Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Mid list crisis causes dive into Indie waters

So why is the first post on this brand new blog about OMO? Well, it's because I am going it On My Own. In other words I have left the safe harbour of traditional publishing and I'm starting again from scratch with a new pen-name and a new blog.

Am I mad? Well you might think so, but my three books published with a large publisher are still languishing in the mid-list, despite their excellent five star reviews, and indie authors are extolling the virtues of the indie life. Except that the term indie sets my teeth on edge, as if we are all some kind of 1980's pop stars. So I prefer to say I am going OMO.

My book is finished, and my first shock was the cost of professional copy-editing. I asked the copyeditor of my other books what she charges and the answer nearly made me faint. She earns more in a week than I do with royalties from my books in a year. More than £20 an hour, which I know in any other business would be looked on as quite reasonable as an hourly wage. But somehow as writers we get used to not being paid very much, as trad publishing royalties are so small. Peanuts might be an improvement.

Maybe that will change! Maybe my mid-list crisis is really the beginning of something wonderful? And by the way, I will probably melt my visa card to pay for the edit. After all, I can trust in the quality of what I would be getting and I do want my book to be a quality publication.  Of course then I'll have to deal with the edits, but at least that is something familiar. Actually, if the editor is very nice about the book I send her, a little voice on my shoulder is whispering,  is that because now I am the one who is actually paying? Hmmm. Guess I might have to have a whole new relationship with people who do my edits, cover design etc. If I am paying, will they tell me if my ideas are rubbish, or just rub their hands in glee and snigger behind my back?

Anyway, here is Esther Williams looking gorgeous in one of her underwater scenes - how did she keep her hair like that underwater? And smile and keep her eyes open?

If you want more of Esther, the picture is linked to an obituary page for her, with many more fabulous pictures and info on her life and films - well worth a look.

Oh, and if you know any other trad published authors who are going OMO, please tell them to get in touch so we can hold hands through these treacherous indie waters!

Meanwhile I hope to keep you entertained with posts on all things old-fashioned and vintage. Friday's post will be about gloves. If you're yawning already, don't. I aim to make it riveting.


  1. Congratulations on going OMO. The word of indie is friendly, supportive and fun. I've had more than 40 books published by the traditional route and I'm loving the freedom and control I got from self publishing. I've been asked so many questions about it by other authors that I've set up a website called to provide at least some of the answers. Please let me know about any topics you think I should cover on it.

  2. Thanks for your reassuring and helpful comment Diana. I'm going to check out your site.