I was going to make this a Randomized Randomocity post then decided better. There’s nothing random about this. In fact, I have a clear goal in mind.
I’ve been thinking. Quite a lot actually (and no, it didn’t hurt!). I’ve been thinking about gatekeepers and publishing delays and quality versus quantity, and a great deal of other publishing-world things.
First an foremost, is it worth the hit to my wallet to go with a bigger publishing company. See, I make 70% on books that I independently publish and an amount close to that when I go through my current publisher (I cannot disclose how much due to contract reasons, but it’s a damn fair percentage). If I were to go with Random House or Penguin, or any of the other big houses, my royalties would be around the 25% mark, on average. Some give a bit higher, some a bit lower. You get the gist. And I’m sure you can see why I haven’t, to date, gone with a bigger house.
Now, let’s talk about the freedoms being an indie gives me. I can say and do whatever I want. I can review and trash talk and be vulgar in public, and the only person I affect is myself. Basically, I can be ME. I like that. I like that a lot. Many of you follow me because I’m brutally honest and straight forward. I do not put on airs so that I can win people over, nor do I let negative criticism have any bearing on my emotions. But being open causes problems. The biggest problem is the acquiring of friends. I refuse to barter for reviews, but I also know how people perceive some of the reviews I get. Most of my reviews come from people I know here on Booklikes and Goodreads. I would even consider most of you good friends. I know as well as you do that your reviews are your honest opinions, but the world at large does not. They don’t know that many of you sought me out BECAUSE you liked my work. Also, to some, just reading the phrase “I know this author, but that doesn’t mean this review is biased” automatically means the review is biased. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true.
Because of this, I would like to ask that, if you know me personally (meaning we converse on a daily basis) that you no longer review my work if you like it. If you hate it, by all means, rip it apart. Lay down that one-star review and (hopefully) some snarky commentary. Of course, I have no control over what you do, but that doesn’t stop me from asking. Furthermore, I will no longer be giving out review copies of my work. When I publish through my publisher, I have no control over what they do. If they want to give out a thousand copies, so be it. This is because there are quite a few readers who believe that, since you received the book for free, you will give a biased review.
Next on the docket, I will no longer be actively searching for reviews of my work. Likewise, I will not be clicking the like buttons on reviews that I do stumble across. It should be known that I appreciate each and every one of you, the people who read and review my work, but these reviews aren’t for me. Or they shouldn’t be anyway. So just know that I do “like” them, even the negative ones, simply because you took the time to read it. Forevermore, let this post be me clicking that like button.
Now, back to the topic of going with a bigger publisher. Is the royalty percentage worth being ignored by readers simply because I’m an independent author? That’s a fuck-all huge question. You see, there are a great deal of readers and reviewers who refuse to read indies because there are no gatekeepers in place, no one to stop indies from clicking that publish button, no one to make sure there’s some semblance of quality in place. That’s unfortunate, but I understand it. Boy, do I understand. I’ve read plenty of unedited garbage since Kindle started allowing every Joe Blow under the sun to sell his grocery list. Still, if Amazon hadn’t allowed such, I wouldn’t have the career I do. Still, there are those that believe that my work is somehow lacking because I’m not published by Hachette or Harper Collins. This does not mean I will never publish independently ever again. It means I’m opening myself up to those readers who would otherwise ignore me.
Because of all this, I will be submitting my newest novels A Crack in Autumn (When it’s completed) and Mono and Agora (already done) to the big dogs for their consideration. This process takes years (3 to 5 years), so you’re likely not going to read another Edward Lorn book for quite some time. After Cruelty wraps, and Pennies for the Damned comes out in the next few months, it might be as many as three to four years before you see anything longer than a short story from me, and even those will only be submitted to anthologies and contests.
Finally, my writing is changing, and I plan on evolving with it. And while everyone of you mean so much to me, I must start to distance myself. I will still be posting Blind Links and other nonsense, but I will no longer be leaving starred reviews (I’ll still review, I just won’t leave a star rating). I will still BE HERE. You can still talk to me and share with me and do all the things you’ve always done with me, and I will appreciate our friendship always, but I have to take a step back from the things that cause drama. I know this doesn’t mean that shit will not get started, but it does mean that I will not respond to it.
This is me… Edward Lorn… E., the same guy you’ve come to know in recent years, telling you that I want to see what I’m capable of. And that means change.
Thank you for reading.