Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lorelei Bell's Writing Revolution

I don't know if any of you are following the Huge Howey theory of how Indie authors are making more in ebook sales than trad published authors. I've been getting a lot of the story through the blog "The Passive Voice" Here is only one of those posts about it. If you want to read up on it, go over to The Kill Zone to find a bunch of links about it--the arguments against, for, and the up-in-arms posts. People are arguing over his stats on this.
Actually I couldn't care less about what someone I've never heard of say in regards to publishing. I don't even care if his stats are right or wrong. It matters not to me.
Really. I've probably spent more years writing and being rejected than he's been alive.

But I do agree with one thing Howey says and I'm quoting from what I grabbed over at The Kill Zone with James Scott Bell. It goes like this:

There’s no guarantee you’ll get rich from self-publishing. There’s less guarantee you’ll get rich from querying agents. My contention is this: Most people will be happier getting their works out in the wild and moving on to the next project than they will reading rejection letters.

The real choice is that 99% of you can write a novel, pour your heart into it, and watch as every agent you query rejects the thing. And then you can give up. Feel like a failure. Walk away from your dream.

Or you can self-publish, have the pride of having done so, hold a copy of a physical book you wrote in your hands, see your e-book up on Amazon, get a sale or two, hear from a reader, and want to write more.

It isn’t about getting rich. It’s about having the opportunity to feel pride of accomplishment.” - Huge Howey

I'm in total agreement about this. I spent 40 years trying to do it the traditional way. I failed every time with an agent or publisher. It was a horrible wait for a horrible out-come: REJECTION! When I turned 50 and had not yet landed an agent, I said "enough". I self-published Spell of the Black Unicorn. Granted, it wasn't edited, and it needed it. And I did pay a "vanity" publisher, but their price wasn't ridiculous, and I made the money back, and a little over, but I certainly didn't get anywhere near rich on it. 

What it did was boosted my morale, I validated myself as someone who wrote a book and people LOVED it. They were readers not writers. To most of them any problems with the book's mistakes was over-looked. What they wanted was an entertaining read--which they got. And I got my reward by having a book signing at Borders (thank goodness they were 2-3 years away from closing).

While this self-pubbed writer, Huge Howey is making noise all over the place trying to--I don't know, gain more readers by being controversial (because they say that bad publicity is better than no publicity), I've already had my go-around with agents and publishers.

Before I had even written Spell of the Black Unicorn, I'd written gobs and gobs of other novels, and half-finished ones. Hey, 35 years of writing is a lot of writing. I wrote "Vampire Legacy" back in 1982-'83. I joined a writing group (which I had to travel 3 hours to), and had high hopes with it. Problem was, I was still really green. I was so green, I think the apple hadn't even developed, in fact. I had great ideas for the book, or thought I did. I had a lot of high hopes, thinking I'd get a break with writers who had already been published, and the teacher had an agent. But that wasn't to be. I couldn't keep on traveling to meet with these people every week, so had to quit. Not that it would net me any great out-come. I was just too new and needed to learn how to plot and basics of writing.

Of course since then, Spell of the Black Unicorn has been re-written/edited and now available in eBook on Amazon. And I paid not one red cent to do it, I didn't have to go through any publisher or agent. I LOVE that part!

So, where am I today? My thoughts about this "Writing Revolution" is this: It's about time we writers have a place to publish and someone isn't taking advantage of our desire to have a book out there where people can buy it, whether it's ebooks or a physical book. No matter what, when I decided to take the plunge to self-publish my first book, I had said good-bye to the query.

 I'm doing whatever I want with my books, and getting them out there for people to enjoy. I may not make a lot of money, but I'm able to get my books out there, and when someone tells me they enjoyed it, that is my reward.

When I tried to find an agent for Vampire Legacy, I thought I nearly had one. The vampire genre was really going strong, with Anne Rice's "Interview with a Vampire", and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" was big on TV. She told me to cut the book in half (it was 800 pages long. Yeah. Sort of over did it. I cut it in half and tried to make some adjustments, and sent it back to her, and she decided against it, saying "vampire stories are hard to sell", and so I wasted about a half a year both working on the book and waiting for the slow response. It was/is really devastating to a person who is hopeful, and waiting for word. It's like your whole life hangs in that delicate balance. 

So, now I can say this revised version of "Vampire Legacy" renamed "Dhampir Legacy" will see the light of day, and will be published this year at some point. 

So, here it is. My rejection to all agents and publishers. I DON'T NEED YOU!

"Dear Agent. Thanks for looking at my book, but really I don't need you. I don't need you to tell me 'this isn't just right for us' or 'good luck in placing this with someone else'. No. I've had it up to my eyeballs putting up with your lame excuses as to why you don't think my book is right for you. The fact is YOU are NOT RIGHT FOR ME! \

My first self-published book is available on Amaxon


  1. I'm wondering if agents are an endangered species....

  2. I think traditional publishers and agents are an endangered species and they know it. I published fourteen novels through two big six publishers (I think it's the big five now), and made money...but I still prefer self-publishing.

  3. Yes, Norma, I think you're right. They've been in charge way too long, and are snarling and snapping at us on the way out.

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  5. I loved this post. This was great!

  6. He,he, he. I had to get it out of my system or bust, Shelly!


Hey, did I get you thinking? Want to add a comment? Be my guest and be nice about it. Since I've seen too many "anonymous" users I've taken this option off. Sorry, but you are only interested in selling me something. But my regulars are always welcome!