscript and my friendly readers have weighed in their opinions. I’m ready to publish, but where am I supposed to go from here??!!
After reading the tweets of so many indie authors, I thought I would try my hand at self-publishing with Smashwords… but have you read the fine print? I really have trouble with the “trust the reader” idea. It’s hard to blindly trust all of these random people I’ve never met. Then I got paranoid, thinking someone would steal my indie published work and sell it to a publisher elsewhere in the world. Yeah, it’s a concern of mine. Working in a lawyer’s office I know how difficult it is to prosecute someone outside of the country. Am I overreacting? Likely.
Anyway, after securing an awesome photographer and a potential male model for my cover shot I started to second guess the whole “indie” thing. I’d like to say that I’m an independent woman, but I’m not stupid. I’m no pro when it comes to publishing a book. In fact, I don’t know a single person – outside of the Twitter world – who has done anything like this. So next I thought I would suck it up and pay my dues for a literary agent.
A little research went a long way in disappointing me. There’s a whopping 30 literary agents in all of Canada. 30… Really? That’s it??!! So I thought, okay, not a biggie. Then I searched the list of agents. Oh yes, this is where it gets fun. If I want to stick with Ontario agents only – you know, so I might actually meet the person I’m trusting my writing career to – then that narrows the playing field rather quickly. After you consider who’s actually accepting new clients, which ones have gotten over the snail-mail methods, and find those who are looking at fiction, let alone romance, your options are limited. I swear, if I read… contemporary fiction “but not romance” again I think I’ll scream.
So I’ve narrowed it down to 2 agents who are actually accepting my style of story – the only ones in this entire Province – and that’s not to say that they’re “particularly interested” in romance at all. Needless to say I’m feeling less than optimistic. I’m seriously considering going back to Smashwords. But then I think of negotiating a contract with a publishing company, once my novel gets out there, and it terrifies me. As an indie author you’re expected to be a writer, an artist, an advertising specialist and the list goes on. I did not realize what I was signing up for when I started this novel, but there’s no turning back now.
Are there any words of advice out there from a successful (or not so successful) indie author? Do you have any insight with respect to hiring a literary agent outside of your own country? I know these decisions are critical to the success of my novel, so any comments would be appreciated.