Why Self-Publish? (AKA Book Update No. 1)

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. As a child, books were my escape and their authors were my tour guides. I respected a writer’s ability to create an entire alternate universe using just their words. I read voraciously and wrote tentatively. Now, in the thick of motherhood, when given the opportunity to escape for a half an hour, writing is my outlet of choice. Over the last few years and amidst diaper changes and nap times, I’ve had the chance to develop a couple manuscripts, ones that I love and (although it’s scary to say) believe should be books.

So, by adding up -ohhhh, maybe – twenty-four nap times, I was able to send out hundreds of query letters to agents and publishers alike. For those of you who don’t know what a query letter is, it’s a letter sent in order to pique interest in your manuscript by supplying a short summary and other facts about your work/genre/competition. Within just a few days, I had garnered the attention of a publisher who had been in the business for over forty years. I was ecstatic! We spoke on the phone several times, and he informed me he wouldn’t be able to act immediately because his project queue was full. With one project.

After some deliberation, I realized as honored as I was, this was not going to be my route to publication. So, I kept sending out letters. And more letters. With every rejection letter or complete ignore I received, my resolve was chipped away just a tiny bit. So, I decided to try something else. I attended the AWP Conference in hopes of networking and educating myself more on the publishing process. Thus, I found a company that seemed to understand my mission and printed beautiful books. Only catch was, it was a self-publishing company.

I did some research over the next several months and took no action other than sending a lot of questions via e-mail to said company. They were patient and kind. I never stopped sending query letters. Finally, I had had enough.

I weighed my options – Do I keep banging my head against my desk, sending out letters to nameless, faceless e-mail addresses who could care less about my work? Or do I take matters into my own hands and produce a book to my exact liking? Sure, it can get costly, but if done correctly and with the right book, what’s stopping us? After all, these days what sets books apart is their quality; whether they are self-published or not makes little difference.

So, I decided to do it. I took matters into my own hands and have been having a (stressful) blast ever since. It’s a lot of work. And I’ve had to do a lot of research. I’ve attended one other convention, read infinite amounts of marketing data, and researched countless children’s books. I’ve networked. I’ve started sharing the news. I’ve had countless sleepless nights (and that’s not just because of my infant). But I’m excited. No, I’m jumping out of my skin! I can’t wait to introduce readers to “A Man and His Books,” and to share the rest of this journey with you! 🙂 Thanks for reading.


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