Saturday, March 15, 2014

Plug in Your Car, the Moat is Dry!

Article Posted by Michelle Griep for MaryLu Tyndall

I apologize for the mixed historical reference, but hey, it’s the age of the hybrid author, and I, for one, am very excited. A hybrid author is a writer, who much like the Prius of today, runs on both gas (published with a traditional publisher) and on super-charged electricity (a.k.a. writing and self-publishing anything they want!).  Like the Prius, the hybrid author doesn’t need as much gas to get where he or she is going. In fact, in some cases, they don’t need any gas at all!

But where are they going? To the castle of publishing, of course. A glorious castle, that up until a few years ago could only be seen from a distance, all sparkly and bright, like some heavenly city set upon a hill. Around that castle there has always been a moat filled with sludge and gigantic reptiles whose job it is to chomp an author’s career in half should they try to cross. There were—and still are, of course—a few bridges over this dangerous moat, well-guarded by the trolls of agents and publishers, who only allow a few worthy souls to cross. These particular favored authors possessed the secret passwords of talent, skill, great plots and characters, but also more importantly, they wrote stories agents and publishers deemed marketable and acceptable. If the author could not produce the passwords of marketability, acceptability, an established platform, and an abundance of Facebook and Twitter friends, then the trolls barricaded their way.

Before I continue, let me say that I love my publisher and my agent. They have been wonderful to me and have given me opportunities I never would have had otherwise. So when I refer to them as trolls, it is only in the metaphorical sense, not in a demeaning way. But let’s face it, they have been the gatekeepers for years!

Now, a new age has dawned. The moat has dried up. The reptiles have died. Authors who once had been forbidden entrance into the castle, are storming the gates in droves. I am one of those fortunate authors. Yes, I have already been inside the castle. I have already been allowed to cross the moat. Fourteen times, in fact! But I also have other stories dying to be told, stories the trolls would not accept. For years I feared I would never be able to put those stories into writing and get them to the castle. Then everything changed. The floodgates have been opened and the market is filling up with all kinds of books: fantasies, mysteries, pirates, mermaids, dystopians, thrillers, spiritual warfare—something for everyone. Readers have so many more choices, and authors can finally write the stories burning on their hearts. Does it mean there are poorly written books out there? Absolutely. But isn’t that what freedom is all about? What the free market is all about? Give the consumer choices and let them decide what is worth purchasing!

So here I am, publishing my very first selfie, The Ransom, a historical romance novel that I assure you isn’t like anything you’ll find in the traditional CBA market. I’ve had a bit of a learning curve trying to navigate the moat. A few times I got stuck in the mud. But once I charged my Prius up again, I was good to go! I hope you’ll join me in celebrating as I storm the castle gates with a huge smile on my face and a book in my hand I’m sure you’ll love.

Will I ever cross one of the bridges again? I hope so. I really enjoyed the other times I’ve been permitted across. Should you pass by that way, you’ll see the trolls still standing there doing their job and doing it effectively.  They serve a purpose and they are paid by the King, so don’t forget to smile as you pass by. You might even give them a hug. Because, let’s face it, trolls need love too.

Best-selling author, MaryLu Tyndall dreamt of pirates and sea-faring adventures during her childhood days on Florida's Coast. With more than fourteen books published, she makes no excuses for the deeply spiritual themes embedded within her romantic adventures. Her hope is that readers will not only be entertained but will be brought closer to the Creator who loves them beyond measure. In a culture that accepts the occult, wizards, zombies, and vampires without batting an eye, MaryLu hopes to show the awesome present and powerful acts of God in a dying world. A Christy award nominee, MaryLu makes her home with her husband, six children, and several stray cats on the California coast.

10 comments:

Ron Estrada said...

Great post, MaryLu. I don't recall the first time an established trad published author advised that I consider self-publishing, but I know it was a shock. Now it's become commonplace. Both published and non-published authors are testing those waters. What an incredible time to be a writer!

Ane Mulligan said...

But what does the parrot think of this Hybrid adventure? ;o)

MaryLu Tyndall said...

Thanks Ron.. yes.. we authors live in an exciting time! An' me parrot be havin' a squakin' good time, Ane! He always does! :-)

R Merr said...

I agree that those of us who put the money in and support those trolls also want a wee bit of freedom to use our gold for what we want. I read recently an author trying to decide which "theme" she was going to follow that the publisher recommended. I had no idea that the publishers requested what they wanted from the authors. Kinda sounds like putting a brain in a vice. Interesting.

chaplaindebbie said...

MaryLu, you have my total support in self-publishing! You are a great writer who has such wonderful ideas inside just waiting to be unleashed! The Ransom is your best novel by far and I can't wait for future works of art written by my favorite author! (Did I lay it on too thick? Too bad, it's all true, my friend!) Hugs and God bless!

Teresa Mathews said...

Amazing post Cap'n, I am so glad you made it to the Castle I can't imagine my life without the blessing of your books! I am so glad you are still storming those Castle Gates and have flung them wide open with your latest book THE RANSOM!! I want you to know no matter how you get inside that Castle I will be cheering you on and Cap'n I have been told I have a very LOUD mouth!! :-)

Melody said...

In my wee little mind I would have thought the trolls would be working for the author, not the other way around. To be assigned what to write...when the writting is from your heart..., that would be like be cooking all healthy veggies when I really wanted to just bake - I couldn't do it! I'm tickled that you're willing to 'walk the plank' for the right reasons!

bonton said...

Congrats, MaryLu!!

I agree with your decision, totally!! Praying for blessings on ALL your novels, self-published or not - many people inspired by them, peace, and success beyond your wildest imagination!!

MaryLu Tyndall said...

Thanks for dropping by everyone! Yes, it is a bit of a shock to discover that many authors don't get to write what they truly want to write... unless of course they are BEST-sellers.. but the rest of us must propose stories our publisher suggests and write things they believe will sell well. I understand their reasoning.. I really do, but it's nice to be able to find another way into the castle and still write the stories God puts on my heart! The best of both worlds! Thanks for all your kind words.

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Yay for authors writing things that might not fit! I think your pirates and my Vikings would get along well, MaryLu! Grin. All the best to you and I know that you are an incredibly beloved author, no matter WHAT you choose to write.