In a post about how e-books are changing the publishing industry, Timothy Hallinan, author of the highly acclaimed Poke Rafferty series, said: “I’m writing two books I don’t even plan to try to sell through the usual channels; they’ll go direct to readers. I have a list of a dozen more I want to write. It feels as though I’ve been cooped up in a small room for years and the walls suddenly fell down. There’s space to swing my arms. I don’t have to reject exciting ideas because they’re not ideas I can sell.”
This is how I feel!
By direct to readers, Tim means self-publishing on Kindle and Smashwords. And he’s talking about the most liberating feeling in the world for a writer—knowing that the story you’re writing can reach readers, even without an agent or publisher.
I have recently experienced this sense of liberation myself. I have a readership, and I know how to publish e-books. I don’t need an agent or a publisher to put a stamp of approval on what I write. I don’t have to worry that my story is too controversial and will “never get past the sales people.” I don’t need to waste months of time querying people who either aren’t interested or don’t respond. I don’t need to wait a year and half for my book to be published. I’m not sure I’ll ever send another manuscript through “the usual channels.”
I still have to write a damn good story, then send it to beta readers, then rewrite and polish until it’s ready. But I know how to do that too. It’s an exciting time to be a novelist.