I've been getting a lot of e-mails asking about when/if I'm going to publish under my byline again. I don't have much to offer as an update. I have not been sending anything out to publishers because it just seems like a waste of time now that I've got the ghost writer gig working out so well (along with a nice, reliable income.) This past week I did reach out to my publisher for the Disenchanted & Co. novels, just to be absolute sure there was still no interest in publishing a third book, and while they wish me well there still isn't.
Ever since finding Payhip I have been thinking about indy publishing for profit -- mainly to continue series like Disenchanted & Co., for which I had three more novels planned, and would like to write at least one more. I could also finish other series that were dropped, like the Youngbloods books, or publish the stories readers wanted but NY didn't, like John's story from the Darkyn series. I also have some new works I would prefer to sell versus giving away, like the Novels of Netherfield.
Some form of low-key indy publishing is attractive to me for other reasons. Because Payhip has such a reasonable transaction fee I would be able to keep the prices reasonable. Not having to learn the ins and outs of the bookseller platforms, which have always seemed overly complicated and rather intimidating to me, is another big plus. I'd also have complete creative control over each publication which, after fifteen years of entrusting my work to others who weren't always as invested in it, would be a nice change. My sale pages would finally be protected, too. I wouldn't have to impose on friends to help me (and as it happens several have already very kindly offered to help push my stubborn ass into the new publishing reality.)
There are just as many downsides. Indy publishing under my byline would take time away from my ghost writing gigs, which are paying the bills. Next fall income is going to be a major issue for us, as our daughter is planning to go off to college in another state. I'd want a decent cover designer and an experienced editor to help me produce a professional-level product, and they're not cheap. I really don't want to impose on my friends to help me, and since I don't know how to make anything other than a .pdf on Adobe, I'd have to look into what it costs to covert files into the various formats people want to buy.* PBW still gets a respectable amount of traffic, but I think selling strictly from the blog would bring limited profit at best.
I don't know. My guy says to try indy publishing one book and see how it goes, which seems reasonable, but I'm really enjoying the ghost writing, which has done good things for my creativity and my bank account. Then my ulcer chimes in and advises me to run and hide under the bed until it all goes away, which is pretty much all the ulcer ever does. What I do know is that I don't want to go back to the stress of traditional publishing, and all I can promise you is that I am thinking about the indy alternatives more seriously than I ever have.
*I've just found a service that does this for free if you sell your books through them, and I'll have more on them later this week.