Opportunity knocks…

Today I heard a radio interview with popular Australian bush-fiction writer, Rachael Treasure. In the course of the interview she mentioned writing lyrics for a proposed album by a country music band. And I thought on the variation she has introduced into her writing life. To me it sounded quite unique for a traditionally published writer.

There seems to be an assumption that if one is indie, one has far greater freedom to expand one’s brand… far more than if one is tied to one agent and one publisher.  I thought on my own writer’s journey and wondered if mine was better of worse in terms of variation.

Firstly there’s the dual-genre aspect.  If I were tied to a mainstream publisher, it is said that I would not be permitted, under the terms of my contract, to write in other genres unless I had a pseudonym. One of the things that indies often choose to do is write any number of genres. It’s what I am doing. I write fantasy and historical fiction and the latter will be published under my existing name. My brand is Prue Batten. That’s it. Short and sweet.

Secondly I am in a creative partnership with www.bopress.miniaturebooks.com The studio takes occasional influence from my works and creates miniature pieces or else I write fictional text for tiny novels. It’s a unique partnership and one I’m really proud of and which I thoroughly enjoy. Again my part in the exercise is as Prue Batten… my brand.

Thirdly I’ve most recently been a part of #A4T, the Austen Project where fifty writers, published and unpublished, all put their tweets together to write an Austenesque novel on Twitter. I am guessing that I may have been prevented from doing this by an agent because it would not have added noticably to my brand because my name may not be mentioned.

Fourthly, and I can’t expand on this because there is a publicity embargo till November, I have taken on a real challenge in another type of media entirely. All due to writing. A wonderful opportunity and FUN.

Fifthly, and also with a publicity embargo until November, another writing opportunity and one that springs most directly from being an indie. One that I am honoured to be a part of.

And finally, if I ever get to the point where A Thousand Glass Flowers actually arrives in their in-box (My fault, I’m guessing. Life takes a turn) part of the expanding list of MWiDP, a new digital press that makes no bones about throwing down the glove in the face of BIG competition. Again, the chance would never have arisen if I hadn’t been an indie.

Now I could continue with all the information about better practical freedoms, better financial returns… but all that is done so much more succinctly by other high profile bloggers. Suffice to say that I’m getting out far more than I put in in terms of the immeasurables like opportunity, friendships and experiences. Every day I wake and open the inbox, I never know quite what exciting opportunity will be next. It’s amazingly uplifting and liberating.

Apart from movie rights, does that happen in the traditional publishing field I wonder? Any mainstream writers wish to comment?