Versions of this post have been simmering in my mind for months and now it’s finally time to write it. (Don’t worry, like any good romance, it has a happy ending.)
As you might notice if you’ve ever visited my book page, I write two different series. Both are set in the same period and place–1900s Southern California, but they’re quite different in subject.
The first series I began to write was set in a little mountain town in the San Jacintos, loosely based on the places I grew up and details “borrowed” from old family legends. The heroines are the Moreno sisters and all of these stories are at heart, Western romances. There are cowboys, marshals, ranchos–all the ingredients of a Western.
The other series is what I’ve been calling my “scientific historicals”. The setting is a university in Pasadena (no, not that one, but based on it) and at the time, neuroscience as a discipline was being born while the golden age of physics was beginning. These books are a little harder to categorize–are they Edwardian? (No, not really.) Gilded Age romance isn’t really a thing (yet) and Gilded Age implies a setting and stories that really aren’t in these books.
I had always planned to self publish those “scientific historicals” for many, many reasons, but I thought that my Westerns at least had a chance at the traditional route. And I wanted to try for it.
In the meantime, as I polished my manuscripts and query letters and waited the 12-16 weeks to hear back from publishers, I read everything I could on self publishing. I stalked the kboards, the self publishing forum on Romance Divas, I read blog post after blog post from successful self publishing authors. I even fired up the ancient PC and began to relearn Photoshop and Illustrator so I could play at making my own covers. And I liked it. I enjoyed combing through everything out there and thinking about what sounded good and what didn’t. And I waited.
As of yesterday, the wait is over. I got a very kind, very detailed, very helpful rejection. And decided that it was time to self publish all my work.
For the first half hour after the rejection, I moped some. And then, something remarkable happened. I started to feel really good. Better than I had in months. I even got…excited. And that more than anything, told me I was making the right decision.
I began to make a list of tasks I needed to complete to start my own little publishing company. Some of the tasks are rather large (like forming a corporation) and some are small, but I am so excited to have a to do list again. One that’s almost completely in my control.
(I have a deep love for to do lists. In grad school, I kept really detailed ones, spanning over months. People teased me, but I got stuff done. Also, there is no better feeling than crossing something off that list.)
There are other reasons why this is likely the best choice for me. I write fast and can put out books faster than a publisher might. I can brand all my covers the way I want to. I want to keep track of my sales numbers myself. I want to run my own sales and promotions.
Of course, it will be quite a bit of work and there’s a steep learning curve. But I can work and learn at my own pace and I’m not afraid of long hours. (In fact, the reasons I’m writing this so early is because I couldn’t sleep. Because I was thinking about cover designs.)
So, this is it. I’m self publishing. And I’m really happy about it.
Now, the important question is: When can you actually buy my books?
Hopefully, by then end of this year. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done, even when the book is finished (editing, revising, editing some more, revising some more, proofreading…you get the picture).
The Western series, which is three novels and two novellas, will be released first. Because it’s closer to being done.
The “scientific historicals”, which right now are tentatively two novels (maybe three?) and two novellas, likely won’t be out until next year. As you can see by my fuzzy numbers, I’m in the middle of drafting that series.
But soon. I promise.
Are you excited? Because I certainly am.