Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why I'm Deciding to Self-Publish

My big announcement.

THE post.

I have to admit I've been avoiding it. I avoid a lot of things, especially the big stuff. I've hinted at this decision for a while now, but I came to the conclusion last weekend that I really just needed to make it official.

Except for my three books in the Auri Series (published through Spencer Hill Press), I'll be exclusively self-publishing all of my work.

Now here comes the big question everyone asks (and admittedly, I've been obsessively reading all the "why I decided to self-publish" posts for the past few months, eager to see if anyone had a better reason than mine that I could latch onto)...

Why?

Why? Why?? WHY??? Am I nuts??

How many people get to say a publishing company came to them?? How many people have such great opportunities and amazing people literally thrust on them??

These are questions I asked over and over and over. I couldn't believe I was actually considering it. It honestly wasn't in my "to-do" list of ways to get to the top of the publishing community.

And I know I had the big "why I love self-publishing and this is why I'm doing it post" a couple years ago, but I lied.

There. I said it. I finally admitted it to myself a few months ago and I'm admitting it to you now.

I. Lied.

A few years ago, despite everything I might have told you, I saw self-publishing as just a new way to get to the big six. You literary agents rejected me? Well, I'll show you!

My goal was ALWAYS to get a major book deal with a large publishing company. If I had to publish my own work to get there, I'd do it. I may not have said this out loud to you, my close friends, or even myself, but deep in my heart, this was my goal.

And then Spencer Hill Press made an offer out of nowhere. Holy freakin' cow! Amazing. I have been soooo blessed. I'm not going to skip around that fact. They have been a HUGE blessing. And honestly? (because I know a lot of the these posts come with admissions that publishing with a press didn't turn out like they'd hoped) My experiences with Spencer Hill Press should have absolutely solidified my goal of moving up in the publishing companies.

They have been nothing short of brilliant. I have loved every moment with them. Every time I meet with my editors or talk to them online, they've done everything to encourage me and improve my craft. Based on their treatment of me, I should naturally have submitted another work, gotten an agent, and published another series with them. And believe me, I wanted to badly. That was my next step. I was going to take it last September. It was all worked out.

And then I got an inkling.

Something was wrong.

Not with them, but with me.

I finally admitted to myself that I was a different person and a different writer than I should be because of my goals.

I'm not horribly different. It's not like a split personality thing where you'll wonder where this Emily came from, but it's different enough. I started to get uncomfortable.

You see, I'm a conservative, young Earth creationist Christian/ Speculative fiction writer and I've been hiding that fact.

I think (I HOPE) I've proved already I'm not the nasty stereotype people like to picture when they read those words up there.

And I'm not saying my writing is going to get offensive or derogatory or even controversial. Elemental already completely encapsulates all of my beliefs. In fact, most of my writing does. I think that's true for all of us. We are our belief systems.

I've always been me, but I haven't always been brave enough to admit it out loud. And I've decided to self-publish, not because of any stumbling blocks I got from any publishing professionals, but because of me and how I made myself feel I needed to hide.

And like I said, the writing isn't going to change at all. My feelings about myself are going to change. My goal isn't to be a writing wonder anymore. It isn't to get a big six figure deal or to rock the community with my amazing words.

It's just to be comfortable being me. And to write what I love.

I hope you'll like my books and celebrate with me as I announce the future (summer) release of my first self-published novel:

My YA Contemporary Fantasy:
ALMOST NIGHT


Fourteen-year-old Lilly Grey exists in two worlds at the same time. She just doesn't know it.

As the only albino in a million mile radius, Lilly is used to being different. Pink eyes and white hair aren't exactly the best camouflage in the harrowing jungles formally known as high school. And yeah, she's used to being an outcast and seeing the world in a slightly different way, but she never guessed how literally "different" applied to her.

Not until a clan of shape-shifting dragons tell her she's not just albino. She's a unicorn and the only mortal alive who can live on both Earth and its antithesis, Morcah. Now all those times she thought she saw a floating brown blotch in the sky or eyes peering out at her from the bark of trees make sense. She's been seeing Morcah, a land that exists in the exact same spot as Earth, just in a different phase.

But it's not all sunshine and rainbows for this unicorn. As the only one who can live in both phases, she's also the only one who can bring Morcah--and all its inhabitants--to Earth. And creatures who've been trapped on Earth since the Dark Ages are willing to do worse things than kill to make that happen.

Put it on your Goodreads list.

19 comments:

  1. Well, that's definitely big news and it goes without saying that you have my support. I'm excited for you and your new adventure AND of course I'm celebrating with you the release of your first self-published novel! :)

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  2. Emily, this post is so encouraging. Right now, I'm seeking traditional publication, but every day i have to make the decision to be who I am and not let the pressure of fitting in and pleasing everyone change me. I'm glad to see the "real you" and I look forward to getting to know you even better!
    The new book sounds great--I'm off to Goodreads to find it. :)

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  3. I love having complete control over my book?0!! Congrats and good stinking luck!! :D

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    1. Thank you so much! Yeah, that is definitely something I'm both excited and terrified about. :)

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  4. PS if you need a reader and someone to post on their blog I'd be super happy to.

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    1. Oh my goodness, thank you so much! I will definitely contact you when the time comes. :)

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  5. Congrats Emily. It is a very brave and wise thing you are doing.

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  6. I think this is great news! Self-publishing was the best decision I ever made in my career, and I loooooooove it. Good luck to you, friend.

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    1. KAAAAAAAAAATIIIIIEEEEEEEE!!! Oh, how I have missed you! I have been such a bad friend!

      And yeah, I'm pretty excited! I feel like I've taken a huge weight off my shoulders. I'm just going to write what I love and hope that others love it, too. :)

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  7. Congrats Emily. It's great you're following your heart.

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  8. Always always stay true to yourself. You're an amazing writer(and person) and ALL good writers know you have to love what you write or it just isn't worth it.

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  9. Good luck Emily! Hiding who you are is never a good idea, and writing what you love is ALWAYS the best path. And, I can honestly say, I hope you never fit in. 'Cause that would just be boring. :)

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  10. Hooray for you Emily. Self publishing has been an aweseome experience for me. I too dream of traditional publishing because I would like to have the experience of having an editorial team and a planned book release, but I don't feel that I have put that dream on hold at all as an indie. I have an editor, an illustrator, beta readers, and a wonderful indie community of authors to run ideas by and learn from their mistakes and hard work and experience indie side up.
    I am also a Christian and I realised a while ago if I am going to write a MG story that encompasses my passion and belief then I would not be willing to give over the control of that story to a commercial market. So to quote one of my favourite kids movies, "Meet the Robinsons", Keep moving forward," and self publishing doesnt have to be a back step. Best of luck, Julie Anne Grasso

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  11. I'll support you in whichever path you choose to follow! YAY for you!! :)

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  12. Hi Em - just stopping by quick to make sure you entered your link properly for A to Z. You did!

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  13. A lovely honest post! And congrats on deciding to publish Lilly's story--I remember reading a first draft of that! :) Best wishes.

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  14. Wow! Good for you. It's so important to be yourself as a writer. Otherwise, what's the point?
    Best of luck with it. :-)

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