There are many writers who decide to publish their work independently for various reasons. Many are frustrated with the extended time it takes to propose traditional publishers. By the time the manuscript hits their desks, they read, and ask for more chapters only to reject it in the end, a good six months has passed. At least. In that same six months, an independent author could have the book edited, a professional cover completed, and hit the internet for sales. Many opt for the latter just for time constraints. I enjoy the process of self-publishing. I like creating my own covers. I had help on my latest, Kevin, and it was a joy to involve other talented individuals who understand your vision and want to help you realize it. I enjoy searching for the right images, I enjoy formatting and learning about fonts and which paper is best for the look I want inside the book, as well as out. Yes, it’s hard work. Yes, it’s frustrating and if you don’t want the hassle of doing any of that work yourself, then hiring a professional to do it for you is a great option. If traditional publishing is more your thing, being prepared for the many letters and emails you will receive is a must. Rejection is as much a part of that process as querying potential houses.
The rejection letters I have accumulated over the years have all taught me a thing or two. The form letters were not constructive, however, I have a few who took the time to give me pointers on what a traditional house would be looking for. Keep to their specific genre, edit carefully, take your time with the characters, etc. Initially, the letters stung. I took them to heart. I gave it a bit of time and after looking at them again, with more of an open mind and less swearing, they were actually useful. When I approached writing my first novel, I sat down and went through a more methodical plotting strategy. I went online and searched how other writers plot their stories. I watched videos, I bought novel-writing books and I researched how to edit. I downloaded editing software, I purchased a copyediting book, I wrote and re-wrote. I continue to research other ways on how to approach a novel. I structure things differently. I seek advice from other writers. I do all of this now, and never would have thought of doing any of it had I not been rejected. I value the opinions and I learn more everyday. It’s not a race, it’s a marathon and I learn something new with each book.
I’m preparing to write my third novel, the sequel to False Hope. I’m taking my time with it. I have storyboards in place and I will continue to read and write and work. The rejection letters are sitting beside my desk prepared to be read again. They’re not pleasant, but they remind me of how far I’ve come and how far I can go. Rejection is a natural part of any business, not just writing and accepting it as a tool for learning instead of a personal attack is far more beneficial. Take a look at those letters. Read them for what they are intended; as a guide and a tool, not as a means of sending you away. Good luck.
The wind is blowing a gale today and I’m feeling a little disheveled. My book is up and out and I’m now grappling with the idea that there are actual people out there in the great wide world who are reading my words. In a book. I wrote. I shake my head and try not to gauge reactions and try not to have thoughts of, “I wonder what they thought when this happened.”
Instead of obsessing on things I can’t control, I’m choosing to play with my dog and post random shit that I think will entertain the masses as much as it does me. You. Are. Welcome.
I’ve also been given the opportunity to observe the strange and irksome occurrencesaround me on a daily basis thatkeeps my mind busy and cause me to walkinto arbitrary walls. On purpose. Here are a few:
Old People Driving – I am NOT the old person I am referring to. I was cut off on the highway merge ramptoday,by an ‘old’lady driving her Honda CRV at 60kms an hour whorefused to go the obligatory 100kms an hour, almost causing an accident and causing me to swear profusely. Fun,wha?
No Shirt Sheila – Unfortunately, I was not privy to the shirtless woman wandering aimlessly around the mall, yesterday in her bra with a sweater tied around her waist whilst yelling into her phone, “I NEED MY LOTION BACK!” however, my niece and her daughters, and my daughter were witnesses to this craziness. Sad I missed it. AndGaawwdddDebby, give her the lotion BACK!
Irate complainers who complain about complaining – It’s a thing! I love it! No, really tell me more about how I piss you off when I fucking swear all of the fucking time, Goddammit. I love you,tho.
On a positive note, puppies are in the world so, there’s that.
My book is ready to drop in a few days. All I have left to do is hit the little ‘publish’ button but I’m feeling a tad squeamish. I get emails from authors who have self-published and want to sell me their guides on how to correctly publish my book. Is there a wrong way?!
Let’s face it everyone has a guide, a book, a best-practices manual, a notebook full of tips; I even watched a video of an author with a giant binder full of…stuff, and I just have a button and a book. What do I know? Apparently, nothing. After all, I don’t have a giant binder full of stuff.
It’s a scary leap to jump off that self-publishing cliff
with the world telling me I shouldn’t, I can’t, I-wouldn’t-do-it-if-I-were-you.
NOT WITH THAT ATTITUDE,
I’ve chosen to block out the negative vibes of, “Dumb
author thinks she can publish her book.
Pfft” and instead I am focusing on, “Dumb author thinks she
can publish her book! Yay!” There.
That’s more like it.
The mere fact that I traveled the journey to get to the spot
where I’m ready to publish, is a feat in itself. I wrote a whole book.
I waded through the self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy
that plagues every writer and human on the planet. I’m not over those feelings and hopefully,
never will be. They push me to be better
and to expect better from myself. I
think those feelings were the catalyst that pushed me to finish.
As the next few days unfold and I steady my finger over the
‘Publish now’ button, I’ll hold tight to the belief that I am worthy of pushing
that damned button.
All the while, I will allow my middle finger to wave freely at the world…and that binder full of ‘stuff’.