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.
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?