So, I had a nice, long chat with my agent yesterday. In these days of combined self- and traditional-publishing, nice long chats with my agent are … interesting.
You see, my agent is not involved with my self-publishing career. He does not provide advice, he does not provide support, and he does not see any profit. To the extent that I devote my time to self-published works, my agent remains uncompensated.
I love the self-publishing that I’m doing. I get a little thrill every time I check my sales numbers at Amazon and B&N. I’m enjoying the opportunity to pursue projects that would never see the light of day in traditional publishing — things like the novella, CAPITOL MAGIC, which I’ll be publishing by the end of this month, and a strangely formatted short story that is rattling around inside my brain… (And, yes, a new Jane Madison novel, which will likely be out in the late fall…)
But I also still love traditional publishing. I love holding ARCs in my hands. (And I got to do that on Monday, when ARCs for DARKBEAST arrived!) I love the strategizing for marketing, the “big book” feel of traditional publishing. And yes, I love the advances.
The agent and I talked for a long time about a novel I’ve considered writing for more than five years. At first, I didn’t have the skills I needed, as an author. Then, I made some questionable plot- and character-choices, which made for a weak story. But now, I think I’m ready to roll up my sleeves, to see what I can do. (And when I’m ready to share that publicly, this will be the first place I talk!)
One thing has remained constant, between the world of traditional publishing and the world of self-publishing: my First Reader. I met my First Reader in 1994 (!), in an AOL chat room that was built around Orson Scott Card’s Hatrack River series. Bruce critiqued some of my work then, and he has been the first reader of every one of my novels (except the category romance) ever since. We’ve only met in person once, and we’ve had a couple of times where we’ve been out of email touch for a few months. Nevertheless, despite differences in gender, age, religion, family-situation, and probably a million other things, Bruce remains a most-valued partner in my writing process.
And now, Bruce has published one of his novels. THE POCKET UNIVERSE is available on Amazon — it’s the story of a fifteen-year-old girl who bridges our world and another. As with all of Bruce’s novels, the story is relatively simple, quite straightforward — except for the moments when it isn’t, when it knocks you over with a twist or a turn or a moment of Meaning that you didn’t predict. If you’re interested, check it out on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007SQP8ZG
Mindy, off to get some writing done…