Earthling Hero, by Anita Laydon Miller. My friend Jonathon Arntson introduced me to her, so you should check out both their blogs.
Anita has decided to e-publish her novel, even after having an agent, and getting very close to selling her story to traditional publishers. I thought this was an incredibly interesting scenario, so I asked her to share with us what made her come to this decision.
Please, take it away, Anita:
I had it all—a great agent (Sara Megibow) at a great agency (Nelson Literary). Sara declared my book “very close” to being publishable, and editors were actually reading the thing. So why did I give it all up to e-publish? Lots of reasons, but here are a few:
1. I’ve read a scary number of real-life stories about authors who cleared the agent, publisher and editing hurdles only to have the publishing house close a few months before the book was to be published. That stinks. Contracts are tied up, tears are flowing, books are in limbo. I didn’t even want to THINK about that happening to me. It’s like worrying about a miscarriage the entire nine months of pregnancy. Where’s the joy in that?
While the industry figures out where it’s going to land, I want to put my book in the hands of readers. The fastest way for me to do that is through e-publishing.
2. I think e-publishing is where it’s at. I don’t know what sales are of Kindles, Nooks and the like (I imagine they’re in the gazillions), but I’ve got two e-readers at my house, and not long ago I swore I’d NEVER! read from one. About the same time I was saying that, my husband wasn’t reading ANYTHING other than a newspaper. Now I’d rather buy an e-book than a paper book. And my husband reads an e-book per week, just because he doesn’t have to drive anywhere to buy it.
But here’s the thing: my husband and I are adults (usually) and so are most of the people who own e-readers. The huge risk for me is e-publishing a MIDDLE GRADE novel. Do kids want e-books?
Well, I keep having to pry my e-reader out of the hands of my four children, and I consider those fingers as sticky little signs that, yes, kids do want e-books. And what a kid really wants, they usually get. NOTE TO MATT: Please do not let my children read this.
NOTED. Anita's kids: step away from the browser.
3. E-publishing gives me complete control of my book…creative and financial. For some people that’s daunting, but for me, it’s fun. If I succeed or fail [insert Frank Sinatra’s voice here, because I can’t sing] I DID IT MY WAAAY!
For me, success means having a lot of people read my book now. I’m not going to get rich on a $.99 children’s e-book. But my heart will be richer knowing that kids (and adults, too) read my friggin’ book. I didn’t have to put it in a figurative shoebox and shove it in a figurative drawer just because editors think aliens are currently not in style or some other silliness.
Success will largely depend on 1. Getting people to read the book. 2. People liking the book. 3. People spreading the news that they like the book. Did I mention EARTHLING HERO is only $.99 and is available through Smashwords and Amazon?
Anita Laydon Miller began daydreaming before she could write her name. Now she turns her daydreams into stories and writes them (and her name) just fine. Anita lives in Colorado with her husband and four children. She enjoys making homemade tortillas and running from bears.
I think Anita makes some incredibly valid points. Personally I don't much care about getting rich, but I do care A LOT about reaching readers. This is something to consider. Oh, and homemade tortillas sound delectable.
If you are interested in finding out more about Anita, or Earthling Hero, please visit these links:
Earthling Hero at Smashwords.
Earthling Hero at Amazon.com.
Earthling Hero at Barnes & Noble.
Anita's Middle Grade Blog.
She will also be continuing on her blog tour for the next week and a half. Please visit all these stops along the way:
Friday 4/8 Elana Johnson
Monday 4/11 Darby Karchut
Wednesday 4/13 Kelly Polark
Friday 4/15 Heather Kelly
Monday 4/18 Carol Miller
Wednesday 4/20 Natalie Aguirre