I spent some time a few weeks ago in my car driving between states, listening to Elizabeth Gilbert’s BIG MAGIC on audiobook. And while a ton of it resonated strongly with me, one vignette in particular helped drive home a decision I’ve made. The decision that the Indie writing world is where my heart is, and where I need to make my commitments.
This may not come as much of a surprise to most of you. I’ve published 90% Indie since July of 2013 when I put out HIDDEN, my second book, and first Indie release. However, during 2015 and 2016 I toyed with the possibilities of hybrid. I knew I’d never give up my Indie publishing because…well…money…but I’m not completely immune to the lure of a publisher’s name attached to my work, the possibility of paperbacks in bookstores, the cache that comes from saying, “my agent this…my editor that…”
So, I spent a good portion of 2015 and 2016 acquiring an agent, writing proposals, meeting with editors, submitting things they said they wanted. And I discovered something–I don’t want to work like that. I don’t want to write things that other people tell me to write. In fact, I can’t write things that other people tell me to write. I tried, I really did, and it never came out right, it never felt good, and twice I changed my ideas to write a book that an agent or editor said they wanted, and then all of us hated it when it was done. One of those books I went back and rewrote as I’d envisioned it originally, it’s called THE KINGMAKER, and when Publisher’s Weekly reviewed it they said, “Laurence’s tightly woven story is a superb mix of sexual and political tension that’s certain to please fans of both,” so I have a hard time believing that I made the wrong decision there. The other book you’ll get to see sometime in the next few months, because it needs to be finished and edited. But trust me, there’s no way in hell I’m going to have a book about an NHL hockey player who’s also the heir to a Russian vodka fortune sitting on my laptop and not let you guys have it. 😉
The decision to give up–for the foreseeable future–the possibility of having traditional book contracts feels right to me, and helped me realize something very important: I love Indie publishing. Not simply the writing, but the marketing, working with contractors for covers and edits, figuring out release strategies, and being able to create entire series concepts that can morph and develop as I need them to. Indie publishing isn’t for everyone, but it inspires me in ways that writing to someone else’s specifications, and handing over control of my business never will.
And the world becomes more indie-friendly each and every day. The opportunities for indies to do everything a traditionally published author does really are coming to fruition. As proof, I have both German and Italian translations of A LUSH BETRAYAL coming in 2017, and I just arranged for Diversion books to distribute my paperbacks. They will be actively selling my upcoming 2017 titles to bookstores and libraries, and I’ll let you know what stores pick them up when the time comes. My backlist titles will be put into the library/bookstore distribution catalogues, so if you want any Lush, Rhapsody, or Powerplay book in your local book place you’ll be able to ask them to order those and stock them.
I know for a fact that if it weren’t for Indie publishing I wouldn’t be a writer today. While my first book was picked up by publisher, I was immediately so fundamentally unimpressed with the editing, covers, and marketing, that I knew I needed to go Indie if I was going to continue in this business. And every time since then that I get insecure, and think I should dabble in the traditional marketplace I become disillusioned and frustrated very quickly. That’s not to say that I don’t think traditional has things to offer–of course it does,and for some people it’s absolutely the right choice–but I think for me, for now, there’s nothing traditional can do that I can’t do just as well or better, and be happier doing it.
Finally, because of my new paperback distribution arrangements, I’ve had to move the release of POTUS by ten days to facilitate the simultaneous paperback and ebook releases. POTUS will release on January 20th, 2017. In case you haven’t yet preordered yet, you can on Amazon and iTunes!
POTUS – She’s the President of his heart.
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2fDCOqP
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2eOA2Qj
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2fp0lJc
A leader beloved by her nation.
Jessica Hampton is the heir to a political dynasty, and the first woman President of the United States. For six years she has given up everything in order to fulfill her late husband’s legacy. But now, as her term in office draws to a close, she wants nothing more than to finish with the dignity her family demands. But when Jessica begins to negotiate an important Middle East accord with the sexy Egyptian Ambassador, being President takes a back seat to being a woman.
A man trapped on all sides.
Kamal Masri knows all about being an heir. He’s not only Egypt’s Ambassador to the US, he’s the first-born son of one of the world’s wealthiest men. Kamal’s father has controlled his fortune, his career, and now possibly his life, because when the Egyptian parliament instructs him to negotiate an accord that threatens his father’s illegal business dealings, all hell breaks loose. But as dark forces from the far side of the globe conspire to destroy the accord, Kamal is prepared to do whatever it takes to win Jessica’s love. He’ll fight to protect her, even from his own country.