There are hundreds of thousands of novels being written every year, and the publishing industry will not be willing to publish more than just a few of them. We can create our own publishing opportunities instead.
From 2001, when I wrote my first novel, until only a few years ago, I resisted self-publishing. I believed the only way to publish “legitimately” was to have my book accepted by an agent and publisher. But I was wrong.
My clue to my wrongness was in the way I was feeling.
First of all, submissions of manuscripts didn’t feel good. I was beset by an inner resistance that told me it wasn’t the right path for me.
Second, I developed a dislike for agents and editors who used their internet sites and blogs to complain about writers and all the manuscripts they received. I realized they received so many manuscripts they had become jaded and negative toward writers, despite the fact that without writers there would be no publishing industry.
Obviously something was wrong. It at least was wrong for me to participate in the submissions charade in which more than 99% of manuscripts became rejects while the agents and editors searched for one special manuscript they felt like working on, matching their current interests.
When you consider that hundreds of thousands of novelists won’t be published because of the publishing industry’s inability to keep up with the demand, it fills my heart with sorrow. For you see, I know how it feels to create some awesome stories and then not be able to get them published.
Honestly, I submitted only about ten times before I decided it wasn’t for me. I got a very bad feeling about the whole thing and didn’t want to participate. I love my novels too much to share them with people whose main activity in life is to reject and criticize novels.
That’s when I realized that self-publishing is not a bad thing after all. While I won’t be getting any $5000 advances, I will be earning more per book than publishing-industry published novelists will ever see because I’ve cut out some of the middle-men. Everyone wants a cut of the action.
For my novels, CreateSpace will get a cut for production. The store will get a cut, buying at my wholesale price and selling at the retail price. And if I get a resale license and sell them myself, I’ll keep 72% of the cover price! I’m very happy with that profit margin, and I do have a marketing plan for book distribution.
Eventually I’ll also offer audiobook and Kindle versions of my books, but to start, they are to be available only in trade paperback. Many self-published authors say they’re making a lot more money with Kindle than with their paperbacks. I love Kindle!
[Update: River Girl is now also published in a Kindle version.]
There are many publishing options available to authors who get out from under the idea that publishing-industry publishing is better. For the sake of your novel, breathe life into it, even if that’s done the self-publishing way. That’s the most compassionate thing I can say to novelists, because holding your book in your hands is not likely to happen any other way.
How many years are you willing to spend in the pursuit of rejection slips? For me, the answer is “none”.
Image credit: Pixabay-x3 [CC0 Licenses]