Fantasy author Ty Johnston’s blog tour 2011 is running from November 1 through November 30. His novels include City of Rogues, Bayne’s Climb and More than Kin, all of which are available for the Kindle, the Nook and online at Smashwords. His latest novel, Ghosts of the Asylum, will be available for e-books on November 21. To find out more, follow him at his blog tyjohnston.blogspot.com.
I’m traveling from blog to blog this month to promote Ghosts of the Asylum, my new epic fantasy e-book, but instead of talking strictly about my books, I’d like to talk a little about my own road to independent publishing.
I am an indie author, or a self-published author, or an independent publisher. Whatever term you prefer, you probably get the idea. I do work with print publishers from time to time, but mostly for short stories. Over the years, I’ve had a few behind-the-scenes deals rolling for print publication of one or another of my novels, but they’ve always fallen through for various reasons.
Becoming an independent author is not an easy choice for many because they still yearn for the acceptance and recognition that comes with being published by a print publisher, especially one of the major print publishers, nearly all of which work out of New York City.
I know, because until a few years ago, I was still caught up in that game.
One thing changed my mind. No, it was not the sudden growing acceptance of self publishing brought about by today’s e-reader technology, though that helped push me along. What changed my mind was, I lost my job.
Yes, like millions across America have experienced during the last few years, in the winter of 2008, less than two weeks before Christmas, I found myself unemployed.
I had been a newspaper editor for nearly 20 years. The economy was in a funk, but my former business, newspapers, was getting hit worse than most, at least at the time.
Over the years, I had written plenty of short stories and managed to have a few of them published in one venue or another. So, when I found myself without a job, I decided it was time to change careers altogether. It was time to take my former hobby, one I had always loved, and to turn it into my career.
Unlike many who are traveling a similar road, I did not have the luxury of continuing to have regular employment while trying to build a writing career. I was thrust into it, literally in a matter of hours. Fortunately for me, I had some novels and a number of short stories and other projects available for publication.
It’s going on three years, and I’ve never looked back. Every single day I am thankful for getting the boot from a career that had eaten up my life for so many years.
No, I’m not getting rich, but the bills are getting paid and the wife is happy, which is what really matters. I have control of my own time and can work whenever and wherever I want. I can take the beagle for a walk. I can sleep in. I can stay up all night writing. Or not.
To those out there who are struggling, I offer only one piece of advice. Find what you love, find your passion, and focus upon it. It will take time and effort, but you don’t want to look back in 20 years and say, “I wish I had started back then.” Believe me, I know.