I stared at the unopened email in my inbox and held my breath. It was from one of the literary agents I had approached to represent me towards the publication of my first novel and I dared myself to be hopeful. I was on a precarious journey to become a published author and I had received five rejections so far. Could this be The One? If you’ve ever held a dream closely in your heart, you’ll know how distressing the jangle of anticipation can be.
At the time I didn’t know much about the publishing world, but I had heard about self-publishing and I thought it made a lot of sense. Very few writers get to be ordained as “Traditionally Published Authors” these days and everybody, it seems, is writing a book. The competition for traditional publishing contracts is fierce, and literary agents have become the gate-keepers to the traditional publishing world. If you can’t land an agent, you can’t land a traditional contract. Even if you DO land an agent, there’s no guarantee you are going to also land a publishing contract.
With five rejections under my belt, I was starting to look into self-publishing. If you are standing at the confusing crossroads of publishing right now, you might like to check out some of the resources I’ve found to help my clients, so you can make the best decision possible for your book:
- Writer’s Relief offers a superb collection of information related to self-publishing and this group also seems to understand some of the challenges authors face in navigating the tricky traditional/self-publishing divide. Their resources are worth a review.
- Many of my clients dream of becoming part of the stable of authors represented by traditional publishing company Hay House, and they feel their chances of graduating to the Hay House book shelf are better if they self-publish with the company’s daughter company, Balboa Press. Balboa offers some helpful information on publishing and marketing, as well, that’s worth reviewing.
- The Alliance of Independent Authors has a terrific storehouse of information on publishing and marketing.
- Infinity Publishing has developed a 100-page guide to self-publishing that also provides plenty of good information about the topic.
- Publishing expert Jane Friedman offers some excellent resources around self-publishing. She has spent years in the publishing field and she has some solid perspectives around book writing and marketing, as well.
The literary agent whose email set my heart pounding that day did reject my manuscript, I’m afraid. But I eventually ended up with a traditional publishing contract, even so. Wherever you are in your publishing journey, take heart. The more you learn, the better a decision you can make for you future. And, if you would like some assistance with the editing of your manuscript, let’s chat to see if I might be a good fit for your project.