Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


Land Of Confusion

I totally know what I’m doing.

I want to be a hybrid author. That makes sense, right? Hedge my bets–get the best of both worlds, traditional publishing and self-publishing.

But wait, I just heard that if you want to be traditionally published, you shouldn’t rush into self-publishing. What if your book doesn’t sell, because…just as an example…you’re juggling a day job and maybe a house, spouse, kids and pets, and it turns out you don’t have time to also write books, edit books, design covers, convert your work into various electronic formats and market it effectively. So you self-publish and the only person who buys your book is your grandma.

It happens. It doesn’t make you a bad writer. It makes you something incredibly common–a writer with no time. But traditional publishers will still think you suck.

Okay, self-publishing should wait. I’ll get a traditional publishing deal first because then I’ll have at least some help with the distribution and marketing, and I’ll build an audience. That sounds like a great idea! Except…have you heard about all the horrible contracts that new authors are being offered? You have to sign away your electronic, print, and international rights for your lifetime, as well as promise to give them your first-born child and the down payment on a new car. Nasty. And that’s if you can even find an editor. They’re pretty elusive. They hide from us, for good reason.

All is not lost. I’ll just get an agent. An agent will protect me! An agent will keep me from signing a bad contract. An agent will look after my best interests. Whew. That’s a relief.

Oh no…Dean Wesley Smith says not to get an agent. It’s a waste of time, he says. Just self-publish. Yikes! Back to the drawing board.

Wait–J.A. Konrath says agents are cool and writers should totally have them. He’s a smart guy, too. Probably good advice.

Just heard from a friend whose agent is making her rewrite her book over and over again without a single offer on the table. Hmm…been there, done that. Do not want to go there again.

Self-publishing it is, then!

Chuck Wendig just posted a blog about Amazon.


 The Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s purpose is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

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  1. Javier

    Good post, you nicely captured the predicament of many. For what is worth, and based on my experience with marketing and advertising each avenue (self publishing, contract, Agent) will be best suited to different individuals based on their strengths as writers but also their ultimate purpose: fame, a loyal following or just the enjoyment of sharing great creativity and imagination with others. Take care, my good friend.

  2. Michelle D. Argyle

    No idea what to tell you, in all honesty. I was trying to be hybrid and then that just got ripped out from under me, so now I’m just completely indie. I’ll do that for awhile and then reevaluate and see how else I might like to publish. All that really matters is that you’re writing. That’s what will never change, so it’s what should be first and top priority. So, yeah, don’t sign away your rights for lifetime contracts if you can help it because you’re greatest asset is your books.

  3. Charity Bradford

    Yeah, guess it couldn’t get more confusing. It like the carnival game and all we can do is toss our rings and hope we land on a bottle. And then hope it was the right one.

  4. Diane Riggins

    Good post. Agree with Charity. It couldn’t get more confusing. We get to a point where we pick one because of the stories we hear about the other and hope it’s right and something happens to change our opinion. Good luck with everything. 🙂

  5. Carol Ott

    Just self publish – I’ll buy some for Christmas presents!
    We will both win – you publish and I have my Christmas shopping done early!!

  6. Cindy W.

    There’s not one right answer. What is right for one person and one book may not be right for someone else. Hang in there. The right decision will come along.

  7. Toby Neal

    Just did a monster post on this topic, so nuff said from me. Self publishing helps build platform. All I’m sayin’…

  8. Holli Moncrieff

    Thanks for your comments, everyone! I’m not sure if anyone realized that this blog post was tongue-in-cheek. I have thought many of those things, but knew it would seem ridiculous (and hopefully funny) if I strung them all together. And I figured lots of writers are probably struggling with the same decisions.

    As for me, I’m not overly worried about it. I’m still planning to be a hybrid writer. But self-doubt and confusion seems to be part of the process.

    @ Carol Ott: I’ll hold you to that!

  9. Diane Burton

    I’m a hybrid. Love the control I have as an Indie; enjoy being connected to a publishing house. Every writer has to figure out what works for them. Not what the so-called gurus say. What works for you!

  10. ayjay

    Ahh isn’t it terribly confusing?? We went self-publishing b/c I have a couple of friends who are English professors and can edit really well, and my co-author is a graphic designer, so we have a good team built in. I have no idea how anyone else makes these decisions. Good luck 🙂

    AJ @ Naturally Sweet
    An A-Z Cohost

  11. Patricia Lynne

    It is confusing. All you can do is make a pros and cons lists and see if that helps you figure out what path to take.

  12. Haneen I. Adam

    I feel the same, sometimes it’s so confusing I get a headache, at least the fact not changing is that we writers will continue to write.

  13. Holli Moncrieff

    Thanks for all the comments, ladies! It certainly is confusing. All the best to my fellow writers in the choices they make. <3

  14. Donelle Lacy

    Haha! I’ve thought these things before too – albeit after I got new ‘advice’ or information from people who freely give it. People really like to shake your confidence, your decisions, and everything else you thought you had in the bag. It’s best to do your own research, clear away all the noise, and make your own decision, for better or worse. Everyone always has an opinion.

    Keep working at it (I tell myself this also) and you’ll get there!

  15. Holli Moncrieff

    Thanks for commenting, Donelle. I’ve noticed this too. People like to steer you in the direction that’s worked for them, which I guess makes sense, but I’ve found the strongest opinions come from people who aren’t writers. Thanks to the few who’ve made it big, the general populace seems to think that becoming a millionaire through self-publishing is easy. If only!


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