Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blog Chain - So What's the Plan?


After a nice little break, our blog chain is back in action and we are thrilled to welcome several awesome new members (check out the list on my sidebar for their links) This round's topic was chosen by our wonderful Sandra who wants to know:

Have the recent changes in the publishing industry affected your writing plans/career? If so, how?

I don't know if the rise of self pubbing and ebooks has changed my plans for my writing career, or just made me feel better about them :) Self pubbing is something I've been looking into for a few years, at least in regards to my picture books, but it's something I've held off on in the past because of the cost and the stigma attached to it.

I've considered self pubbing my picture books for several reasons, one being the control self pubbing affords an author. I never liked that I wouldn't really have any say about the illustrations in my book if I went traditional. The illustrations are such a HUGE part of what makes a picture book that it seemed strange for an author not be more involved (and I'm sure different publishers handle this differently but from what I've always understood, the process is similar to how covers are chosen...the author might get some input but at the end of the day, the publisher will go with the illustrations they feel fit the book best).

However, I didn't go ahead with my self pubbing plans in the past because I didn't have the resources to put out a book that I felt was up to par. It's expensive to print full color books. But with the rise of ebooks, this isn't as much of an issue.

I didn't truly decide to go ahead and self pub my PBs until I bought a Nook. And saw how much my kids LOVED reading PBs on it. And decided to go to CA for vacation and started thinking about lugging a backpack full of books through several airports :) I'll tell you what, that Nook is a FANTASTIC purchase if you are going to be traveling with children. You can download a hundred PBs guaranteed to keep your kiddos well stocked in reading material until you reach your destination, and just slip one little device into your purse that stores them all. Love it.

And I love that I can now produce a beautiful quality picture ebook. I'll still go traditional first when it comes to my NF and novels (though I haven't ruled out self pubbing if any of my books fail to sell in the future...I love that I have that option available) - but for my picture books, all the recent changes in the publishing world have opened a lot of doors for me that were previously closed.

What about you? Have any of your plans for the future changed with all that has been going on?

Be sure to stop by Eric's and see how he views all the new changes, and stop by our new member Tere's blog tomorrow for her take on it all :)




14 comments:

Michelle H. said...

Yes, I understand the self-pub route for anything that has a large amount of illustrations. Having a publisher edit words is one thing, but deciding on pictures that aren't the ones you see in your head, that's entirely should be in the author's hands.

John Sankovich said...

I've been thinking about self pubbing my current book if I don't find an agent for it after querying for 3 months or so. I have to polish it before I start, but if say next summer I haven't snagged an agent, I think I'll put more effort into self publishing it. It definitely is a viable option nowadays, which is exciting.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Having self published four books and about to complete the fifth, being independent has helped me to enter the market place and working alone has been very hard work. Now feel reasonably established but it would be great to find a publisher so that I can concentrate more upon the writing.

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Mm, I second the nook love! It is fabulous for travel! We don't have a color nook yet, but will probably get one once my oldest is reading independently. For now, I still like sitting with them on my lap or right beside me and turning the pages of a physical PB.

I agree with you about authors having more say in the pictures that go with the PB. It IS a huge part of what makes a PB. In fact, sometimes it's the whole thing, like Where the Wild Things Are. The writing is clever, but as a poem without pictures it really wouldn't impress me. So I'm glad e-books are opening up that world for authors who want to choose their own illustrators. Hoping to tap that market someday myself.

For now, sticking with the traditional route: polish, query, connect. But I'm loving all the energy the self-publishing discussion creates. Anything that motivates writers is a good thing.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Oooh, the beautiful Nook color has been on wish list for a while now, and now I want it more than ever! Maybe I'll write an early letter to Santa;)

Rebecca Knight said...

This is awesome :). I'm so excited that you're going to self pub those picture books! Woo hooo! Best of luck, lady.

Also, I tagged you on my blog for a fun blog chain type deal: http://rebeccaknightbooks.blogspot.com/2011/08/10-random-facts-ive-been-tagged.html

Hope you're doing well!

Laura Pauling said...

It's nice knowing there is a viable option. So if the traditional route doesn't work out, I have a plan. And I don't think I'd mind the work of a small business.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I gave my husband a color Nook for Christmas last year, and Alex enjoys looking at some of the books for kids there. Alex also likes using his V-Reader.

Tere Kirkland said...

SOOO addicted to my Nook. :)

It's amazing how quickly the ereader is changing the publishing industry. I had no idea it was so easy to produce your own e-picture book. I have some nieces who are much too young to read my fiction, but it might be a fun challenge to try and write them a picture book. Picture books can be like 30,000 words, right? RIGHT?

Michelle McLean said...

LOL I wouldn't say it's easy. The images cause issues sometimes and the formatting can get tricky. And since different ereaders have different texts and formats and sizes the pics don't always end up on the same page as the pic, etc. Working on fixing that now. Huge learning curve :) I'm sure my next book will go much smoother :D

Jonathon Arntson said...

I am in the process of discovering that self-publishing doesn't have to be the route a writers chooses should the traditional route not work out. I kind of like the idea of being a part of something new and relatively misunderstood - it makes me feel like a teen again.

Abby Annis said...

Control is definitely a plus with self-publishing. Good luck with your picture books! :)

Eric said...

Great post. You hit it on the head when you talk about how much easier e-readers (like the Nook) have made it with regards to self publishing. The financial constraints loosen a bit and make it more affordable.

Shaun Hutchinson said...

I thought I'd hate it, but I LOVE my Nook, especially when traveling. On my last trip, my travel bag wasn't even a bag. It was a case that looked like a trapper keeper. Inside was my Macbook Air, my Nook, and a notebook. The whole thing weighed less than THE PASSAGE, which I actually had on my Nook.