The Daily Joe, July 25
Updated: Aug 1, 2019
Whoa! Can you believe it's almost August? The summer is flying by! I went to update the big planning calendar I have on my wall today and noticed we're down to the last few boxes. Wasn't it just July 4 a couple days ago?
So my post today... it isn't about time flying past, per se. It's more about my last twelve years being published. This blog is subtitled:
You Guys Don't Even Know...
I want to talk about my indie writing versus writing for a publishing house.
Oh my gosh... Being an indie, can be difficult at times. You're your own advocate in everything. You have to do/get your own covers, editing, formatting, accounting, uploading, ISBN, marketing, dealing with vendors, etc. Other than marketing, these are things you can count on a publisher to do for you when you're working with a publishing house.
Most of the authors I interact with now are indies. Back in the day (LOL), indie was not a thing. Amazon was around but it wasn't the giant it is now. You couldn't just publish your own book. When I think of the differences between now and then... Oh my gosh.
When I started out, you had to submit a book to a publisher and wait.
And sometimes wait.
I waited thirteen months on one book, only to end up getting rejected. It was eight years of trying to get published before my first book came out.
In eight years of being an indie, you could have between 8 and 192 book out. 192 being kinda crazy, but if burnout wasn't a thing, it could happen.
So then your book gets accepted and there rules. Every romance publisher is different but there are so, so many rules. Rules like:
You need to have a sex scene by this page.
You can't have a virgin as a character.
You can't have a pregnancy in your book (or even have a pregnant side character)
All characters must use condoms.
You can't use swear words (here's a list of alternatives that haven't been used since 1952)
You can't use brand names. You must use brand names.
You can't have more than this many books a year. (usually 2-3 books)
No married hero or heroine.
No intimacy between female characters.
No dubious consent. More dubious consent.
And the lists go on and on and on...
Today, you can write almost anything you want. And that's really cool.
And then there's turnaround time. Once a book was accepted, it could be three months to two years before that book came out. The date usually feel somewhere in the middle of that.
And then, there's tracking.
If I want, I can see how my books are doing almost to the hour. With a publisher, I had to wait 4-6 months (sometimes even longer) to see if my new book sold at all. And I never got to see the reports and the raw data. And once I did get a royalty statement and I found out how my book did, then I only got 50% or less in royalties--and this was after the big vendors took their cut, before they paid my publisher.
My first publisher, who is now defunct because basically, they stopped paying their authors but refused to give back rights on books, paid 37.5% royalty.
You might say oh my God! Only 37.5%? That was actually really good. And we were happy, even though we had little control over our edits or what was actually in the final book. I had changes in books that I never saw before it was published. We had zero control over covers. Zero. I know there are (or were) some publishers who choose the books title and the author has no influence on it.
And in that market, we were thankful. We were the few, the lucky, the published.
Things have changed so much, and I laugh sometimes at the naivete in today's book world. You want to write and publish a book? You can do it. But many authors today, just don't know how good they've got it. Many authors today, don't realize they never would have been published in past days. They don't know what it's like to have their dreams dashed over and over and over because:
They're not good enough or
Their book isn't what we're looking for or
There's not room in the schedule so we can't take the book or
There are too many books or this genre or
This genre or trope won't be popular by the time this book is out or
A million other reasons (that are never told)
Even newer people published with New York publishers today don't get what it was like, because if their book is rejected, they always have the indie option available for it.
Please don't get me wrong... I'm glad the market is what it is today. And not because of my own role in it. Because of the freedom of publishing, I've gotten to read books I never would have been able to in the past. And truly, many indie books have an edge to them that mainstream published books have rubbed right away. One example that comes to mind is an indie author who was contracted with a big-name New York publisher. I've read all her books. Love them. In the books from her publisher, her voice, the very thing I loved most, was almost unrecognizable, almost invisible.
I'm so thankful for my path to get here, but I am so grateful for the freedom, control and options I have now.
Today, July 25 2019
Today, I write.
Yesterday, was a nice rest day. Dakota and I had a soft start on our next book. I'll be getting in some words on that, this afternoon.
I'm also continuing my plotting on my next Tradition Bound book and I will be putting in major time on draft two of my next Billionaire book.
If you haven't seen it, I'm part of a new, booming Facebook Group, Insta-Love Romance. We opened yesterday and we're already at 604 members as of this writing. If you love Insta-love, we would love for you to join us. We're gifting books and swag and giving you a one-stop place for your insta-love needs. And we have a big (HUGE) announcement Friday night. You don't want to miss it.
Speaking of things you don't want to miss: The Billionaire's Christmas Cruise comes out in four days. AND The Problem With Billionaires comes out in twenty days. Both of them are available for pre-order.
Happy reading! Love you all!