Psst. I have a secret. A good thing. Stay tuned. ;)
There's been a lot of talk on the internet lately about self-publishing vs. traditional publishing, good books vs. bad books, fast deals vs. deals years in the making, and so on. I figured it was about time I chime in with my view of things.
I don't know about you guys, but I've spent many, many hours googling author publication stories. Like, a LOT of hours. In fact, right before I wrote this blog post, I was stalking Beth Revis's website to see what her story was like, even though I'm pretty sure I've done that before. I was googling J.K. Rowling's story the other day. Mindy McGinnis (a.k.a BBC) has many wonderful stories about submission hell and successful authors over at Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire.
And you know what I've learned?
THE STORY IS DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE.
There are many paths to success. And that's the way it should be.
Some people spend months and months and months on submission, and their book ends up selling in a major deal at auction. Others don't sell their first book, but their second is a crazy success. Others pick the self-publishing route and find readers that way.
It can take years to find success; it can take days.
That is OKAY.
This doesn't mean those whose success stories take longer are worse writers than those whose stories take less.
There are so many factors that play into publishing success. Talent is one, but others include perseverance and luck.
And yes, we all know what this means: it's possible to have limited talent but get lucky and land a publication deal, or still find a readership through a different venue.
But this also means that those with talent and perseverance can find success.
I believe you will find success, if you don't give up.
The beauty of the publication industry is that this isn't a race. We are all searching for one thing: readers. People who love our stories. You might find them through a traditional deal or by self-publishing, but the important thing is that you find a way to get your work out there.
The way and the how are going to be different for all of us.
And that is OKAY.
It is okay if it takes you ten books to land an agent. It is okay if it takes you one.
It is okay if you receive one offer of rep. It is okay if you receive five.
It is okay if you want an agent. It is okay if you don't.
It is okay if you want to self-publish. It is okay if you don't.
If you want to put your stories out there, find a way. Find your own way - whatever way works best for you. Don't look at any one way as worse or better than another. There are good traditionally published books and there are bad ones. There are good self-published books and there are bad ones.
Make your book the best you can make it, and then pick one of the many routes to publishing. Pave your own success story. Find your readers.
And how should you respond to those who put down your path or your writing? Like THIS:
Be persistent, and you will find the readers who love your book. They are the ones who make everything worthwhile.
Repeat after David Tennant:
I believe in you.
Go forth and conquer.