Last Saturday I attended my monthly NHRWA meeting in Bow. The “featured speakers” that day were all members of our chapter who have had publishing success either traditionally with print publishers, or by self publishing their work. The round table discussion was a very informative one for me and the chapter. Some of, but not all, the speakers included, Christyne Bulter, Susan A. Wall, Nora De Luc, and Maggie McGinnis. This was a varied mixing of authors and styles, but they all had one thing in common: They were published authors, some of them many times over.
My take away knowledge from their discussion of their writing paths was that each writer has to decide for herself what she is hoping to accomplish with publication. For the self pub’ed writers, it was more of a sense of writing and marketing control that guided them towards that route. They wanted the final say in things such as distribution of their work, art design, publicity, and ultimately, the control of the monies earned from their sales. The traditional pub’ed writers were happy to give over those jobs such as worrying about cover designs, editing, publicity and distribution to the “professionals” and concentrating on what they loved doing most: writing.
I can easily see both sides of this literary coin, even though I have opted to try and fit into the traditional side of it. I’ve opted to try and be published via the book route that arrives on shelves and flies into your hands to find its way to your home because, I’ll be honest, I’m lazy. I enjoy writing. It is to me the oxygen that keeps me alive. I would rather be writing than doing almost anything else. Most days, anyway. If I had to worry about the formatting font and type needed to upload a book on Amazon, or tracking my sales ( assuming I had any!) , or the licensing and regulations necessary for this to happen, and even the cover design, book jacket blurb, complete self editing, line copy and content-wise, and them having to promote the work myself, I think I wouldn’t like writing as much as I do. I don’t mind having other people who know what they are doing, well, do that, for me.
Having said that, the women I know who have self published their work are dynamos at all of this and I am eternally envious of that. They are organized, focused, determined and talented women who have opted to be in total control of their careers, and my hat is off to them. I know myself too well to know that I could never be as dedicated, methodical, structured and regulated as they are. Not to mention, they are a talented bunch of writers.
So, whether we are self published, traditionally published, or not published at all, it is good to know we have options as far as the routes we want to take our careers through. The New Hampshire arm of the RWA is a wonderful mix of talented, spirited, informative writers who make it a joy for me to come to every meeting. You can check out their website at: NHRWA and maybe catch us at the next meeting. This is a very welcoming, supportive, and encouraging group of romance writers, and women, in general.