If you're reading this blog, that means you have a dream. It entails the bringing of your beloved story (or stories) to the masses, and it looks a little bit like the next person's, and a little bit not.
Because it's your dream. You want to be published. Right?
We all look at the "being published" differently. For some, it's traditional all the way. For others, it's do-it-yourself indie. Some do a mixture of both.
Then there's the actual product. Some of us dream of gorgeous hardcover debuts. Others would be pleased as pie to have a trade paperback hit the shelves. And some dream of raking in the royalties on a digital release, without any paper fuss at all.
So today's question is: What does your dream product look like? How much does it matter to you HOW your book hits the world? Does it even matter at all?
Yes, of course I'll get all vulnerable and share my dream first.
I love books. Beautiful, hardcover, smells-so-good-I-want-to-lick-the-pages books, fresh from the store, are one of life's dearest treasures. I love the weight of them in my hands, the satisfying way my bookmark creeps slowly through their depth. I love the ink against the creamy pages. I love--LOVE--books.
And I want my debut to be like that. A real, honest-to-goodness hardcover with my name on it. Something to display on my bookshelves along with all my other hardcover treasures, so that I can look at it and think, "That ones's mine!" Something I can hand out to family members, their names lovingly scrawled on the cover pages.
When I think about it hard enough, my stomach does funny drop-things. For me, this is visceral.
I look at my latest sub list and see things that DON'T EXACTLY MATCH MY DREAM. This publisher does digital-only. That publisher starts with digital and moves to paperback. And this other publisher? I'm not even sure.
Yes, there are Big Five names on there, too, and of course they do gorgeous, real-as-can-be hardcovers. But they're moving with the times, too (or at least, they'd better be), so probably the real-as-can-be isn't a given there, either.
Where does this leave my dream?
Well, hmm. It leaves me asking myself this question: "How badly do you want people to READ YOUR STORIES?" Because, whether they're reading my debut novel on a Kindle or in paperback or as a gorgeoushardcover, the point is that they're READING MY NOVEL.
I know this is true. So why does it still bother me to think about letting go of my hardcover dream?
I don't have an answer. I want to hear from you. Because I know I'm not the only one who's in love with hardcovers (I buy them almost exclusively).
Share your dreams! And if you're completely unfettered by real-book-love, share your wisdom and insight.
So glad we're such a diverse and passionate bunch! I look forward to your comments.