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It is an amazing time to be a writer. When I was young(er), the publishing world had me by the throat. Find your story (but make sure it fit into the neatly defined categories set forth by the books sellers of the world). Then write it and ship it off to every literary agent worth their salt (but ONLY in the city of New York because they were the only ones that were said to “count”). Then pray that one of them would find you in their giant slush pile and agree to take you on. Then pray that he/she didn’t screw you in your contract. Then pray some more that said agent actually believed in your work enough to sell your work to a publisher over sparkling water and poached salmon. And finally, you got the word that you’d sold something… and started sacrificing teddy bears and Cheetos to the Book Store Gods to ensure your book sold enough to warrant getting a contract for a second book. And so on and so on. The only part that was in your control was the writing.

Today, with the rise of indie publishing, it’s a completely different world. Now, if you choose to go the path of an indie writer, your future is really in your own hands. And while this can be incredibly intimidating (okay, terrifying), it is also extremely liberating. A friend of mine recently published an AWESOME short in a genre that didn’t even exist ten years ago (zombie westerns). Check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Massacre-Lonesome-Ridge-Samantha-Warren-ebook/dp/B00IRJ4MBY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1399576383&sr=1-1&keywords=massacre+at+lonesome+ridge
Not only is the genre startlingly non-traditional, but it isn’t a traditional “novel” length piece either. Ten years ago, even five years ago, no traditional publishing house would have considered it. Heck, they probably still wouldn’t. But Ms. Warren is not only a brilliant entrepreneur, she’s an amazing writer. She makes it work. And that, my friends, is the truly amazing thing about this brave new world we find ourselves in as writers. We can forge our own path. Create our own genres. Live our dreams on OUR terms.

In June I’ll be publishing my first novel as an indie author. I’m equal parts terrified and thrilled. But the best part is that I don’t need anyone but me to make this happen. Well… okay, me and a bunch of supportive friends, family members, beta readers…

I’ve known my whole life what my special gift was. Now I can use it – without any “authority” telling me it’s not good enough. And that is the most amazing thing of all.

Illegitimi non carborundum!