I have books out under other pen names, and as a general rule I don't talk about any of them (SEKRIT PEN NAMES!!!)

Unfortunately as Amy Z. Chan, it may be a while before I get a book out because Amy Z. Chan is attempting to go the traditional publishing route, which may take years.

(And the rest below is probably only of interest to other authors and people in the book industry).

But Amy, if you're a successful indie, why are you attempting traditional publishing?

There was a quote in this article titled "Everyone's a Sell-out" about the nature of being a self-sustaining creative in an age of branding, social-media and self-promotion. "You're getting worse at [your art], but you're becoming a great marketer for a product which is less and less good." My books were selling but I was not enjoying writing so fast  (3-4 books a year!), and I was starting not to like what I was writing because for me, speed ended up replacing quality. I realized I liked writing more slowly, thinking about what I was writing, letting it sit, and then going back and rewriting. So for now, my answer is to wander off the indie path for a little while, and try trad (where 1-2 books a year is more do-able).

Also, I think I'd like to write YA. And YA is an entirely different ballgame than adult fiction. A good chunk of YA sales are to schools and libraries who (understandably so) have gatekeepers that traditional publishing works better with.

But Amy, I am/know of an indie author who has successfully sold to schools and libraries!

Yes, I know those people too! And while I give them all the kudos, hand selling to individual institutions, was never my style of indie. My indie pen names are all about the pay-per-click ads and chasing algos, which frankly gets tiring. I got tired of spending the equivalent of a nice car on pay-per-click ads every year (yes it was profitable, but wildly unpredictable; everyone loves to show off the screenshots where they got a 3x-5x return on ads, but nobody likes to show you how they did the same thing the following months and got only a 2x or broke even).

I see YA and going for traditional publishing as a way of diversifying my author business and bringing on new partners invested in my success. (Yes, I hear you scarred-by-trad-pub-turned-indie authors laughing in the back!)

Unfortunately, the drawback for traditional publishing is how long it takes. 

Do you know how long it takes to get a book traditionally published? YEARS.

So who knows, in a few months I may just get impatient and decide to do it all on my own.

Check back and find out!

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