So here I am, blogging for the first time under my new alter ego.
I've spent the last few weeks reading everything I can about self-publishing, trying to pick up marketing tips and tidbits while also trying to keep on top of the traditional publishing contracts that right now pay my bills.
Did I get your attention with that one? If so, you're probably wondering how I came to self-publish my first two YA titles when I already have traditional publishing contracts. The answer is complicated.
I love my traditional publishers. I feel honored and grateful that I'm able to publish my work, receive wide distribution, and pay my bills doing what I love most. But there are downsides. One of them is that the publishing industry is notoriously slow. It takes TIME for a book to make it to the shelves in a "real" bookstore. Lots of time. There are announcements to make, covers to choose, extensive editing to be done (which requires several layers of people all working you into their schedule), marketing plans to arrange, buyers to pitch, release dates (and the release dates of other books) to consider.
Like I said; TIME. I don't really mind it for the most part, except for one thing. I write a lot. As much fun as it is to see your name on a book store shelf, for me it's really about the writing process itself. That's what drives and motivates and excites me. The truth is, it's tough to write lots of books and to have them sit in your desk drawer (figuratively speaking), not because no one would read them, but because in the complex world of traditional publishing, it's usually not possible to release more than a book a year (at least not in YA).
I've been watching this self-publishing thing with interest. I don't see it as a replacement for traditional publishing but as an intriguing complement to it. Why not release short stories in between novel releases? Readers who truly love an author's work will buy everything they can get their hands on from that author. Why not self-publish titles outside your brand? We're artists, after all. Creators. It's natural to want to stretch the boundaries of our knowledge and talent. It's not only difficult to avoid but seems downright wrong not to try anything new because it doesn't fit in with all the stuff you've done before.
So here I am. My first two self-published releases, The Good Deed Diaries and Phoebe... Fabulous!, are books outside my traditionally published brand, but they're books I believe in nonetheless. I think there are readers who will enjoy them, but I'll let you be the judge of that. Then I'll post the results here with transparency that isn't really possible in traditionally publishing.
The truth is, I'm as curious to see what happens as you are.
P.S. How about you throw a girl a bone and follow me on Twitter @JuliaJBooks? :D