Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Why I Decided to Go Against Tradition (Publication, That Is)

If you're friends with me on Facebook, you've likely already seen my post about the unique opportunity I am taking in regards to my debut novel THE LONG ROAD TO HEAVEN.

If not, in short, I was approached by the Norfolk Daily News for permission to publish the story in serial on its website, an opportunity I accepted after much thought and soul-searching. The first installment will begin on Friday, May 29. The one caveat I insisted upon in accepting the offer was they would allow me to include a link at the end of each chapter to the Amazon page where a full download of my novel can be purchased.

It's a unique and exciting opportunity to say the least. But it means, in essence, I've decided to forgo an attempt at traditional publication of this novel and dive headfirst into independence.

Scary, yes. Terrifying, actually.

But definitely not the end of a dream.

I'm not sure why I feel like I have to write this post. In fact, writing it feels like an empty justification for my decision to forgo traditional publishing.

It's certainly true that for years and years the measure of success in fiction -- at least in my mind -- has been the ability of a writer to snag the attention of an agent and publisher. By committing to this road (pardon the pun) I'm essentially letting go of that traditional idea of success.

To be honest, I have queried agents in the past. I had a few nibbles, requests for partials that were ultimately rejected. I'm thankful for that because those rejections forced me to take a long look at the quality of my writing and my storytelling ability. In the end, an honest self-evaluation of those two things resulted in a much better product, one I'm excited to share with readers.

But throughout that self-evaluation process, my desire to pursue traditional publication waned and my view of success changed. Success in my view no longer hinges on whether or not I can snag an agent or publisher. To me, success now means touching a reader -- even if it is only one -- in a way that will make him or her see the world in a slightly different view.

In the end, I chose to take this opportunity because it feels like the right place, the right time and the right platform. To be quite honest, the decision I've made has been incredibly freeing.

The story is about finding faith in something. It has sat heavily in my heart for so many years. It's simply time to set it free. I have faith that God will get it in front of the people who most need to read it.

It's all for His glory anyway.  Peace.

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