going rogue

Video with Outspoken Gay Author: Hal Bodner


Lately, every time I see someone complain offhandedly about the quality of self-published/indie books on Amazon (or anywhere) I tend to cringe a little. And that’s because it’s getting tired as a general statement. Even though there are bad self-published books out there all over the place (and a few bad published books as well that cost far too much money), there are also experienced, bestselling authors now moving into self-publishing. The reasons authors who have been traditionally published do this are many, and far too complicated to get into in one simple post. I had very distinct reasons, one of which was I wanted more control over my work. I got that control with “Chase of a Lifetime.”

But the main point nowadays is that with more and more traditionally published authors self-publishing their own books (most seem to be on Amazon)the reputation of indie/self-publishing is taking a turn for the better and that old cliche about authors who do self-publish because they can’t get a publisher or agent doesn’t work anymore. In fact, literary agents are now taking advantage of these self-publishing opportunities and I know they are offering “services” for their clients. I even know authors who are trying to juggle their schedules with publishers because they prefer self-publishing their own books. And, more important, pricing their own books.

More than a few authors I know who have been traditionally published, and have had agents, have moved into indie publishing quietly, and Hal Bodner is one of them. I met Hal through a friend when he started getting into the digital first market about four years ago. I’ve posted about Hal before on the blog, and about his books. I’ve read his latest LGBT novel, THE TROUBLE WITH HAIRY, that he released on Amazon himself, and I can tell you without question the quality is there, the story is there, and it’s just as good…if not better…than anything he’s had published before.

Hal recently did an interview that is now on youtube, to which I’m linking right now. It’s not only interesting to watch Hal on video and to put the face and voice with the name, but also to listen to what he has to say about his own personal experiences. And like the title of the post says, Hal’s an outspoken gay man with a professional background in law, he’s a businessman, he was in a long term relationship before his partner died suddenly, and he’s a bestselling author with books that have been released from traditional publishers. You can check out his books here.

Self-Publishing: Another Well Known Romance Author Going Rogue

I just read an interesting blog post where another fairly well known romance author is going to start self-publishing her own books. She walked away from a nice book deal, with a well known romance publisher, to do her own thing.

Of course I’m a little cynical when it comes to these blog posts. There are too many little things not mentioned in the post and I start thinking twice. On the surface it seems like an explanation as to why the author is going rogue. But I’m one of those who read between the lines all the time, and I have a funny feeling the post was more about promoting the new self-published book than it was about letting readers know the true reasons why the author decided to self-publish. I could be wrong. Maybe the author I’m talking about is branching out on her own because of the reasons she posted. But I’d be willing to bet there’s more to the story.

And even if there isn’t, I do have to admit I admire published authors who decide to self-publish. Especially authors with good book deals from large publishers who have already established a fan base…even if they are full of shit most of the time (smile). There have been times I’ve thought about doing it myself. But I have just as many reasons for not going the self-published route as some authors have for going the self-published route. One reason is quality of life. I love my publishers and depend on the collaboration. If I had to do it alone, I’d never stop working and I’m already working six and seven days a week writing. I need to know Holly at ravenous romance likes the title, or hates the title. I need to know Claudia at Loveyoudivine thinks something will work…or won’t work. I don’t do crit groups and I need the publisher’s input all the time.

There are so many things changing in publishing these days no one can predict the future and no one can say who is right and who is wrong. But it should be interesting to see how it all turns out in the end. I do know one thing for certain…and this is because I’ve been around long enough to see how things repeat themselves over and over again…not everyone will be Barry Eisler or Amanda Hocking. It doesn’t work that way, in life or in publishing, and I’d hate to see a lot of good authors leave viable publishers with dreams of becoming Barry Eisler or Amanda Hocking.