Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Other Side of the Coin

My last few blog posts have centered around the dark side of the new Indie publishing world, the predatory practices of the new imprints that are popping up and trying to lure aspiring Indie authors into the woods, notably Random House's new "digital imprints" whose horrible contract terms were called out by John Scalzi, head of the SFWA in an open letter that went viral and brought down an f-ton of public wrath on RH.  RH quickly capitulated, offering somewhat better terms, but I warned that we all need to stay vigilant for these sharks, have our heads on a swivel, and look out for ourselves and fellow authors.

In this post, I want to call out the other side of the coin, one of the inspiring success stories that the new publishing model facilitates: the stunning home run hit by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Indie (well, hybrid) author Armentrout's Wait for You, a young adult book which she self-published under the pen name J. Lynn, hit number 1 on the best seller lists a few weeks ago, and kept that position for two consecutive weeks on Digital Book World's eBook best-seller list.

Peeps, if you don't know this you should: Armentrout's book is the first self-published work to hit number 1.

Riding that wave, she signed a "high six-figure" deal for three books with HarperCollins.

If that doesn't inspire, I don't know what will.  Her book was rejected as "too risky" by traditional publishers, but she knew in her heart an audience existed for it, and she plugged away on her own and now she reaps the rewards of that work and determination.

In a few guest blogs last year I wrote about the new publishing model, and the demise of the gatekeepers that stood between the author and the reader.  I urged then, and I urge now, to write for yourself, stick with it, finish your project, edit it, get a great cover and draft a great book blurb and put it out there.  With a little marketing and word-of-mouth, it will find its audience and it it's good you'll gather some success.  No one can stop the reader from judging your works anymore--except yourself, if you don't publish.

Not everyone is going to see the success of a JA Konrath, or an Amanda Hocking, or a Hugh Howey, or a Jen Armentrout.  But your writing will find an audience if you publish it.  And no one can stop you--but you.

Now, while that fire burns bright, go write.

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