Well, this happened a little while ago, but I suppose I should make some official announcement for it.
I am happy to say that I am now publishing with Desert Palm Press, a small publishing company devoted to quality lesbian fiction. My new book coauthored with Rae D Magdon will be released in March for purchase through Desert Palm Press. I’ll have more details about that closer to the release date, but for right now, let’s talk about small press publishing.
It’s a tricky business, getting published. I found it to be so tricky that I took the quick route and self-published. Despite my wild success at that (our book did fabulously; thank you all, my amazing, wonderful fans!), people were more excited to hear I got a book deal from a small, independent publishing press than they were to hear about how well my self-published book was doing. Why is that? Why is there something immediately more special about be acknowledged by someone else who lives off of judging writing?
Some would say it’s an honor, but I think there’s some monetary prestige built into it.
Now, I haven’t made an insane amount of money off my writing. I didn’t do bad, mind you, but I wasn’t JK Rowling or anything. Neither will I be with this small press. The way I see it, I’m taking a slight pay cut to reach a broader audience (and work with some wonderful writers and editors, never discount that experience). Yet why do people value this move in my career more than when I was doing all the work myself? That was pretty impressive, mind you.
I think there’s a nasty association of wealth with “publishing”. If you’re in with a press, you’re gonna be rolling in it, or at least that’s what the urban myth tells you. And people are welcome to believe that and to benefit off their writing. They should, actually.
What bothers me is when a writer loses sight of what they’re writing about and focuses on just money. This is a fairly idealistic, rose-colored argument, but I like to think that writing, good writing, should be about the conversation between a writer and a reader, not the overall monetary gain at the end of the day. I bring this up mainly because I see writers fall into the trap of seeking the perfect publisher for their story, but then never sharing anything because they’re worried they’ll miss their opportunity for “the big break.”
When a writer holds back from an opportunity to have readers see their work, whether it’s at a local contest or in a national magazine, they’re allowing themselves to think that the amount of “good” writing they can accomplish is finite. We as writers have so much to say and so much to give. That is simply human nature. Share your ideas. Share your drafts. More will come. Part of the publishing process is spending time in those little nooks and crannies of writing. Publish with the local anthology. Apply to that short story contest down the street. Get yourself writing to interact with others, not just a faceless agent. That is what the writing process is about, communication, a dialogue between writers and readers.
I suppose I’ve waxed poetic long enough, already. Before I end this post, I’d like to let you all know that if you’re looking for some interesting lesbian fiction, check out what Desert Palm Press has here: http://www.desertpalmpress.com/
AJ Adaire is fabulous, as are Stein Willard and SL Kassidy. As always, thank you to my readers who support my fiction, wherever they find it. If you’re curious Rae and I are releasing a sci-fi romance in March. I also have a fantasy novel on the table, but that will be released some time this summer. Chronicles of Osota deserves my full attention, which I cannot give in the middle of completing graduate school.