For the past few months, I’ve been part of Allison Winn Scotch’s publicity team for her fifth novel. What’s so special about this book is that this is Allison’s first foray into self-publishing. Like many traditionally published authors, Allison reached a point where she was disappointed in the process and decided to try her hand at going indie. You can read about her decision in going this route in two posts on Writer Unboxed: “The New Era of Publishing” and “A Brave New World: Let’s Do This.”
Of the many reasons why Allison decided to strike out on her own, the one that resonated with me the most was that she wrote this book solely for herself.
Now, I am writing Julius for myself as well, but with the notion that it will grab an agent’s attention and ultimately a publisher. So is that really writing for myself? Um, not really because I’m still tied to the notion of representation. That means that as a first-time author I should probably keep my masterpiece within the guidelines of what could possibly make the book marketable. So in a way, I’m already compromising the story because of the rules. Does that mean I’m not trying to write the best story possible? Of course not, but I feel somewhat constricted.
So this notion of writing a book that I would like to read (and I’m pretty picky) and writing only for me is liberating. I no longer need to worry about whether agents like prologues or not; whether the story logs in at more than 100K words, or whether I have multiple backstories. There’s no question that I’d like to be traditionally published at some point, but right now I’m not going to worry about it. I’ll continue to write, rewrite, and revise for me, and only for me.