Go Holly

Holly Lisle’s heading down the indie publishing route.

Holly is a fantasy/science fiction/romantic suspense writer with more than 30 published novels under her belt. She’s also the patron saint of all would-be writers; she’s maintained a website with a blog and writing courses/advice that I remember perusing as a sophomore in high school instead of doing my math homework. Over the years, her retinue has expanded to include paid courses, several of which I’ve taken when finances permitted. I haven’t always been able to participate in her classes to the best of my ability, but her teachings are sound, and she has always struck me as an intelligent, thoughtful writer, one who very much wants to help others succeed. She’s also always been honest about the difficulties of the traditional publishing route, even as she persisted with it.

Her decision to go indie is a momentous one, and I think it might well spur on this revolution. In an FAQ she’s putting together about indie publishing, she notes:

“[you should look into self-publishing]…first, not after publishers have tied up years worth of your work while they publish it badly, promote it not at all, and never, ever send you money for what they do sell.”

She also remarks on the changing legacy publishing industry. Ten years ago, she did slam self-pubbing. But the market has changed. Everything has changed. She also explains the Thor Power Tools decision, which heavily impacted traditional publishing and possibly led to many of the problems midlist writers face today. (And is it just me, or does Thor Power Tools sound like divinely inspired power drills?)

She remarks on the ability to maintain complete control of your work, publishing the book you want to instead of the book “publishing bean counters” think will sell. This is a big one for me, in all my Type A control freak glory, and she also points out the amount of revenue that you keep…in stark contrast to what the publishing company would keep, paired with the expenses of producing actual paper books.

I remark on Holly’s decision here because she is someone whose work (and work ethic) I am familiar with. I do not know her personally, but I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for her. I recommend her website and courses for all levels of writers. She’s been tremendously encouraging as a teacher, and after taking her courses and reading her e-books about the craft, I always feel re-energized and ready to tackle projects.

(The woman can also write, let me tell you. I really like her Secret Texts books.)

This, of course, makes me even more eager to dive in on the Sailor’s Luck edits, but since my poor little machine is languishing in the repair shop…well, I can’t. Lesson learned: Always back up your work. I’ve gotten better about it in recent years, but I’m still not meticulous enough in saving stuff in different places.

I’m focusing on Trojan Age for now. Scheduling remains a PITA, because as always, the paid work has to come first. Now comes the self-doubt, of course. This is a story I’m excited about, but I always start wondering if there’s a point to working on it at all. Particularly when a rough spot comes up. (Just reached a point that I knew would need revising even as I wrote it. Now I’m here, and the editing deus ex machina hasn’t shown up yet.)

I’m still shooting for a November release date for Sailor’s Luck. Maybe this enforced break will be good for me. At this point, the earliest I’ll be able to get back to it is Wednesday; if I give myself a solid month to complete my edits and revisions, that means I have a completed manuscript by mid-August, and I can decide where to go from there (i.e. format it myself, or farm that out).

Am starting to think of shifting more of the story-related thing over to my official site blog. Hmm.

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