This post will share my ambition to traditionally publish and why that dream has changed to wanting to be an indie author.
The Traditional Author Dream
For years my dream was to be a published author. From the moment I realised someone wrote the story I was reading, I wanted to be that someone.
Back then, the only way to publish was to look inside a similar book for the contact details of the publisher and send your manuscript to them with a covering letter in the post.
Since then, things have changed. Many publishers won’t accept unsolicited manuscripts so you first need to get a Literary Agent. Most places won’t accept manuscripts by post so you now must send the document by email or using a form on their website. Their websites inform you of everything they want and don’t want. Most places now want:
- A polished manuscript
- A personalised covering letter (body of email) saying why you choose them
- A synopsis (that fits on one page)
- Comparative novels
- A pitch
- A marketing plan
- And social media links.
Sounds like a lot! And often you need a good pitch to even get invited to send all that to them in the first place.
That’s not to add that rejection is high.
The Different Publishing Paths
As a result, it is no surprise that people have come up with solutions to this madness. One alternative method is to self publish and another is vanity publishing.
Here is a little info graphic on the basic differences between the different paths for novel publishing (from my interpretation):
Vanity Publishing is not for me. I don’t have the upfront costs and I want more control.
Traditional Publishing is no longer for me. I have a lot of admiration for people that are fortunate enough to get their Literary Agent and publisher. It instantly gives their novel validation that it is good enough to print. And, you know that it will have been processed by a number of industry professionals before going to print. But, I’m bored of querying.
Ready to publish
I have waited long enough and now I realise I don’t need someone else to say yes when I can give myself permission to publish today.
In recent years, the only requests I have had have been from ‘publishers’ I don’t trust. They requested my novel after a pitch event or via Instagram. Their websites were newly created and had no details about authors or books they have worked on/with or even who the agents or editors at the company are. I passed.
It has taken me years to find the money to pay for an editor myself. I need to pay as you go. I also like the idea that the sales will go to me.
After all the time I have put into it, I want my novel to be the way I want it. I want a say over the formatting and the cover. I want control.
I don’t want this to be my only novel. It is important that my novel is a quality product. I want to be confident and proud of my book. I want readers to enjoy it and want more. Once I publish, I don’t want to stop.
Self publishing is scary. But, I’m ready. And, I hope you will enjoy following me in my journey to publication.
If you enjoyed this you will like:
Seven tips for querying agents
Felixstowe Book Festival – The Publishing Industry
Writers beware! Know who you are querying.
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