My first novel was published by Random House. Naturally, I assumed my second would be, too. But my editor got married and pregnant and - gasp - quit her job, leaving me at square one. I had faith. I had hope. The new book went out wide. I waited. And waited. And waited. My agent suggested this was one of the longest waiting periods she'd ever experienced - through Christmas and even Easter. It was nothing short of a nightmare.
Finally, responses started trickling in. Editors loved it, were fighting for it at meetings, thought it was a 'page-turner', 'quirky', 'unlike anything they'd ever read' - BUT - BUT - BUT they couldn't get consensus within their company. A book about a person who purrs like a cat? Not everyone was on board. The first positive pass was painful. The second, even worse. Eventually, I stopped counting, but at one point I was praying for a flat-out rejection. Those came, too. We heard from all the A-list companies and then reorganized and sent to our plan B. It wasn't catching there, either. We were scheming ways to send out to our C-list when I suggested we stop the madness.
Around the same time, my friend Leena and I had lunch. Leena is an indie filmmaker and was excitedly talking about putting her movie online (Her film had a wide and successful run at many film festivals). Another friend, fellow girlfriend Maggie Marr, was talking about putting her latest novel online. I trusted both these women. I didn't find anything cringe-worthy about their decisions to 'self-publish'. My final decision came after reading the Steve Jobs biography. I loved reading about the passion he had for figuring out ways to sell the Mac computer - it just seemed so creative and fun. I finished the book and decided I was going to go that direction, too.
I edited my manuscript for the 435th time, reached out to friends and strangers for blurbs, hired a cover designer, a formatter, made postcards, filled out some paperwork and voila! On March 20, "Imperfect" launched as an e-book.
I have never felt more in control in my life.
I think that this adventure is even more exciting than the first book's publication. AND it's selling. There's still lots of work to do in the marketing and promotions department, but that's what entrepreneurs do.
The publishing climate is changing, and I think the change is favoring authors. And that's certainly something to celebrate.