April 18, 2015

Follow Me. I'm Lost, Too.

Last night while driving, I remembered those old bumper stickers: Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost, Too. (Weren't they always adorning the back of VW busses?)

And I thought—that pretty much describes everyone in publishing right now. (Not the VW bus part. The lost part.) Companies blame dips in sales on the strangest reasons, rather than realize we're in a new stage. E-books didn't exist a decade ago. There's never been a way for every author to have a platform.

It's a brave new world.

If "brave" means really kind of terrifying.

But honestly, I'm excited. I believe that ultimately fewer publishing companies will be able to make the money they used to. Maybe some will disappear. Yet for the first time ever, any author can roll the dice. Write a book. Put it up. Find an audience.

Even more thrilling to me, authors and readers know exactly who they're supporting and where their money, time, and effort is going. Right now, Sommer Marsden has a sizzling-new release called Haunted. When you buy her $1.99 book, you're directly giving money to an independent author.

Violet Blue has three divine collections on the racks: Bisexual HusbandsFilthy Housewives, and Holiday Kink (with more in the works). She heads an indie press and is treating her authors with dignity and respect.

So while one part of the industry—the part where I no longer know who I work for, who owns my materials, who controls my words—is confusing at best and demoralizing at worst. The other part is intoxicating. Sometimes it's only a matter of how to find the time to do all the work I want to do.

At first, I was going to title this post: Don't Follow Me. I'm Lost, Too. Because the fact is that I don't know what I'm doing. But then I thought—Hey, who does? Who knows where this will lead?

So follow, please. Follow me. We can be lost together.


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