I’m not sure why I’m having this conversation with myself again. Maybe because I just updated my bookbag list for the Virginia Festival of the Book. Or maybe it’s because I’m sitting here with the animals watching the snow swirl around my bedroom window.
Whatever reason, I’m at that crossroads again. And it sucks.
You see, I thought I was already past this point. I took a long hard look at the whole traditional publishing route. I crunched the numbers, did the maths, calculated the risks – it just didn’t add up. I would be lucky to get a 15K advance per book, would have to wait at least 18 months maybe more before it showed up on a shelf, and I’d have to sell tens of thousands of units before I even made that tiny 15% of retail. The only wild card was the promo/PR aspect (and having my name in print for real in a Barnes and Noble store, of course).
But today I feel a tiny bit sad. And I wonder that age old question . . .”What if?”
I especially wonder about Laura Rennert. I met her several years ago at the V.F.O.B. At the time, she had just signed Maggie Stiefvater and was toting around copies of Shiver. I liked Laura. She had real chutzpah (I mean that in a very nice way, Laura). She wasn’t going to take any prisoners and I liked her up front and ballsy attitude. She said it like she meant it unlike some other agents around her. I appreciated that in her. It also didn’t hurt that she used to be in the English Lit department at UVa and that I live less than an hour from Maggie.
I kept thinking to myself, “You know, this could really work. Maybe you and Maggie can even do a simultaneous book tour or something?”
And then I remember the numbers. And I think about the money. And then I take a hold of my IP and hug it gently to my chest knowing it belongs to me.
Indie can be lonely, but at least I’m doing it my way.