Why I’m at a Crossroads with Publishing | Writing Video Wednesday

I’ve got a bit of a more personal writing video today. I’m talking about what’s been going on with me on my publishing journey.

You can watch the video here.

Transcript of the video:

Hey everyone. It’s author, Sara Crawford, and I have a writing video for you today. So today I kind of wanted to talk a little bit more about my publishing journey.

So I’ve been indie publishing my MUSE CHRONICLES series but I was still pursuing traditional publishing with a time travel book. An 80s young adult time travel book that I wrote. I parted ways with my literary agent so I’ve been querying agents trying to get a new agent for that. So I’ve had a couple of people want to read more based on my query letter. And recently they did one of those Twitter pitch contests where I just randomly decided to tweet about my time travel book, and an
agent actually liked my tweet. So I sent her a query. I just got a rejection from that particular agent yesterday.

The rest of it’s kind of slow going. I know it’s summer right now. Summer is not the most productive time for agents and publishers. People are going on vacations. People are going on vacations. But this has really got me thinking about whether or not I want to just give up on the idea of traditional publishing and just go
all in with the indie thing. So I just kind of wanted to talk to you guys about that today. I guess it’s more of a personal kind of writing video.

So the thing with indie young adult books is that most of the people who actually read them are adults. So I feel like if you really want to be successful in the YA genre as an indie author, you kind of have to have cross-appeal so your books have to appeal to adults as well. So I think this is the case with my MUSE CHRONICLES books. I don’t think they’re very age specific. I’ve always kind of felt like my time travel book would be appreciated more by actual teenagers but then I was kind of thinking about it. A lot of it takes place in 1987. The main character, she’s a teenager in 2015, and then she goes back in time to 1987 where her parents are teenagers. So I do feel like maybe the people that were teenagers in the 80s who are now adults would enjoy the book. Maybe it does have cross-appeal. I’m not really sure.

Then I also thought about how people always say that indie books do a lot better when they’re in series. Standalone indie books don’t really do as well. I’m not really sure if there’s any data to back up this claim. I guess I should look into it more, but I kind of just got this in my head, and I started thinking, “well, I can’t self-publish my time travel book because it’s a standalone, and maybe if I want to self-publish it, I have to write sequels and do all of that.” Which, you know, they’re time travelers so I could easily write a sequel where she goes back to another time where it’s not really connected to the first story but it is.

But all of this just kind of got me thinking about these kinds of “rules” we put upon ourselves in publishing, and really, I think it’s kind of crap. And maybe in general, there are things that work for more people, but then there are always going to be people that break the rules and succeed in doing that. So maybe I really just need to be thinking about how to write the best stories that I can and how to make them available. I don’t know.

I’m not really sure what the theme of this video is. Basically, I just, I don’t really know what to do. I feel like I’m at a crossroads with my publishing career because on the one hand, I feel like indie publishing is the future and that’s it’s going. And I feel like there are just so many more benefits to indie publishing than traditional publishing. Traditional publishing is really slow. There is this sense of we have to ask these gatekeepers for permission to publish our work, which I don’t really think is just the way that things are right now. On the other hand, if you want to get into bookstores or libraries, I think that traditional publishing is still probably the best way to go.

So I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m willing to give up on my dream of seeing my book in Barnes and Noble, but on the other hand, how much longer is Barnes and Noble really going to be around? I don’t know. I feel like the whole world of books and publishing is just changing so much. I don’t really know where it’s going. I know I’m always going to be writing.

So sorry if this was a little rambly today. I guess I kind of just wanted to talk about my publishing journey and the things that I’m going through with that. What about you guys? Do you guys have any thoughts on traditional publishing or indie publishing? Do you have any advice for me? I would love to hear it.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel if you’d like to see more videos. I do a video about writing on Wednesdays, and then sometimes I talk about my favorite music on Fridays. Thanks so much for watching, and I will see you in the next video.