Two Minds


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So, to be honest, I’m kind of in two minds at the moment.

Some may argue I’m rarely in my own mind, or right mind, but that’s another story, LOL…..

It’s almost a year since I started this blog (about a month off that anniversary). When I started it was to find an outlet for poetry and musing but also as a promotional tool for the publishing of three novels I’d written years ago and only recently dusted off and modernised. The first two of these – The Seed and Curiosity – are now published. So New Year’s Resolution almost achieved I guess…but…

But…the indie writing world is hard. I don’t need to tell you that – most of you are pursuing this and know this already. I’m in awe of the talent, perseverance and generosity of the WordPress world and the indie writer ‘family’. And I love all the people I’ve met here – great new friends made who I hope will be friends for life. And I don’t regret publishing my novels – I’m very proud of them and it’s just wild to have them published as paperbacks I can hold in my hands.

But…there is the third novel from the time I originally wrote…… I’ve had it professionally edited, like the others. It’s ready to go if I want to start the publishing road again. But…I don’t know…I’m in two minds about it…

OR maybe more than two minds.

First, it would be nice to see it also published. Even if it only gains a small readership that’s probably better than it gathering dust, so to speak, as it has done for years. So that would be good.

But second, the experience of publishing has been one of great highs and lows. It’s very expensive to do it the way I have, and I don’t have time or even the talent/technique to do it differently. And I’m still waiting on the email campaign for the video promotion of The Seed after six months, so I’ve kind of lost heart of it even working when it does occur.

And third, my editor thinks I should try traditional publishing. She thinks I’d have a good chance with that – but who knows? Perhaps that is the better thing to try – or try first anyway – for the third novel. I just…don’t…know…

So I may end up doing nothing at all with it, particularly given how busy my day job is now and will be for the foreseeable future.

The third novel – Denial – is perhaps (in my opinion) the most emotionally resonant book I’ve ever written. It’s more like The Seed than Curiosity, but it is lighter and more dialogue driven than the heavy introspection of my first novel.

It is about love, loss, self-identity and self worth, family histories and ultimately redemption. I ‘feel’ it much more than the other work, so one side of me says for that reason alone I should pursue publishing it. The other side kind of wants to protect it a bit, and maybe that exposes the real underbelly of the indie publishing experience as I’ve experienced it. As it has felt to me, which may be very different to how it feels to others…..but something like being a bit exposed and vulnerable and very easy to hurt….

So, I don’t know. As I said, I’m in at least two minds. I could try pitching it to publishers first and only think of the indie route if that fails (and let’s face it, it’s hardly easy to get traditionally published!!!!). But my editor is a professional in her field so I value and respect her opinion so if she thinks it might work perhaps I should take her advice.

Have other indie authors felt this ambivalence at about this stage of things? Do you vacillate about indie or traditional publishing, or about publishing at all?  I’ve been debating this issue in my head for weeks now since the editing was finished and I…still…don’t…know……

Any thoughts would be welcome. It may help me make up my mind (or minds!!! 🙂 )


Helen V

About Helen

I'm drawn to blogging as a way to share ideas and consider what makes us who we are. Whether it's in our working life or our creativity, expression is a means to connect.
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27 Responses to Two Minds

  1. I would vote to try traditional publishing for no other reason than giving it a go, what do you have to lose? And one mind might be satisfied with such a move!!

    • That’s very true…appease one mind and ignore the others, LOL. perhaps that will be my plan for 2014, try the traditional route..if it doesn’t work I still have the two other options, indie or doing nothing, LOL. Perhaps when I am on Christmas break and am less exhausted I can think this through more clearly…. 🙂

  2. I think you have and excellent chance of having your work published, it is of professionally quality, outstanding quality. You’re the real deal =) I have thought of traditional publishing but I couldn’t find a single publisher interested in poetry. When I found one they had switched over to assisted self-publishing! I still showed them some samples and they were unbelievably helpful and enthusiastic. They will edit your poetry for free! I am so nervous and insecure I am not sure I could work with someone else even though I have no idea what I am doing.

    • Thanks so much. I think I will check out how one goes about this in the new media age over my holidays. A friend has sent me some information and so has my editor, so I’ll look at what’s involved and see if I can at least prepare anything necessary over the break. Then we shall see. I do think it’s a bit of a lottery about whether one will be picked up by a publishing house, but I guess it cant hurt to try. It doesn’t close off the option of indie publishing anyway… 🙂

  3. I say take a shot at professional publishing while saving up in case you go the indie route. You lose nothing by submitting to traditional publishers, so I say go for it. If the third book is the most emotionally resonant then it’s the best one to put forward. There’s always the chance a publisher will take all three too after they love the third and discover there are two more.

    • Yes, I will look into this. Have you ever thought about trying traditional publishing? From what my editor says you can leverage online success, which you have, to get their attention, and if you are looking for this to be a full time job longer term it might help given the additional reach publishers have….on the other hand you do lose some control, and I saw your excellent post today on your blog about the benefits of indie publishing. But still, given your work obviously has marketability – that’s been proven – would you consider the traditional route at all?

      • I tried trad publishing for 10 years and then went Kindle Author. Never got anything beyond rejection letters. If I got a good deal from a traditional publisher then I’d take it. For now, I’m not 100% certain what I’d do. Just working hard and enjoying the ride.

      • Cool – well you may want to re-visit at some stage as from what m editor says they take notice now of reviews and sales of indie books as part of finding what they want to pick up, so with your success I think you’d present an interesting prospect to them. In any case, I wish you every continued and increasing success whatever route you try.. 🙂

      • Thanks. I’m considering it for down the line. It’s a 15 book series, so I’m thinking I can rack up a good amount of leverage. Good luck to you too.

  4. conjurors says:

    Self-publishing is awesome, but going the traditional route is still the ideal, from what I’ve read. Even self-publishing greats like Hugh Howey eventually picked a publisher when they had the option. Best of luck to you!

    • Thank you – who knows whether it will work but I am slowly coming to the conclusion it is worth a try with the third novel, if for no other reason than to experiment with a different approach. So that may be my 2014 new year’s resolution, to try that out. I can always self publish later in the year if it doesn’t come through! Thanks for your thoughts and support! 🙂 🙂

  5. tpolen says:

    I vote giving traditional publishing a shot also – self-publishing is always an option. Just bought Curiousity and looking forward to reading it!

  6. Helen, the “publishing world” is brutal. There is SO much talent in this world, yet the “rules” and the “expenses” prevent so many to be heard and seen.

    My only advice is to follow your Heart. What does your Heart say about this? All of us here can give you good, bad, or no advice at all, but bottom line, it is YOUR decision.

    I too dream…..yet, IF wordpress is as far as I go, then I feel JOY with this. What I am trying to say, if you are “happy” with where you are in life in this NOW moment, that ought to tell you something right there.

    Hope this helped!!!

    Lady P

    • My heart is more confused than my minds re this. Part of my heart just wants to hide the third novel away…like Golem with his ‘precious’ LOL…the other part thinks it would be nice to see it published, have it real in my hands, despite the cost and heartache that can be involved. But you are very right re traditional publishing I think – it is a bit of a lottery re whether you get picked up and even if you do whether it brings any success with it. But perhaps it is worth at least trying just to do something different. Self publishing was an experiment – maybe this can be as well… 🙂 🙂

      • I wish you the best whatever you decide. Showing one’s work is so NOT easy. It is such a huge part of us, and depending upon the subject matter, it can really reveal to the world who we are. And admit it, that’s downright scary. I admit it. There are times I feel like burying my head in my pillows after I hit the “publish” button at my blog. I’m real. I show who I am. But at times, like I said, wowza.

        And the burning push inside to succeed for YOU. That I know as well. Is the chance worth it to you? If it is, I say go for it! “You never know until you at least try.” I say that to me so many times. And truly I have amazed myself by what I can accomplish. 🙂

        Good luck!!!

        XXOO, Amy

      • Thanks so much, your thoughts and support are very much appreciated!! 🙂 🙂 xxx

  7. My two cents (maybe three)….

    Try the traditional route, especially if your editor’s opinion is to go that way. The one thing I like about the traditional way is that if the book skyrockets, agents are great for dealing with the legal fine print, foreign languages, movie rights (hey, be optimistic!), etc. Well worth the percentage paid.

  8. landl30 says:

    Given your editor’s support I would encourage trying the traditional route…. especially if she/he ca n connect you to or act as an agent. The Agent thing just seems like the way to go…. we (my wife and I) come out of church journalism backgrounds, fairly successful at those, but it was a connection to an agent that got her first book published through John Hunt Publishers in London…. (agent in Kansas City, artist in California, us in Minnesota, publisher in London… if’s an interesting world!!). That then lead to other connections, conferences etc…. that have bumped into three more books. Take a shot is the bottom line…..

  9. I wish I had experience from which to draw – so I could give you advice. I’ve been agonizing over the decision to *try* to have some of my haibun published in a few online journals! BUT … know that I am sending lots of positive vibes your way. If indie publishing isn’t working so well, I hope you can be published in the traditional method. Keep us posted – we’re rooting for you!

  10. I’m with those who say try traditional publishing. While, technically, there’s nothing to lose by trying, I’ve found the rejections from agents a tough pill to swallow. When we believe that we have something meaningful to share with the world, we must get up, nurture our bruises, and keep trying.

    Great books, both fiction and non-fiction, have saved my life many times over the course of my lifetime. Believe in your work. When it arises from deep within yourself, it has the power to transform lives. When your mind, heart, and soul are united, the way forward will become clear.

    • Thanks so much. If I do try traditional publishing I will try to view it as an experiment as I think you are very right, there is pain in that pathway too. Creation is pain I suppose. 🙂 🙂

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