You may wonder why I chose to become an independent publisher, especially if you know how much I resisted the idea of self-publishing for years. My first children’s book The Haunted Igloo, was published in 1991 by a traditional publisher, Houghton Mifflin. But authors know that getting the second or third book published doesn’t always happen. Even if you have a toe in the door, that door is often slammed on it. Hard. The sequel to that book (Spirit Lights) was rejected, as was another one. But the fact is, after my husband became ill and went on the hospice program, I was needed at home to care for him. I no longer had time to query, and could not make the author visits to schools. In order to get those books “out of my hair” so I could work on my adult novels, I decided to self-publish. But I’m not sorry. It was a wonderful learning experience for someone who loves working with graphics and computers.
If there’s one thing you should know about the publishing business, it’s that these are difficult times for both publishers and authors, especially new authors. Finding an agent to represent your work is a crazy circus; trust me, it’s not even funny. Frankly, I just got tired of spending weeks, months, and years of my time on the slow-motion query-go-round only to have my work rejected. Rejection doesn’t mean the writing isn’t good (sometimes that’s true); in many cases it means that while editors and agents like your writing and the premise of the story, they simply have no idea how to market it. I’ve been told I’m a good writer and that my grammar is above par, and that makes me feel great. But I’ve given up on finding an agent who appreciates my work enough to take it on, who sees potential in my book even if it isn’t a blockbuster. And these days, it’s all about money for the publishers, money to keep their businesses operating in an uncertain economy; money to keep their doors open so they can acquire more blockbusters. It’s discouraging for serious writers to see shelf after bookstore shelf featuring the same authors every week. There are many good writers out there who deserve a chance. Many are still young enough to play games with publishers.
But not me. At my age, I don’t have time for all that, especially when it’s so easy to publish my own books, and it’s becoming easier than ever with the emergence of new ebook publishers and digital readers. But I’m not satisfied to make just digital copies of my work, books that are nothing but air and a few blips on a screen: I want paper copies available for those who want to hold real books in their hands. I have work to do. More books to write. More books to publish. I’m a passionate writer, a dreamer, a creator, and it’s time to let the rest of the world know I exist.
I wish I’d known all this forty years ago.
I have self-published ebooks at Smashwords.com and would like you to see what I’ve done. Four books are for middle-grade readers, and one an adult historical novel. I would appreciate some reviews for the Great Depression novel, Face the Winter Naked. I’m most proud of this book!
Face the Winter Naked: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/10791
My Smashwords Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/BonnieTurner
My Web Page: http://my.athenet.net/~aurorawolf