Monday, March 9, 2020

Why I Decided to Indie Publish

A lot of you have asked about how I came to the decision to Indie publish. It’s been a long road to get here. The idea for this manuscript started all the way back in 2012. You can read about that journey and how it got to where it is today in this post. And if you are subscribed to my newsletter you got a sneak peek into how the idea for TRACKER220 came to be.

From the moment the idea for TRACKER220 popped in my head, I knew it was special. The words poured out of me. I couldn’t stop writing, and I saw edits and layers to add and change early on. Things just clicked all around.

And although I hit many roadblocks with edits and it was difficult to find a champion I finally did. A LOT of champions. This manuscript more than any other I’ve written so far, gathered hundreds of likes/retweets on pitch contests from agents, and more importantly writers and readers. So many people expressed interest in this story. I had an agent who believed in it enough to take me on as a client and even though she left agenting, TRACKER220 is so much stronger because of the time spent learning and working from her notes.

The market has seen some ups and downs, and unfortunately TRACKER220 with its slight dystopian slant, hit the market at the wrong time for YA Sci Fi. It’s why finding the right agent was a struggle and why the few small presses I queried had wonderful things to say but ultimately passed. YA Sci Fi has a hard time finding a place in the market. Publishers struggle to market it and therefore are extremely picky about the YA Sci Fi they do pick up.

But ultimately there are still readers hungry for stories like TRACKER220. Stories with future technology, abuse of power, nerdy techy boys, young artists, and teens fighting the good fight. Because stories like TRACKER220 were not readily available to me as a teen, I didn't read much. I struggled to find science fiction that was accessible to my reading level. I hope that is not the case for today's generation of teens.

And of course, there’s a desire for more diverse YA fiction and specifically stories with Jewish main characters written by Jewish authors. I’ve been hung up on the lack of Jewish main characters in literature, specifically young adult fiction. There’s many Holocaust stories out there, but not many stories with Jewish characters living their everyday lives. In the YA and even MG spaces, we’re starting to see more #ownvoices contemporary stories with Jewish main characters and some fantasy as well, and it’s exciting. But there’s still very few YA Science Fiction stories with Jewish characters. I think some of this is because YA sci fi is a difficult sell right now, and sometimes in science fiction it can be difficult to weave religion in without beating the reader over the head with it. I know I struggled with this in my own story for a long time. And still struggle with what having Jewish characters in projects I’m currently working on really means.

For all of these reasons I knew Tracker needed to be out in the world. Bottom line, I believe in this story. I know it’s good. And I know people will enjoy it. And honestly, I don’t know if I would have had the courage to step out and take on the publishing piece on my own if it wasn’t for every single one of those supportive tweets, blog comments, write on con feedback, DMs etc. It was the community that cemented the decision for me. I wanted this story out in the world because I want people to be able to read it. They deserve to read it.

Thank you to everyone for following me on this journey. I can’t wait for you all to hold this book in your hands and experience it.