Monday, May 09, 2011

I'll be Taking the Left Fork

F a road devidedI have decided to publish one of my favorite manuscripts (ms) as an e-book.  The decision was not an easy one. I have been working to get this ms published through traditional channels, but I keep coming up against roadblocks.

It is not the quality of the story or the writing that has been the problem. It is more of a business/investment issue. The traditional publishers and agents have a difficult time seeing this as more than a niche-market item and they're looking for something that is more of a sure thing for the mass market.

At first the rejections didn’t make sense. How could they say that the ms is a very good story, or extol the characterization, dialog, or even setting and not take it. Then I started researching the whys of publication and things became more clear.

I was looking at the from the  wrong perspective. I had personalized something that was simply business with monetary goals. Essentially I had not realized we have different ends we are attempting to achieve and it has little to do with my skill as a writer or choice of subject matter. Publishing companies are in business to make money. They have a lot of ‘mouths to feed’ and limited investment capital to with which to do it.

I, on the other hand, am looking at the ms from a needs perspective. I originally wrote the story for my granddaughter so that she could have a princess that looks like her. From there it grew to be a story of girl empowerment and endless possibilities. So I guess the argument comes down to this: monetary needs vs. social needs.

Once I arrived here it was a short jump to realizing that I need to publish it myself. It occurred to me that I was upset about someone else’s choices about their own investment. What I realized is that if I truly believe in the ms and the need for it, I should be willing and able to invest in it myself. Will it be an easy do? No. Will it cost me financially? Yes. Will I do it anyway? ABSOLUTELY!

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