Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Monday, December 03, 2012

ROW80 Update . . . Cinderella redux

I put first dibs on the crust when I was growing up. No one else wanted to eat that often dried out, unwanted end piece. Except me. I was voraciously hungry all the time. At 11 and 12, I could out-eat my 6' 4" stepfather who worked in a steel mill and wore steel-tipped boots to work every day.

I'm thinking about Cinderella as a muse for writers, thanks to Elizabeth Anne Mitchell from ROW80. There she is, Cinderella, sitting in the ashes, hoarding her crusts, just one more starving, unpublished writer, hoping for transformation, that wave of a magic wand, yet bemused by the array of choices facing her just-finished novel.

Anne R. Allen's excellent article on the state of e-publishing/publishing in general, "Indie Publishing in 2013: Why We Can't Party Like It's 2009," intimidates as much as it informs. Amazon's recent spate of changes, Allen intimates, marginalizes the small, indie writer.

After what I thought was a careful comparison of Smashwords to Amazon as e-publishers, I chose Amazon to trial publish The Mermaid Quilt and Other Tales, largely because of their stand on DRM (the digital rights management debate). E-pubbing on Smashwords, with its multi-platforms, could allow the unscrupulous to carry off all those hundreds of writerly hours of hard work to new markets.

So I learned how to set up Kindle and paperback formats via Amazon (KDP and CreateSpace) and ventured out into the big marketplace. I'm still learning -- and will re-e-pub (if there's such a word) my collection of short stories with Smashwords and Kindle (taking a lesson from another ROW80 Colleague, Alberta Ross), on February 18, 2013, my personal liberation day from KDP Select.

If this Cinderella is sitting in the ashes of the fireplace, tearing her hair out and gnashing her teeth, it's because all of this is prologue. Publishing The Mermaid Quilt was a trial balloon to help me decide if I should e-pub my historical fiction, now up to two books. And the writing goes well on my main works in progress: I'm just finishing a "final" read through of Standing Stones, editing critically one last time. Do I sub to indie publishers? Do I self-publish? I honestly cannot decide. Your two cents???

Brown spotted hyena taking a mud bath
ROW80 UPDATE: WRITING: Looks like I'm on track to finish reading Standing Stones (95,000 words) and Years of Stone (80,000 words) for continuity before December 31st. Yipee! Or should I say Yahoo! I've been able to blog most days about the trip to Africa (despite a nasty cold) in my travel blog, On the Road Again,  MARKETING: Slow but steady. This week will write a press release and have posted some funny tweets re mermaids and stocking stuffers. CRAFT and PUBLICATIONS: Doing fine with reading writing magazines/books. The latest Writer's Digest reports that several "breakout" authors went through 40-60 submissions. So, I think I've only done about 20. Maybe time to dive in again. Standing Stones made me laugh and cry this week. I still believe in this story.

May your writing week go well.


  1. hope what you got from me serves you well or I shall feel horrible guilty:)

    I started down trad route but then got cancer and as recovered and looked at life expectancy with fresh eyes decided if I wished to see myself in print I prob. didn't have time to wait the lengthy time it might take if I could find any agent to take me on:) so I went self pub. route

    I must say I have never regreted it and although sales are slow and I will never be able to retire from retirement on proceeds i will continue.

    It is hard work being Indie and having to do so much oneself but I have learnt so much and have many new skills which in itself is exciting at my age. - have made many friends along the way and do not feel as isolated as I did when first I started writing.

    I am retired as I say and so have a great deal of time to do all the nec. when people comment on the hours I put in it must be remembered I have no husband or children who need nurturing - no 9-5 job to be done. These are all considerations to be taken into account.

    Indie pub. ,I hear, can give great support if chosen well but I know little of them. There are many on the social networks with dealings with them who can advise. Me I shall continue my merry way doing it myself - in complete control of all aspects but with struggles and angst trying to figure it all out:)

    my 2 pennyworth but no advice - it is something you have to work out yourself - there are so many pros and cons to consider for both - I hope some with indie publishers who will give their side to you in the meantime all the best :)

  2. Alberta, I appreciate your words so much -- as well as what you have written here. The indie road keeps beckoning, as does the writing. I don't think it matters how old we are. Underneath all the daily commitments we have made remains the writing, the storytelling, the essence of who we are. Thank you for sharing. Beth

  3. Whatever your heart tells you, Beth, much as Alberta tells you. Is there any reason you cannot do both, meaning trying Indie for awhile as you settle in to get your next self publication ready to go. I do not know enough about the logistics but this is what came to mind.