As many of you know, this year has been anything but calm. I almost lost my father. The economy necessitated our landlord to put his rental property on the market, which meant my husband and I had to begin looking for a house of our own. My husband graduated from his five-year program at college and began working full-time with a landscape design firm. We decided to have a baby. I decided to publish a novel. More huge unknowns have piled up in this year than I feel I have faced in my entire life. I'll be facing more, no doubt bigger, unknowns as I progress through life, but just right now in 2014 I have had to shut my eyes and grow because there was no other option available. Needless to say, it has been stressful and frightening and a lot to handle.
You figure, when you go through "life experiences," that you're going to learn a lot. And you do. I've moved, I've experienced that. I have seven and a half months' worth of pregnancy experience under my belt - or I would, if I could physically wear a belt. I've stumbled my way through the mechanics of self-publishing a very massive debut fantasy. I've learned a lot. But I've learned one thing that was wholly unexpected.
Going into self-publishing, I had no idea what I was doing, I just knew that people did it and so could I. The next thing I knew, I was being directed by friends who had self-published to people who knew how to help, to people with skills, to people who were willing to lend me a hand. Out of nowhere I had a cover artist, I had a line-editor, I had people who could format manuscripts for several different venues. I had people who were fine with my complete inability to grasp the basics of the technical aspects of self-publishing, let alone its niceties. I had people who were happy to help.people have been there
I've tried the traditional publishing route. I even pursued it with Plenilune for awhile. But that's a big market out there, and while it is populated by human beings with personalities and feelings, it is kind of a monster, and I discovered that any up-and-coming author is competition, not always companion. It is not a readily friendly world. It is huge, and if you can make it, that is awesome: you can shoot to the top and shine. But it doesn't care. It's a dog-eat-dog economy in many ways, and you have to fight to survive, wounding people around you as you go.
I've learned that the independent publishing community is not like that. I'm not a very personable person myself, although I like to be friendly, so I was expecting this to be an uphill battle the whole way. I was expecting to have to win people with iron and conquest. They came willingly. To my shock, I discovered that they cared, that they were willing to go miles I had never asked them to walk. Out of nowhere I was told that Plenilune had been nominated for a number of categories in the Annual Blogger Awards of 2014! People have sat down at the computer and seemingly written volumes in praise of Plenilune with no other incentive than that they liked it: no "review this favourably and win a free copy!" carrot-and-stick-like prompting. They cared. They helped. They gave.
I've learned that the "indi" publishing movement is a community. No one is competition. We're all here to give and take and help as we can. How easy is it to host a cover reveal, to mention that a book is debuting, to share a status update on Facebook or retweet on Twitter? So easy! How much does it mean to the author? A world of difference. The old cottage-industry and its camaraderie is making a curious come-back in the wake of the internet, and the independent publishing community is one aspect of that. It is populated by real people with products that they make and sell, and they are dependent on the give-and-take of charity and aid of others in the community, without which there would be very little material gain from the products themselves. They call it "independent" publishing, but it is just the opposite. If anything, the author is more dependent upon the community than he is in traditional publishing, and I have learned that the community is aware of that.
so thank you. thank you for making this possible.