I spent probably two years listening to various podcasts and dreaming of what my own podcast would look like. When the pandemic forced us all to slow down and stay at home, I developed a plan to create a true crime podcast, using my creative and marketing skills plus all the great information I had picked up from consuming the medium. That podcast now receives at least 500 downloads per episode within a week of going live and the numbers only continue to grow.
In today’s world, creatives don’t need permission to put our work out into the world—we only need the savvy to market it and spread the word. Because of this, I think I’ve finally come to the realization that I don’t need permission from anyone to release my other creative projects. I’ve written three novels—two are young adult and the other is middle grade fiction. I am outlining an idea for a thriller/suspense novel. One YA novel is very close to being ready for publication—it’s been professionally edited a few different times and had beta readers.
While I haven’t seen interest from any agents, I no longer feel the need to wait for that interest. I’m a successful writer and editor in my mid-40s who believes she has something to offer readers. For example, a few years ago I wrote short story called “Monster in the Woods.” I workshopped the story and submitted it to a few different contests and literary journals. I couldn’t find it a home. Then this past October, I got the idea to produce it as a bonus episode of my podcast, “Missing in the Carolinas,” because the story was based on a real-life murder that occurred in Oklahoma. I narrated the story, used spooky music, had my daughter help me voice one of the characters and now the episode has received more than 1,000 downloads. If I hadn’t produced it, the story would still be sitting on my hard drive. I am proud that it entertained so many people in audio form.
I’ve helped spread the word of plenty of indie authors over the years who produced solid books but couldn’t attract the attention of traditional agents and publishers. Does that mean their work didn’t deserve to be read? No way. Why have I won writing awards for both non-fiction and fiction and produced 28 episodes of a true crime podcast but don’t’ have any of my books published? Is it because I don’t deserve it? I don’t think so.
My plan is to take the book that is in the best shape, a young adult novel titled “Between,” and use a crowdsourcing platform to raise enough money so I can hybrid publish. That model currently appeals to me as the best of both words, and in the meantime, I can continue working on other manuscripts that need more work and plug away at the podcast (while continuing to work my day job to support these creative endeavors). Have you self-published or used a hybrid publishing model? What are your thoughts on taking creative control of your own writing projects?
Have you ever taken control of your own creative work? I'd love to hear your experiences!