This week, my second book and first full novel was released on Amazon. Yay me! (I guess… waiting for the inevitable bad reviews.) I didn’t want to self-publish my book and be an indie author. The label of indie can either be cool or pretentious crap, depending on your tastes. Since I don’t write pretentious crap, I suppose that makes me cool.
I still feel like a failure because I didn’t get an agent and a shiny book deal. In a sea of generic romance novels, predictable mysteries, over-detailed, dull dribble, and the ever-popular young adult novels set in dystopia, I honestly didn’t stand a chance. Now, here we are. I guess I’ll just have to get over it. I got over a hundred rejections AND actually had an agent tell me by book wouldn’t sell. Writing books is hard, guys.#DestinedForMediocrity
There’s no denying ebooks are the future, and the future is now. I don’t have to look up an article to prove that traditional book stores are slowly dying. It’s sad, but it’s the reality of what is happening in the world of publishing. Books and bookstores are great. So is technology and capitalism, two things we know always win. Amazon has a clear monopoly on ebooks and e-readers, and no one wants to admit it. No one knows this more than authors, both traditional and indie. Both of my books are exclusively available on Amazon and always will be. I’ve read similar sentiments from many authors stating they’ve had no sales or minimal sales on iBooks and Nook (Barnes and Noble), to the point where they don’t even list their books on those sites. Smashwords, an exclusive indie book site is probably the second most popular ebook site for indie authors. This should also worry traditional publishers. Many writers, including several previously agented authors are going the self route because it’s easier, you get more creative freedom, and often more money unless there is an advance. From what I’ve gathered, advances are getting smaller or publishers aren’t even offering them.
What’s interesting to me is that the agents claim to want “fresh, unique writing” in whatever genre they accept. But, end up signing the types of books I mentioned earlier. Let’s face it, all literary agents want is to find the next Hunger Games and get their percentage of the earnings. What’s interesting about this is the books that are being traditionally published aren’t the most popular on Amazon. You know what sells on Amazon?
Also, horror, murder mystery, romantic suspense, and still, young adult. There are indie authors selling millions of copies I wish I could write a generic YA novel and start counting my cash, but I can’t. The old adage “write what you know” rings true. From my experience, you can’t write what you don’t read which is why you’ll never see me write an erotic romance novel or a YA novel. I write murder, weird relationships, anti-heroes, psychopaths, violence, sex, drinking, swear words, gangsters, historical fiction, characters who have bad days, characters who have nosebleeds during sexual acts (SPOILER), characters who vomit up champagne outside of nightclubs (SPOILER AGAIN), and zombies who attack a wedding…you know, stuff I know and enjoy.
I like to say, without sounding like a dad trying to be cool that I keep it real. By real, I mean my characters who barf, get nosebleeds, and say “the f word” when they are being chased by zombies. Someone left me a bad review because a fictional character said the dreaded “f word”. Boohoo, a fictional character offended you! If you’ve offended someone with your writing you’re doing something right, it shows you’re passionate enough to tell the truth.
It blows my mind in a world where everyone is offended by almost everything, that we don’t get worked up by the gratuitous violence on television. It’s okay to show murdered hookers on CSI. It’s okay to kill kids and bash in heads with barbwire-wrapped baseball bats on The Walking Dead, It’s okay to do pretty much everything on Game of Thrones. If all of those things are okay, books should be no different.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll get back to writing murder mysteries set in the 1930s that will probably offend someone.