This month I attended the Push to Publish workshop sponsored by Philadelphia Stories which included a “speed date” with an agent. I told her how I had independently published The Sense of Death in December and am now working on the sequel which is targeted for completion in the first half of 2015. She was not interested in representing The Sense of Death, which didn’t surprise me, and wasn’t interested in representing any future books in the Ann Kinnear series, which did surprise me. I believe the theory is that once a book is published, it establishes an identity which transfers to any series based on that book—publishers would prefer a book whose identity they can shape based on their own creative and business models.
Establishing that fact early on in the “date” meant that the agent and I were able to spend the majority of our 15 minutes together on other topics, and we discussed what her pitch would be to a promising unpublished author who was choosing between independent and traditional publishing. What I heard—which was mainly related to the support staff and business infrastructure a traditional publisher can bring to bear—didn’t sway my growing preference for independent publishing for two main reasons: artistic control and the ability to set my own schedule.
With that refreshed commitment to “being indie,” and with the expert advice of Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn, I have been working on strengthening the business foundation of William Kingsfield Publishers*, my independent publishing arm. Joanna recommended that I:
Stay tuned for updates on activities on the creative front!
*William Kingsfield was my father’s pen name. You can read two of his short stories in “Collier’s Weekly”: “Tobe” from September 1952 and “Captain’s Counterfeit” (which I think is a pretty cool title) from July 1954.