It starts with a story.
It always starts with a story!
Last night I was communicating with a bookstore about where they can get my book. They wanted to stock it on their shelves and on their website. At the same time, right next to that email, I received an answer to an agent’s full request for a different book from earlier in the year. Back when I received the original request I was excited. Someone other than critique partners and writing groups would read my manuscript. That’s fun.
I knew the response could be a positive or negative but that request was a progression in the process.
A sign post.
Then crickets. And more crickets. I followed up with this agent and received no response.
In short, I wrote the whole thing off. Non-responsive = Bad Partner. Bullet dodged.
Then comes this answer six months after I flushed the whole experience. A form rejection.
I’ll ask you: which was the better interaction? The dismissal and disinterest or the engagement and real interest?
I know which is healthier.
Look, I’ve been in business for myself for over twenty years. I probably have trust issues for all sorts of reasons. I’m going to offer a hard earned piece of advice that is true for relationships of the business and personal persuasion. If they are bad on the first date, once you’re attached… Forget it.
In any case, I decided to go for it.
I’m not going to say I’ll sell a bunch or even any of my books. However, I bet I will sell some.
What happens next is the real reason I told the big story – the novel – the book: for people to experience it. I don’t know about you but my muses expect an audience.
I can only speak from my own, very recent, experience. Ruminating on my immediate reaction to preparing and publishing, I came to a realization. It released me. The process released me from all of the searching and worrying and hoping that the querying process put me through.
I am back in control of my story, my book and my dreams. I’ve sold some books and gotten some solid customer reviews and that’s gratifying. I’m not done pushing my story of Kwynn and Co. or chasing big publishers but I’m growing and learning about other parts of the process.
The rest is as Agent Kate McKean so eloquently puts it is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ .
(She talks about this today here.)
Go for it. My story deserves to meet other people’s imaginations. Self-publication is a bunch of work and not the end of the frustration. ‘Going Indie’ is simply a different fork in the road. A good story needs people. This story deserves to see the light of day not the inside of a drawer.
Like that kid who believes in magic, I took a deep breath and sent those dandelion seeds out on the wind.
If you’d like to buy my book, it’s on Amazon and will hit Bookshop.org shortly.
If you like my ramblings, you should subscribe. I do this once in awhile.