So You Wanna Be Famous …

Every Friday I post about the wide, wide wonderful world of writing (and all that goes along with it).  I’ve received a number of comments/questions asking about self publishing and why I chose to put The Caretakers out there myself.  Here’s your answers …
Truthfully, I didn’t really choose the self-publishing route so much as it chose me.
When my first book was completed I went the “traditional” route and queried a number of literary agents.  And most of the responses went something like this, “… I like the story idea … you write well … but I’m only taking on a limited number of projects and I’m not excited enough about this one to jump on board … but keep in mind that a no from me isn’t a no from the entire industry … good luck with your endeavors …”
I continued to query, unsuccessfully, for a few months and then I actually did get some advice from an agent that stuck.  
She told me that the publishing world is going through so many changes right now that its become increasingly difficult for a new author to convince an agent to take a chance on them.  With the emergence of eBooks (look at the sale numbers – the growth is killing the print industry), and the down turn in the economy (eBooks are cheaper, and libraries are seeing an increase in usage) it just isn’t as “easy” to get signed as is used to be.  Case in point, look at Borders – they aren’t gone because people have been rushing in and out buying the latest hard back, they are closed because people are not as quick to part with their cash for the printed word when they can get it delivered wirelessly for much less.  And then there’s the environmental cost of printing a book vs having it available in an e format.  That’s another reason why book stores are seeing their sales numbers decrease. 
Now admittedly, when I look back at some of my query letters, they were not as polished as they should have or could have been.  But, now that I’ve learned the ins and outs of file conversion and have started to understand the marketing that goes along with a book publishing, I honestly don’t think I’d change a thing even if I was given the chance.  And as of right now I am planning on continuing along this route for my next book – although, if a publishing house were to offer me a substantial advance that would be hard to turn down.
All in all, the self publishing route is great – but don’t be fooled into thinking it is easy.  There’s a lot to learn and it’s very easy to make mistakes along the way.  If it is something you really want to do then you need to do your research.  And you need to be up front with yourself about what you are hoping to gain from having your book published.  If it’s only about becoming the next Grisham, well, that’s not so easily done.  And it’s not enough to have your mom or best friend tell you that you write well.  That won’t get your book sold. 
Me, I’ve hired myself now as my publicist and it is HARD WORK.  I have my book out to twenty different reviewers right now and bottom line is, those reviews will make or break my selling success.  The first one is supposed to be up and posted on Saturday, August 13th.  Here’s the link if you want to check it out …For The Love of Books …wish me luck … and if you read The Caretakers, let me know what you think.  And, if you go the Indie route and put your book out there, let me know that too … just remember to edit, edit, edit!!
Happy writing … and or reading everyone.

25 Comments

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  2. Hi Shauna,

    Great article :) I wish you lots of luck!!! And let me know if you'd like another review….I'm always on the lookout for new authors to read.

    ps: I'm stopping in from the blog hop!

  3. Hi Shauna!
    Ok lol this follower stuff is crazy. I'm following you now. For mine: If the “follow” button isn't showing on my blog, you can still follow by clicking “Follow” on the top left side of the blog (the navigation bar). Thats it…geesh blogger :)

  4. Oh wow… what a wonderfully educational post! I originally stopped by to thank you for commenting and following Misadventures in Motherhood, but then I totally got sucked into this blog post!

    Ideally, I am hoping to parlay my blog stories, which are generally hysterical anecdotes about parenthood, into a book someday. I'm just not sure how to go about it. This is all great information!

    My daughter just woke up from her nap and is calling for me, so I have to run, but I'm going to be following you and checking back in later to see how everything is going with your book! I'd like to read a bit more about it too… maybe it would be something I'd be interested in reading or could recommend to a friend.

    Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, and stop back again sometime at Misadventures in Motherhood for some good chuckles! It's nice to meet you!

    Smiles, Jenn :-)

  5. Hi,
    Do you have Mozilla Firefox? My followers gadget works there but not on IE. Blogger is fixing the issue so if you have Mozilla, you can follow me there :) hope u have an awesome day!!

  6. Thank you so much for visiting my blog. This is a great post, and I have a friend of mine that just finished a book. She is in the editing phase now, but I will send her your post to get your perspective on the publishing phase of it. Thank you so much for sharing.

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