Connecticut Authors and Publishers

A Literary Community Learning from One Another

It is true that trade publishers and agents look down on self publishers. But guess what? I have realized on this journey with getting THE SMALLBORN published through CreateSpace that it was the right thing to do.

Did I give up too soon on sending out queries? Yes, but it hurts to bang your head against a wall, and after enough times you don't want to do it any more. Sending out a query letter that was never going to get a positive response was just that.

Problem 1: I didn't know how to write a really good query letter, and none of the advice I got was helping. It was contradictory and sometimes downright wrong.

Problem 2: I thought getting an agent would be the end of my work on the book, and I'd just begin the second book and move on. Wrong!

What have I learned? That getting a book out there involves getting yourself out there. Going to fairs, talking at libraries, getting the speech ready that I'm going to give to elementary school assemblies - those are the nitty-gritty of personality making.

The social network is going to help too, but it only works if people are looking for you for some reason. Why would they look for me? None of us are nobodies, but it's hard to stand out.  The quick way would be to become notorious, but most of us aren't going that route, ever!

My point is that if I had not gone ahead and published for myself, I would not be where I am now. I'm working on two websites, writing e-zine articles, going to fairs and book signings and becoming a public speaker on --drum roll please-- writing!

That's a long way from where I was this time last year. So, no, I'm not going to apologize because I self published. Nope!

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Comment by Heidi Schlatter on December 16, 2011 at 1:15pm

Very true! I found through taking an online course related to getting an agent and finally getting accepted by a "big" publisher, that the bottom line is that you MIGHT see your book in print in approx 3 yrs! AND you still have to do most of the marketing leg work for your book anyway - to net approx. 50 cents per book from sales. It also prevented me from choosing my own illustrator.

Why go through all that to potentially make them a lot of money?

Self publishing gives you the freedom to price as you want to, as well as maintaining rights to your own material. The only advantages I saw for not self publishing was that you did not need the upfront money for printing and you didn't have to worry about working out appropriate quantities to have on hand at any given time.

Personally, I think self publishing = self satisfaction.

You didn't give up too soon! Congratulations on your successes!

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