TO SELF-PUBLISH OR NOT?

It finally happened!  You finished your story and typed in the last words. You took that wonderful idea of yours and put it down on paper. You’ve spent hours perfecting your work, making sure that your ideas flow smoothly and individual narrative voices begin to shine through. You were happy and excited, but sad because you are leaving the characters you’d come to love. Then you get scared because selling your story is near.

I self-published my book, A Boy Named Ray, story of love, respect and family values, through Outskirts Press – a self-publishing company last year, but they didn’t do a thing for me. So, I took it to the next level. With the help of James Ventrillo of Readers Favorite, he helped me create a compelling E-query letter, worked on my synopsis and created the sample chapters. Then he sent it out to literary agents and publishers, and on the first day, I received about five requests to send my author bio, synopsis and the first 3 chapters of the book.

I was so surprised when one agent based in Washington, DC immediately took interest and requested a full copy of my manuscript.  Just imagine my excitement when I went to the post office and mailed the copy only to be disappointed because a few days later, the agent emailed me this:

“We were really liking your book, but unfortunately, we discovered that it is already published.  We simply can’t accept self-published works since they are still too hard to sell to legitimate publishers.  This is slowly changing, but until publishers as a whole are more receptive, we have found that we don’t generally meet with success.”

So, did I hurt my chance of getting into a traditional publishing by self-publishing?  Should I revise it, add more chapters and resubmit as a new book?  The answer is — I don’t know.

In this day and age, internet is our best friend.  There are plenty of avenues exist for writers, like me, to see our work published outside the traditional route. This is the reason that I decided to find a literary agent to represent my book. But finding one that would consider a self-published author is not an easy task.

But I am not giving up.  The internet has so much information to help us. Writing or creating a book is a stepping stone to something wonderful.   Getting a publisher interested in our book is a whole other process. There is no set path that we must take to find success.

So, here’s to you and me in our quest to find our success in writing.

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