The Decision

About the time I finished Demon’s Heart, I began working on another, unrelated novel. I had been researching agents and publishers and query letters and all those wonderful mysteries of the publishing world, and I wasn’t at all confident that anyone would pick my work up to be published. I also really didn’t want to field all those rejection letters that inevitably come raining down on the aspiring author. At the same time, I wasn’t convinced that self-publishing was the way to go for me for a host of reasons that I will cover in another post.

So I made myself a deal. I would put myself out there, query some agents and publishing companies, and see if I could sell Demon’s Heart. If I had not been successful by the time I had finished up my other novel, I would self-publish my second novel and see if I had any success with it. Either way, I would be published, and I could those terrible rejection letters with the firm knowledge that they would not forever close off the possibility of getting published.

Long story short, I sold my book to the fabulous Cedar Fort Publishing, and here we are. It’s been interesting to see the mix of self-published and traditionally published authors in the blogosphere. How did you decide which route to take?

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8 Comments

  1. I decided to go independent by the time my first draft had reached 100,000 words (it ended up nearly 200,000): too long for a debut novel. It crosses several genre lines (traditional publishers don’t like complicated marketing). It includes subplots that involve controversies, including characters who are LDS, which makes the book “too religious” for the world, and too “worldly” for LDS publishers. Three strikes. So, I didn’t even bother with querying before publishing it myself.

  2. I haven’t dusted off my manuscript to the standard I want to show publishers yet, but when I do, I’m not sure where to start D: How did you find a publisher that was right for you? How did you go about your research? Are there, like, super uber secret underground publishing scenes where the cool kids go to socialize? (just kidding!) And what’s your view on finding an agent first?

    I know all this stuff is very far away from where I am in my writing progress right now…but it never hurts to know, does it?

  3. I like self-publishing, I like the control I get over my work and the more work I put in, the more I get out, not dependant on anyone else or waiting for publishers etc. But I can see the appeal of traditional publishing 🙂

    Well done on your success!

  4. Like you, I researched agents… a lot. I found a few I thought were open to working with new authors. I was rejected by those. They were only a few though. I found most agent websites to be condescending and uninviting. I understand that they’re trying to dissuade poor writers and those who aren’t taking the process seriously, but I doubt it works. Those who shouldn’t be querying agents, or who don’t follow the rules they set forth, aren’t going to be dissuaded by anything. They will still send in their single spaced 400,000 word manuscript for their vegetarian vampire young adult novel even though the agent specifically states she doesn’t handle vegetarian vampire young adult novels. They will still call a few days later to see if there’s been any decisions made. So what’s the point of being so cold upfront? Anyhow, I just found most of the agents to come across as being difficult to work with. So after being rejected by the few I liked, I self-published. I know that may not have been the best decision, and I know that there are many more agents out there I should have queried, but I’ll let this one work around out there while I write my next one. Maybe in that time either they’ll lighten up, or I will. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experiences and Congratulations!!!

    • It is really sad that so many agents feel the need to be so cold and aloof. There are some that seem so determined to put writers off, which just doesn’t seem like the right way to go about it. But you know, everyone has their own path. For some people, self-publishing is the way to go, and they find a lot of joy and success on that route. It’s just a matter of finding a way to get your work out there. Thanks for sharing your publishing story!

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