Morning Coffee: The Not-So-Straight Path

fallFew paths in life are straight and easy. Changes have to be made, twists and turns, perhaps back tracking before choosing a new direction. The reasons can be many, from an unexpected personal or family situation, to the decision that another path has become more desirable. I have made the decision to change my path toward becoming a published author.

My dream to publish has been a lifelong one. I have taken classes, joined critique groups. Over the years I’ve had success publishing poetry and short stories, but the goal of publishing a novel still beckoned, just out of reach, until recent years when I felt ready to push ahead.

My goal has been to find an agent/publisher. This is a high-reaching goal. Agents and editors receive thousands of submissions. Some requested and some cold. Some are not very good, but many, if not most, of them are very good and worthy of publication. Unfortunately, not all of them can be accepted. It costs a publisher considerable money to bring a book to the marketplace and they have to give everything they can to each title chosen to make it a success. Because of this, many wonderful stories have gone unpublished, unread, in the past. The rise in the number of small independent publishing companies has improved the odds of publication, but they have even less money than the big houses to invest in new titles.

Then along came self-publishing. The down side is this allows even poorly written unedited books to be published. The up side is now readers have so many more good books to choose from, books that don’t necessarily fall into the specific needs of traditional publishers but do provide an exciting and exceptional read.

Comments received from submissions have indicated my book is a good read but it just doesn’t fit into the narrowly defined needs of publishers at this time. I could decide to stick it in a drawer to wait and see if those needs change, or I can take control of my path and publish it myself. This being said, my path to publication has taken a turn. I’ve decided to abandon my search for an agent/publisher and self-publish.

I have arranged for a professional editor. I am discussing the correct path forward with authors I know who self-publish. I am considering cover design. I’m even considering a different title. While my path has changed, the end goal is the same. Stay tuned for updates.

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4 thoughts on “Morning Coffee: The Not-So-Straight Path

  1. It’s a tough decision to self-publish, but a very admirable goal. I think you will enjoy the freedom that comes with creating on your own without the restrictions and “revisions” required by some publishers. I am very excited for you! I also have a book that I would like to lend you that may have some good pointers for you about self-publishing: “The Fine Print of Self-Publishing” by Mark Levine. You may already know alot of this stuff, but you may find it useful. I wish I could get the book to you before I leave for Alaska….let me know if you are going to be in Amery in the next few days. Otherwise I can bring it to the meeting on the 15th. Good luck to you and I am wishing you the greatest success! Talk to you again soon, Julie

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