There are so many roads to publishing in today’s world and I’ve been privileged to be both a traditionally published author as well as dip a toe into the indie published world. Both experiences have taught me a lot. When I was first trying to get published, I submitted my manuscript to the three publishing houses that I felt were my top three. Over the next few months I received three rejections of my work and I was heartbroken. I took it personally, like my writing wasn’t good enough, and I shoved my manuscript under my bed where it gathered dust for a year. After that year was up, however, and I’d had some distance from the situation, I started really looking at the rejections and the suggestions they’d made to make my manuscript better. Then, I was talking to another author friend and she encouraged me to finish the changes and submit again. Which I did. And within ten days of submission I had more than one offer of publication. It was my dream come true. I ended up traditionally publishing six books and the great thing about being traditionally published, (besides the fact that I felt validated that someone believed in my work and thought I was a great writer), is the team of experts you have behind you. I had editors and cover designers that made my book look good. I had a marketing team that got me on television and into bookstores for booksignings. They provided things like ARCs and bookmarks and advertising so I could build my fanbase and get my name out there. Of course there is a downside. As an author I didn’t get to choose the titles or covers for my books. Some changes were made to my books that I didn’t really like, but were done anyway. And my royalty percentage wasn’t what I really wanted and it took almost two years from the time of submission for my book to get on the publication schedule and into stores. Of course I looked past all that when I saw my book arranged in a display pyramid when I walked into the book stores. Or when I was doing booksignings next to some of the authors I’d always been a fan of and owned all their books. But then the indie publishing wave came along and I grabbed my chance. My publisher had said they weren’t interested in my next work, so I was free to do what I wanted with it. Since I had worked as an editor, I had some friends who were editors, I found a cover designer, and I started looking into what I needed to release the book on my own. It was a huge learning curve wearing all the hats of a marketer, editor, and cover designer, but I loved the end product. And so did my fans. With indie publishing, I’m able to get my books into the hands of my readers quickly. I get to choose the covers, the way the book is edited, and the title. I get a much higher royalty percentage. It seemed like such a great opportunity and I grabbed it with both hands and haven’t regretted it. I’ve published four titles independently and the first book in my Hostage Negotiation Team series, All Fall Down, won the RONE award for Best Suspense/Thriller. So, for me, being traditionally published first was a great foundation for me in learning the business and how to put out a great product. I found some of the greatest and most loyal fans with those first six books. And I got the validation that I needed that I was a good writer and a publishing company wanted my work. But, in indie publishing, I feel like I’ve been able to spread my wings a bit more and put out a product that is totally me---something near and dear to my heart. I’m so grateful that my fans have stuck with me through this journey and I hope they will for many more years to come. I have some exciting novels coming out that I know you’ll like, and of course, the final book in the Hostage Negotiation Team series is coming out in May. If you want to know more about me and my books, you can visit my website at www.juliebellon.com I also blog at http://ldswritermom.blogspot.com where I review some of my favorite TV shows, books that I’ve loved, and offer writing tips. I hope you’ll check me out!
My sincere gratitude to Julie for taking time out of her very busy schedule to write this fabulous article on the benefits of both traditional and indie publishing. Now I know you'll want to check out her books! Here are a couple of hers that I've been privileged to read.
I've reviewed both these books on this blog. Time Will Tell and Pocket Full of Posies. Please click on the titles to read the reviews. Julie has several more titles to her name. Feel free to visit her at www.juliebellon.com for more.