Posted by: Trisha Leigh | May 3, 2012

I’m Excited. I’m Scared. I Love You Guys.

“I’ve got that excited scared feeling, where it’s like your 2% excited and 98% scared. Or maybe it’s 98% excited and 2% scared, but that’s what makes it so intense!”

It’s name that quote time!

Winner gets a copy of Kody Keplinger’s super fun contemporary YA, Shut Out. Because I’m nice like that. Also I have an extra.

What made me choose that quote, you ask? I’ll tell you.

*deep breath*

I’ve decided to self-publish my post-apocalyptic YA series, The Last Year.

This is a big decision, but one that I’m exited/scared to take on in the coming months. Since there is much discussion in publishing these days about going it alone versus waiting for a traditional deal from the Big Six, I thought I’d come right out and share the reasons I made this decision (and the reasons I didn’t).

So here you go.

Reasons I’m self-publishing The Last Year

  • Readers are hungry for more dystopian/post-apocalyptic in the wake of The Hunger Games. Sometimes it’s hard to remember, since I’m kind of immersed in publishing, but many people are discovering those books for the first time and searching for similar titles. It just so happens I have a story to share.
  • That said, even if I signed with an agent tomorrow, he or she wouldn’t be able to sell The Last Year in New York. Big Six publishing is already working on titles for 2014, when they expect the dystopian craze lit by the popularity of Hunger Games (etal) to have died out.
  • The manuscripts I’ve written since I began The Last Year are vastly different in tone, content, and genre. If I signed with an agent for one of my historical fantasy YA’s, they likely would have no interest in these books
  • Which means if I don’t self-publish this series, it will gather dust on my hard drive, perhaps forever. Sure, there’s a chance in ten or fifteen or twenty years New York will be hungry for post-apocalyptic manuscripts again, but there’s no guarantee. Which leads me to my last, and most important, reason…
  • I love this story. It pains me to think these characters will be relegated to silence, for no one to get to know them and their tale as I have. I want to share them with you, and with whoever wants the chance to read them. I’ve shelved plenty of novels over the past five years, but none of the others sadden me.

NOT Reasons I’m self-publishing The Last Year

  • I’m angry about not finding another agent after firing mine a year ago.
  • I don’t think I’m “good enough” to get an agent/book deal.
  • I want to “stick it” to the establishment, or traditional publishing, by selling a gabillion copies and then flipping them the bird when they inevitably come knocking.
  • I’m giving up on traditional publishing, or querying, or one day working with an agent to establish and build a long term career.

So there you go. As I said, I’m still planning to pursue traditional publishing for my current projects. My Historical-New Orleans-Voodoo-Zombie-Pirate novel should be ready to query by the end of the summer.


It’s been a whirlwind since I made this decision. I’ve hired a cover designer, who has created an amazing concept for all 4 novels that I cannot wait to share with you – hopefully very soon.

Some of the priceless contacts I’ve made within the publishing community over the past years gave recommendations for four editors with impressive backgrounds, and making a choice was terribly hard. That said, I’m so pleased with the decision I’ve made, and can’t wait to see my books grow through her developmental and line edits.

I’ve got a copyeditor and proofreader on board.

I’ve got my friend Denise Swank, who has taken Amazon by storm with her self-published novels over the past 9 months, and she’s going to be a priceless resource – she already has been.

I plan to publish all four books in The Last Year series between July and January.

Yes, I’m crazy, but it’s not like that was a disputed fact before I made this announcement.

The first installment, Whispers in Autumn, will be available on July 24, 2012.

To all of you – friends inside publishing and those who aren’t, along with my precious family – I could not have made this decision or come this far without your support. Most of all, I’m excited to share some of my stories with you.

Whispers in Autumn is up on Goodreads, with a summary, if you would like to add it.



  1. *jumps up and down with pom poms* YAY!! That’s wonderful news, Trisha! I can’t wait to read them! It looks like you’re doing the self-pub thing for all the right reasons. 🙂

    • Thank you, Jen! Your friendship and support mean so much.

  2. I won’t dispute the crazy 😉 But we’re all writers here, so I think that’s a given.

    Good luck! I can’t wait to read them =)

    • True, true. Thanks for being excited with me!!

  3. “I want to “stick it” to the establishment, or traditional publishing, by selling a gabillion copies and then flipping them the bird when they inevitably come knocking.” <— Lie 🙂

  4. So COOL! All your reasons for self-publishing this series are exceedingly sound one. Can’t wait to read it! 🙂

    • Thank you, Linda! Your support is priceless.

  5. That’s wonderful news! Congratulations!

    • Thank you!! It’ll be an adventure!

  6. Sounds so clever and well thought out. Proud of you!

    • Let’s hope it turns out to be a good decision. Thanks 🙂

  7. You know I could NOT be more excited for you. I 100% believe in you and your talent! I can’t WAIT to read them. Also, the quote is from Armageddon. 🙂

    • You are the first person to get the quote! The book is yours. 🙂 (and thanks! <3)

  8. OMG, OMG, *bounces* I am SO excited! I read your Heartstrings story and it’s one of my all time favorite books so I cannot wait to get my greedy little hands on an entire Trisha Leigh series. I am so happy for you! Can’t wait to see the covers 🙂

    • Thank you for reading, Patty, and for being such a fantastic cheerleader.

  9. SO excited for you, Trisha! This project sounds fabulous, and I can’t WAIT to read them. (Still super excited about the New Orleans voo-doo awesomeness, too!) You’re a rock star. A brave, crazy rock star. ❤

    • I’ll take brave and crazy if it goes with rock star. Thanks for being such a good friend, Claire.

  10. YES! Congrats! Can’t wait to read it!

    • Thank you, Anne. We’re both on exciting paths!

  11. Got here through a link from @byobrooks on twitter. Congratulations! I absolutely love books and publishing, and I am always on the lookout for a blog to follow of someone who is self-publishing for all the right reasons, and with a lot of industry knowledge behind it.

    Good luck with your journey! I’ll be following.

    • Oh that Brooks. He’s such a clever man. I plan to be as frank as possible with the whole process, so we’ll see what happens. Thanks for the comment!

  12. Wow, what a huge decision! So excited for you. I’ll be following your journey closely. Good luck!

    • Thank you! It took me a long time to get here, but I’m pretty pleased with the choices I’ve made. It’s sure to be an adventure!

  13. Congratulations!

    I made the decision to self-publish last year and I’ve not once regretted it. It’s a tough choice to make, but I love your approach. Your reasons are sound in my book.

    Very excited to have you see your baby go out into the world!

    Best of luck!

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence from the mouth of experience! I’m sure it will be an adventure, but I plan to give it all I’ve got.

  14. That’s so exciting!!!! If you don’t mind sharing, I’d love to know who you’re working with for your cover design–I’ve been searching for someone to hire for a long time, but I can’t seem to find the right one!

    Good luck with your books!!!

    • I have a page for resources for self-published authors. (Although at the moment, it doesn’t have a tab on my website.) There are several cover designers listed, most recommended by clients. I list how I got their name. This page also lists editors and other professionals.

      I have three series and three different cover artists. Each series has a different tone and I’ve found that cover ARTISTS usually have a tone to their work so one artist wasn’t a good fit for all my books.

    • Thank you! I’d be happy to email you my cover designers name – or you can follow the link in Denise’s comment, we’ve both used her.

  15. Congrats! That’s so exciting! If you don’t mind sharing, who are you working with for your cover design? I’ve been hunting fo a cover artist for a while, to no avail, and I’m always looking for recommendations from happy authors.

    Good luck with your books! I can’t wait to read them 🙂

  16. Oh! And the quote is from Armageddon…Owen Wilson’s character. No clue what his name is. LOL.

  17. hooray!! I wish you the best of luck with your career. it’s scary, but I’m glad you’re also excited!

    • Thanks, Ashelynn. I hope you’ll review it when the time comes.

  18. I’ve been seriously considering going this route with one of my series, also — I’m going to try a few small presses first, though, and then see how things shake out, just because the back-end of putting out a book is something I don’t REALLY want to have to go through alone. I admire you for taking this on and I’ll be watching your process for pointers when/if I end up following in your footsteps!

    • It’s a rough decision to make, and honestly, it took me a long time to decide it’s the right path for me. I plan to be forthcoming about my entire experience on the blog, so come back by!

  19. Trisha, you know how happy and excited I am for you!!!

  20. Go you! All your reasons make perfect sense and I can’t wait to read this series!

    You’ve got a fan in me. Love you.

    • Please throw your bra at me at some point. That’s all I ask.

  21. Congratulations, I can’t wait to read it! It sounds amazing! 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I’m glad it sparks your interest!

  22. Quote from Armageddon? That’s my guess!

    • I totally added your novel on Goodreads as well. That was one of the best arguments for self-publishing that I’ve seen. It totally makes sense to publish while the metaphorical iron is ‘catching fire.’

      • The quote IS from Armageddon! One of the worst best movies ever made, lol. Thank you for the comment – I hope everything works out for the best. And thanks for the add on Goodreads!

  23. Congratulations on this huge decision! I look forward to reading your The Last Year Series. As for the quote Google told me Armegeddon and the character Oscar, played by Owen Wilson, said it.
    Congrats again!
    ;0) Deven

    • Thanks so much, I hope you enjoy the books when you get to read them!

  24. Right there with ya. I’m going to self publish a short story collection as soon as I get it polished for all of the reasons you listed. And yes, it makes me feel vomity, too

    • We shall be vomity together. That’s the best way to do it. Thank you for your vote of confidence, and also for your friendship/support these last couple of years. It means a lot. #GoBraves

  25. Trisha, excellent reasons for self-publishing and I’m so happy to hear you’ve decided to take this step. You won’t regret it, believe me. Now hang onto your hat, because you’re in for the ride of your life.t

  26. It was wonderful to read your reasons for self-publishing and find that they aren’t so different from mine. I am publishing my YA fantasy June 29, 2012, and it is exciting and scary, but, like you, these characters and this series just didn’t accept being relegated to a hard drive. So even though I never thought I would go this route, it is amazingly empowering to work hard and see it through and allow whatever happens to happen.

  27. I am so excited for you, I can’t wait to read them!! yay!! I hope you stick it to them and sell a Gabillion!

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