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 shine through. You were happy and excited, but sad because you are leaving the characters you loved. Then you get scared because selling your story is near.
I self-published my book, A Boy Named Ray (I recently changed the title to A Ray of Sunshine), a story of love, respect and family values, through Outskirts Press—a self-publishing company, 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. He sent it out to literary agents and publishers, and on the first day, I received about five request to send my author bio, synopsis and the first 3 chapters of the book.
It surprised me when one agent based in Washington, DC took an 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 (changing nothing):
“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. Finding a literary agent that would consider a self-published author is not an easy task. But I heard that several self-published authors have now become monumental success stories.
Internet is our best friend. There are plenty of avenues exist for writers, like me, to see our work published outside the traditional route. Becoming a self-published author might be the best thing. We become our own publisher. That means hiring editors, paying for marketing and promotion, even a press release. Self-published authors have total control over every aspect of publication.
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 work is a whole other process. There is no set path we must take to find success.
So, here’s to you and me in our quest to find our success in writing.