Friday, July 19, 2013

When Bad Things Turn Out Well

by L.J. Sellers, author of provocative mysteries & thrillers

We discovered water in our bathroom wall recently, and the damage was extensive. My initial reactions were to first blame myself: How could I let this happen? Next, to be stressed about the time and cost of the repair.

Fortunately, my hairdresser (love this woman!) reminded me that insurance pays for things like this. The transition will be inconvenient and annoying, but in the end, the bathroom will be essentially remodeled for about the price of the deductible. A nice outcome.

I'm trying to keep that in mind as I go through a similar situation in my writing career. With my latest book, a standalone thriller, my editor wants me to make a major plot change, one that I disagree with. My initial reactions were the same as they were for the water problem—a sense of failure, then stress about a negative outcome.

But the more I think about it, the more I realize this could turn well. My beta readers (including a professional) love the story the way it is, and I'm not inclined to cut a plot element that ratchets up the tension on a global level. So, as much as I love publishing with Thomas & Mercer, I'm going indie with this one.

Even though I call it a standalone, the book features Agent Dallas—introduced in Crimes of Memory (Jackson #8)—and will launch a new series. Although publishing with Amazon has been great for my career, it's not a bad idea to diversify and keep some control of my work.

Additionally, I'll be able to bring the book to market sooner on my own, and I'll earn a higher royalty. So this could turn out like the bathroom situation—more benefits than drawbacks.

In the meantime, I have to get my head back into indie mode and start thinking about marketing again. This transition will also be a lot of work and at times frustrating, but ideas are coming to me, and I think my wonderful readers will support me. 

What do you think? Am I crazy for sticking with the story instead of the publisher? If you're one of my readers, will you try the new book?

13 comments:

  1. I am just starting out on the publishing journey myself and learning very quickly about indie writing and publishing. And if the publisher has no ill feelings about you steppin out alone do it! Especially if your this passionate about the book the way it is..

    Debi

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    1. Thanks, Debi. I had a blast writing this story, and the really intense stuff (that the editor wants to cut) came from an FBI agent who knows what he's talking about.

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  2. Go for it, LJ! I think you've got the best of both worlds now, so why not take advantage of it! And it's not like you're unfamiliar with indie publishing! Going indie on this one will only add to your successful career, I think. Good for you for standing up for what you believe in!

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    1. Thanks for your support! I'm excited to be working with you again.

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    2. I'm excited to be working with you again, too, LJ! Especially since I already read and love this story!

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  3. I've read the story and think it's terrific, so of course, I think you stick with it and let T&M wish they'd made a different call.

    You're gonna love your new bathroom, and your readers are gonna love the new Dallas.

    With any luck, one of these days I'll be a hybrid, just like you. ;-)

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    1. Thanks for saying so!

      As for being a hybrid...now if I could just get one of those print distribution deals. :)

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  5. There's always a hidden positive. Best of luck with it.

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  7. Getting those eggs into more baskets can't be anything but helpful. I know that I'm not an Amazon customer, and I'm always disheartened when I can't get books via the platforms I buy from, so yes, from a purely personal level, applaud your decision. You've had experience in the indie market, and you've got a following. What more could you want?

    Terry
    Terry's Place

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  8. Selfishly, I'm glad you're doing this so I can watch how it's done :) Good luck with it!
    Sheila

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