I’m not a patient person and I can’t stand hanging about waiting for something to happen. But it is what I have been doing for the last six months… waiting for a literary agent to reply to my query letter and request to see my manuscript. Well, no more.
In 2003 I quit my job as Chief Technology Officer for a small software company and decided that I would make my living as a writer. After many false starts, half finished tales, a completed but fatally flawed novel, here I am with a crime/mystery, Junkie, which has been three years in the making. From day one, I was mentored and edited by a wonderful independent editor, Lisa Rector-Maass of Third Draft Editing in New York.
In November 2010, I started submitting to agents. A few at a time, I started with the big guns, agents for some of my heroes, (like Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Jeff Abbott, Simon Kernick) then I submitted to some of the larger agencies, then the mid-size etc. To date, I have submitted to eighty-six of them.
I sympathize with agents. They get literally hundreds of queries a month, most of which are for manuscripts that are nowhere near publishable—like my aforementioned fatally flawed opus—but they have not discovered an effective way to manage the volume of queries. If they are not blown out of their socks by the query letter, they can’t spend the time to do anything other than send a rejection letter, if that. Although sympathetic, I became very frustrated by the whole process. I am by nature a proactive person and can not stand sitting waiting for the phone to ring.
Then… my friend Ash Oakenfold—to whom I am eternally grateful—sent me a link to an article about Amanda Hocking, a hugely successful indie writer. This lead me to do some serious research into the subject. Basically, an indie author is someone who eschews the current publishing establishment and self publishes.
Most indie authors publish on Amazon using Amazon’s Kindle eBook format. The author sets the price and Amazon takes 30%. So an author can sell a book for a buck and make seventy cents every time it sells. Of course, publishing on Amazon doesn’t guarantee that anyone will buy the book, it has to be actively marketed.
I have made the decision to go the indie route with my novel Junkie. I’ll let you know how it all pans out.