When I was a teenager, I was like everyone else: I thought I’d live forever and never get old.
Since I retired last June, I’ve had ample time to consider my projects and the attendant timelines. My most important task is to finish the novel into which I have invested so much time and energy. The book has a working title—Probable Cause—and is now complete. I say complete because it’s been written, revised and re-written, edited and revised. Within the next few days, I plan on sending it off to a fiction contest sponsored by the Public Safety Writers’ Association. I hope that placing in the contest will make my manuscript more marketable.
But here’s the thing: How much time will I allot for the traditional route of publishing? It is a cumbersome process—finding an agent who will represent you, re-working the book then waiting while the agent finds a publisher. Tick-tock, my literary clock is counting down. I don’t have time to waste.
At lunch last week with my friend and critique partner, Billie, we talked about the attraction of e-publishing. Low overhead, no agent, no real publisher, the book sells at a lower cost but still puts more percentage of profit into the author’s pocket. Also, we discussed how we need to push forward with our works to be published in whatever form we decide will work for us most expeditiously.
Redwood Writers next meeting is on March 11th and will feature Peter Beren, formerly publisher of Sierra Club Books, V.P. for Publishing at Palace Press International and Publisher of VIA Books, a division of the California State Auto Association. Beren is now a Literary Agent specializing in nonfiction with an emphasis on illustrated books.
Is this the Golden Age of self-publishing? Will self-publishers supplant traditional publishing and become the new mainstream? Is the rise of e-books simply giving traditional publishers a second wind? Beren, a 30-year veteran of the industry, will share his views and expertise on the subject, and offer guidance through the tangled terrain.
I can’t wait. I need some answers and soon!
Tick-tock.