I suppose one could say that I was lowering my expectations in my decision to self-publish. But I would beg to differ and here’s why.
I spent much time (about a year in fact) selecting, researching, writing individual letters to and awaiting replies from more than several agents, all of which, with the exception of one (my favourite), politely rejected me. The one that showed interested provided fantastic feedback, invited me to re-submit and then, no less than eight months later, politely rejected me. Add another mountainous wave on my uppy-downy emotional roller coaster ride.
Simultaneously, that little hammer inside my head, that clonks my skull on a monthly basis, reminding me that my savings are not infinite, begins to be a little louder and more painful. I gave up my job to do this after all… where is my conviction now?
Then along came a provider who talked me through the process in a magical way. Perfect timing, I think I said. I liked what he told me and it made total sense. With every question I put forward, the answer was educated and enigmatic. Maybe I was being pulled in… but I don’t think so.
I was always under the impression that self-publishing was only for those whose book was not good enough for the trad-pub market. Now though, I see it as a stepping stone. I haven’t given up on finding an agent and still want one (any of you reading this?). My thinking is that I if self-publish very well indeed, then one might not be able to even tell the difference.
This is a tough challenge seeing as I’m a beginner in this whole process. But it doesn’t mean to say that it’s not possible. With expert guidance, I can now get help with:
- – finding a professional proof-reader and copy editor;
- – designing my book cover;
- – printing a physical paper back;
- – converting the script to a perfectly downloadable ebook;
- – learning how to market and publicise my book;
- – understanding my new ‘brand’;
- – choosing a suitable, international typeset.
Yes, it costs money and I’m adding this to what I have already spent on mentorship and advice. BUT, I am positive that I can at least break-even on book sales, collect some good reviews, and create at least a tiny bit if ‘hype’ around my novel. Now then, isn’t that just the ticket, if I can then create a new bucket list of agents and send them the novel with all that attention? Some of their work is already done. Plus – if I can get my second book started in the meantime, this could, just could be a cherry/cake situation.
So then, settling for second best? I think probably not – more like opening doors.