When I hear others in the writing community talk about the “many paths to publishing,” well, it makes me smile. It’s not only a true statement but it respects the paths of other writers. Too often we hear one group of writers slamming the other – traditionalists slamming self-published authors and self-published slamming traditionalists. But there are many paths to publishing. And some of us travel down more than one path.

Hybrid is a term we hear these days. Often the most successful self-published authors were once traditionally-published authors. They’ve been through the editing process, have industry contacts and a reader-base. The there’s that in-between group – the group of writers who publish with non-traditional publishers, like Digital First.

Every author has a story – about their path to publishing and the journey of being published, perhaps going through multiple agents or multiple publishers, and that place in-between without either – we’ve heard the stories. I love it when authors share their stories.

I’m a bit of a hybrid myself. I signed with an agent for Real Women Wear Red, and we put together an outline for a trilogy. I’ll never forget the thrill of receiving that first contract. Later, that publisher would go out of business. Thankfully, I was willing to step out and self-publish before everybody was self-publishing.

I sold my next manuscript, The Tom Jones Club, to a publisher and they didn’t go out of business. 🙂 I enjoyed working with an editor and cover artist. There’s so much to gain from going through this process.

Letters on Balboa Island is a book that publishers were interested in but their vision of that story was different than my vision. So I published it myself. By then, there were so many more tools for Indie authors.

RWSB150Because of the success of Real Women Wear Red, I decided to go forward with book 2 of the “Real Women” trilogy and publish Real Women Sing the Blues. The beauty of being an Indie author is that when I decided to rerelease it with a new cover, I could do that. In fact, I just did that over the weekend. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with it with a new cover.

I didn’t set out to self-publish as many titles as I did. It’s all been an experiment. Sometimes you need to make that decision based on the particular book.

I’ve submitted my current manuscript, French Martini, to a publisher, because it might be a better fit with them than going it alone. It might have a better chance of finding a readership with that publisher. But time will tell – I’ll let you know.

I’m excited about getting back into the groove of submitting to publishers. There’s a little less pressure on you as a writer. True, those lovely rejection letters may come your way but there’s something about hitting “send” that gives you a satisfying feeling that you’ve done your job. It’s a wonderful feeling to hit “send” and then move on to a new book, trusting that its time will come and you don’t have to worry about it for now.

For some writers, taking that middle road somewhere between traditional publishing and self-publishing, publishing with Digital publishers with an established readership, is an important step to take before going it alone.