Why Self-Publish Literary Fiction?

For authors of literary fiction, creative control isn’t just a plus. Increasingly it’s becoming a must.

Novelist Jane Davis:

My first novel earned me the services of an agent, but not a book deal. My agent hadn’t had time to read my second novel when I entered it in a national competition for unpublished authors. I only admitted what I’d done when my entry was shortlisted at which point my agent said, ‘I think I’d better read it then.’ She absolutely hated it. On her advice, assuming I could never win, I totally re-wrote one of the main characters.

When I was told that I won the Daily Mail First Novel Award, the publisher insisted on my original version (the judges had loved the character my agent so objected to), but here are examples of the changes that were imposed on me:

  • Re-structure so that big reveal came in the penultimate chapter/new end chapter.
  • Title change.
  • Great cover, but totally inappropriate for the book.

In other words, when I held the book in my hands, it never felt as if it was mine. It was as if I was selling someone else’s book!

Read the rest here.

Being Published vs Publishing Yourself

I confess I was temporarily enchanted by the claim of the (99% white) literary agents of “Diversity Pitchfest” that they were really — really really! — looking for Writers of Color to add coins to their coffers.

But the thing is, I’ve published myself and I’ve been published by others. (Hell, I’ve published others. Stephen Gyllenhaal case in point.) Preference: If money isn’t a factor — that is, if I’m not being paid — I would rather publish my own work in my own various blogs, zines, and paperbacks. I like to revise and I enjoy rewriting and getting the words just right, not to mention I’m continually proofreading my work, even after it’s “gone to print”.

In other words, I love the process. I find myself in the process. And hey, the finished product’s not bad either.

But once a piece is accepted by a publication it’s in their hands and I’m never satisfied. I welcome readers, but be advised: What you read of mine at any given time won’t necessarily be the final version. But close enough for rock and roll.