So there I was, wondering what to do next.  The market research I did helped shape my plan, but my decision had more to do with my own life situation than the market.

In the dozen or so books I’ve read on how to get published (self- or traditional), very little attention is given to the reality that you need to create your own path to publication. There’s plenty about how to wedge yourself into the traditional model or the self-publishing model, but not much guidance about how to construct your own approach.  In the end, the decision to self-publish … or to publish at all … turns on personal interests, commitments, abilities … i.e., one’s life situation.

This is the way it worked out for me:

  • Based on Publishers Weekly deals, thriller publication in traditional houses is down (after a run of not-really-thriller books like Gone Girl).
  • However, I have a series, which gives me the ability to connect with an audience over a long period.
  • I would like to have more readers than pity purchases from close friends and family, if only to cover the costs of publishing.
  • I have a moderately large contact list – former business contacts, people (mostly in Florida) who signed on to my music mailing, friends, family.
  • I have time to devote.
  • I like writing better than ‘business development’, but I have done the business thing. And, oh yes, there’s a compulsive, everything-is-a-spreadsheet part of my brain which wouldn’t mind the minutiae of self-publishing.  (At least, that’s what I thought until I tried to compile a book in Kindle format.)
  • And there’s the hard, cold calendar reality: I don’t want the fourth book of the series to be issued posthumously.

One of my writing teachers mentioned parenthetically that his first sale (traditional) was his third book.  I’m in rewrite on my third.  It’ll be done about the time this first one issues.  Maybe with what I learn, I’ll go back to traditional on number three.