This post is Ten approved.

I actually had another post scheduled for today (now y’all know my introvert secret. I schedule posts in case my desire to hide away from society in my cave becomes too strong) but I’m tossing it aside in lieu of this one. With Wild Ones being out for over nearly a month now, there’s been a lot of questions as to physical copies which in turns leads to me explaining the whole “digital first” thing. Pair that with the fact that publishing in general is the internet topic right now, and the Carina Pitch is happening today, I thought this would be a good chance to mansplain some things.
Just kidding. I’m not mansplaining. Only rambling.
First and foremost, if you’re just joining us: hey. I’m Kristine. According to my two-year-old, I “gots” hair and no pants. I also wrote a book. You can buy is this way or over yonder or even here. My girl Bri is like whiskey in a tea cup. You might like her. Just the tiniest bit of class and hits like a mack truck. (That’s a lie. She’s not classy at all. She’s a mess, my girl.) Over this a way, I talk about the road to her and her Lane becoming a thing. I was naked for some of it.

In that post, I talked about how Carina Press was the first publisher I queried and how I looked into other options, but kept coming back to them. This is true. I started my search with Carina, thanks in part to a heads up from my CP at one point saying they were now actively seeking New Adult submissions. I then checked out others. Agents who were taking on New Adult. Publishers that were buying it. I buried myself in the books that were being published, trying to figure out where I could go with this thing and what others in this genre looked like. And I kept drifting back to Carina because it felt right. This is what I do, when I make major decisions. I research like a fiend, make lists and check them twice and try to learn everything I can, but in the end I chose by going with my gut. INFJ, y’all. The struggle is real.
But Carina looked good to me, even knowing they were digital-first and the vast majority of what they offer never goes into print copies. I did pause when I saw they didn’t do advances, because I was pitching my manuscript to sell and isn’t that the point of selling something? Goods being exchanged for money? But then I looked more into the nature and math of advances and I decided, no. That wasn’t going to be what held me back on something I felt pretty strongly about. Because advances are just that. An advance on money you’ll eventually make off your book. Getting one, from what my Google learnings have taught me, means not getting a check until that advance has been paid back. So, say I got an advance of, 1500 bucks. I then would have to sell $1500 worth of books before I saw another check. What if that took two years? What if, God forbid, I never sold that much?
One of the big things that helped me decide on Carina, and foregoing things like print copies and advances, was the freedom behind digital-first publishing. Here I was, clutching a MS to my chest that fell in a brand new genre not everyone was acknowledging still (the proof of this is looking at sites like Amazon and Barnes and Noble who classify Wild Ones as straight contemporary romance) and even in that genre, it didn’t fit in a neat little box. That’s not to say that I think I’m a super special snowflake that wrote something that’s omg so different and will omg completely change the genre. No. Dear God no. But there is a lot of pretty and soft out there and I did not do that. Wild Ones is gritty and violent and Bri and Luke aren’t exactly model citizens. I was afraid, deathly afraid, that I’d be asked to soften it up to make it more palatable. But small presses, man, they have the ability to put out things the Big Six might not feel comfortable taking a chance on. If I stood a chance of my work getting out there as I had pictured it, a place like Carina was my best shot at that happening.
And, obviously, that’s exactly what happened. There were some changes Carina asked me to make, but I liked that the changes suggested were ones made with my vision (my vision. Bless.) in mind. They believed in what I was doing and where I was going and after I talked it over with my editor, (Deb. Remember me talking about Deb? Adore that woman.) I was okay making them. In fact, I will state for the record, that I truly believe Wild Ones is better today for them.
In the end, this was a career choice. The first major one I made and while I know that some friends and family, hell, even strangers might look down on or sneer at this path, I truly believe it was the right one for me and The Lane. Would I tell everyone to do the same? Absolutely not. Because it might not be the right fit for you. Maybe your fit is traditional with an agent and an advance. Maybe self-publishing is what will work best for you. Maybe you’ll blaze your own path and be a sweet-ass hybrid author.
Would I go back to Carina myself? Hell yes. I wouldn’t hesitate to submit to them again if that story I was submitting fit there like Wild Ones and Losing Streak did. Because that’s the bottom line. Finding your and your story’s perfect fit. There’s no wrong way to do that. Different stories require different things. Different people require different things. That’s okay. That will always be okay. Anyone who says otherwise need to sit down and shut up.
There’s so many paths to get books to readers now and it’s a brilliant thing. One is not better than the other. It’s not. Would I have had more success and initial hype had I done things differently, gone somewhere different? Possibly. But there’s also a very good chance that the story people were buzzing about wasn’t my story the way I saw it. 

So, yeah. That’s the gist of it. Publishing = good. Publishing = real good. Be thankful and amazed that books are so glorious and wonderful and addicting that we have forged different paths to get them in the hands of readers. Because that’s awesome. Nothing is being broken by the presence of these paths. Things are only sweeter and the drugs that are books are only easier to get because of them.

Even Ten agrees.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s