TO SELF-PUBLISH OR NOT?

It’s finally happened. You entered the final words of your narrative. Those brilliant notions of yours were written down for the world to see. You’ve put in a lot of time and effort to make sure that your ideas flow smoothly and that your distinct narrative voices come through. You were overjoyed and delighted, but also sad that you would be saying goodbye to the characters you had grown to love. Your narrative is nearing the end of its life span, and you’re frightened.

A well-known self-publishing company (vanity) didn’t do a thing for me when I self-published my book, A Little Boy Named Ray, a story of love, respect, and family values a decade ago. So, I took it to the next level. Readers’ Favorite’s James Ventrillo assisted me with the E-query letter, the summary, and the first few chapters of the sample chapters. The first day after he distributed it to literary agencies and publishers, I had five requests for my author biography, synopsis, and the first three chapters of my novel.

When a Washington, DC-based agency expressed an interest and requested a copy of my novel, I was taken aback. When I went to the post office and mailed the copy, I was thrilled, only to be disappointed a few days later when the agent wrote me this:

“We really liked your book, but unfortunately, we discovered that it has already been 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.”

Did self-publishing harm my chances of garnering a conventional publisher’s attention? Is it better to rework and resubmit it as a new book? Answer: I’m not sure. Self-published authors have a difficult time finding literary agents. However, I’ve heard that a few self-published authors have gone on to great success.

The Internet is our best friend. For writers like myself, there are other alternatives to the traditional publishing path. Being a self-published author may be the best thing that’s ever happened to you. As a result, we take on the role of publisher ourselves. Paying for marketing and public relations, as well as a news release, are all necessary components of this process. When you publish your own book, you have complete control over every part of it.

There is a wealth of knowledge available to us on the internet. It’s an excellent way to get started on something great. Finding a publisher for our work is a whole different matter. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for achieving our goals.

As such, here’s to us on our journey to discover our literary success.

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