My first novel, Freedom Club, is coming closer to public release, so I suppose its time to inform everyone about its progress. I began writing this novel in 2007, when I was still living in India. However, in the summer of 2009, I began working with David Bischoff, a published author and accomplished editor, who coached me for about two years as we brought the book to fruition. A few months ago, Dave gave the manuscript his final okay , and now it’s in the hands of Chris Lampton for a final round of proofing. Chris is also an writer and editor with decades of experience, and will fine tune the book prior to first publication.
However, it is the publication of the book that has taken on a new life and needs some explaining. You see, way back in 2007 I set out to write a book good enough to be publishable by the large NY publishing houses. With Dave’s help I believe we have achieved that goal.
But the world has changed drastically in the last few years. Publishers are (IMHO) not open to first time authors. They want to bet on established writers who can provide guaranteed revenue. It’s a move that may prove true in some cases, but not all. They (the big publishers) don’t know where things are really going. If they could I, suspect they’d stop all the upheavals . They’re simply digging in as the market reforms. Amazon, e-books, and POD have opened new channels for everyone to dive in, and with all the new players around, it’s hard to tell who has the firmest grip on things . Maybe, it’s the authors for once. Wouldn’t that be nice?
So given all the turmoil and change, I lost my appetite to publish Freedom Club using the traditional model. That is, submit like crazy to finding an agent, who then will convince a publisher to go with a first time author like myself, then pray nothing goes wrong. Well, I believe that old process is broken. And even if it were to work, it can only take place with with high risk, while offering me the author less returns.
So instead, I have decided to publish with Hotspur Publishing, a new publishing house created by my editor, Dave. Neither one of us planned this, but I think this period of time is special. New publishing houses like Hotspur could not exist just a few years ago. As long as the talent is there, it’s amazing to see how easy it is to bring a book into the marketplace these days. In fact, I don’t think Hotspur’s methods will be any worse than the large publishing houses. 95% of the writing and editing has been done. And everyone uses e-book and POD technology as large print runs become a thing of the past. The only real meaningful difference is that the established publishers have enormous overhead to cover. Elaborate layers of managers, accountants, marketing experts, lawyers, editors, interns, and illustrators. Am I forgetting someone? Oh yes: writers.
The problem seems to be that not enough people add value in the old model. Of course some editors are doing a good job. And yes, some mass marketing may have a positive impact on sales. It just that, well I don’t think the old gang will make Freedom Club any better or successful than Dave and Chris will. We’re a small group of talented people, putting all our efforts into one, and only one thing:
So, in the next month or so I look forward to setting Freedom Club loose. It may not be a big hit, but who cares. Failure happens all the time. Even for established authors. I just like writing science fiction, and I’ll keep doing that with Hotspur for no reason other than, it’s a lot of fun.
Isn’t that what writing should be about?