I sent off my queries 15 weeks ago to 11 agents and as of Wednesday night have received three responses, all of which were rejections. While I could wait another two months and maybe eke out someone interested, I’m taking my years of skills working with layout and design, graphic design, web management, social media and working with editors to spearhead this project, myself.
Among other benefits, I maintain complete control over all materials, ranging from the copy to the marketing and other visual aspects.
This 12-year process has been various levels of slog, rushing, waiting and learning. Most of all, I’m learning just to take each step, one day at a time. I stress less about how things are “supposed” to happen and focus more on making the most of each step as I face it.
For example, I’d love to publish for Christmas this year — Christmas is a good publishing time — but I also realize that it’s already Nov. 14 and I probably can’t realistically expect to have a final editor review, submit changes and work a final polish while also preparing self-publishing systems such as Ingram, which can often take several weeks to verify print layouts with their printing systems. I’ve used Amazon, which usually only takes a week or so, but I’m exploring other options for long-term viability.
Now that I’m striking out to self publish, I can also go live with my web site and social media. I was hesitant, previously, because I wasn’t sure how an agent might want to handle that side, but now it’s time to start and keep building, layer upon layer, of followers in order to build a solid audience. While the internet might sell “gain 100K followers overnight” all over Instagram, in reality, great audiences are built by starting early and being consistent!
The plan forward is to polish off the website / social media, get some final feedback on my previous editorial changes, work with a final editor and then prepare the book for the right print-on-demand and offset (mass) publishing solutions.
Thanks for joining me on my journey! Stick around, there’s a lot more to come!