Someone asked me the other day if I was still going to look for an agent and publish through conventional means if I had the chance.
Really, my answer is probably, but not if I have to spend a lot of time doing the things other than writing.
I wouldn't mind if I was asked to do interviews and book signings, although I've been through the "seeking fame" route in another career, what I really mean is that i'm not going to spend hours and hours trying to find an agent, hassling with them, then rewriting my stuff because someone thinks "this is what it needs to sell". At least not without money up front.
I write because I like to write.
At some point I lost sight of that and started writing to get published, which is a completely different concept.
I wrote Junebug and the Body, which I am still waiting for a cover to publish, because I liked the characters and the story, and the time in which it was set. In 1974 I was about the same age as Junebug and Joe Ben, and the town which I consider my home town, Natchitoches, Louisiana, was a lot like St. John, the fictional town in the Junebug series. As a matter of fact, when the boys enter the drugstore to get ice cream cones I'm describing one I used to visit when I was a kid.
At one point, an agent asked me to rewrite it and set it modern day. Use video games, a lot more television, and make them modern kids.
I actually did that, and cut the size of the story down a lot. Unfortunately, the story lost its soul , so the version I am publishing is back to being set in 1974.
So…I went all the way around the bush to get to this: Why self publish? Because I can write what I like and how I like. If it doesn't sell…well…I may try something different on the next one, but at least I only have myself to blame.
Oh, and Agents…feel free to contact me, info on how is on the home page. I'm still willing to be a fabulously wealthy and famous writer, but I'm not going to spend hours sending out cold call letters any more.
I'll still have time for you if you contact me.