The time you take to query agents is valuable. I am sure this post will not please some in the writing community, however, no one should let it get to them too much. This post is coming from a positive place. I am really happy right now.
I decided to self-publish my work, and I would like that valuable time back. I believe in my work, am passionate about my world, and do not want anyone else telling me what to, or not to do, with my characters. Self-publishing feels good.
When querying, I did everything I was “supposed to” and it felt terrible. One thing I gained from it was pressuring myself to write a synopsis. So, at least I have that. It’ll come in handy, but I could have accomplished a lot more than what seemed like sending out over 100 resumes to just continually be rejected and waste time that I could have been writing Book II. If done well, sending a query letter takes time adjusting each one to the agent’s liking to avoid being auto-rejected.
Twitter seems like a great resource for authors who are querying, but after seeing all of it, I’m leaning toward disagreeing with that thought. Just remember, the trendy people are on there. The ones who will tweet their MSWL while watching a new movie they are excited about. What happens next week when another movie comes out? The people who put together the official MSWL website are very sweet, and I am thankful for their helpful information. They try to make the process the best it can be.
If you follow the writer hashtags at all, you’ll know exactly what I am talking about. I get what’s happening, there. Popular stuff sells. I have always gotten bored with what’s popular. After the self-inquiry one goes through while seeking representation, I remembered that I have never been the popular kid because I followed the trends. People knew who I was because I did exactly the opposite.
I have always felt it was silly to create something that already existed. Even when I was a kid, I would color birds rainbow in coloring books simply because I wanted to see a rainbow bird.
For a long, long time I would not let myself even think about self-publishing. Somehow, I was influenced to believe it was cheap. Many people online, in the industry already, made self-publishing seem generic, and acted as though self-published authors were “not real authors.” Many have proved that wrong!
Once I officially decided to self-published, I felt transformed. The passion and excitement that has come over me is exactly what I wanted to have happen out of my book(s). Right now, my mind is buzzing with ideas for the cover, chapter art, character art, and so much more. Buzz! Buzz! This feeling is exactly the result I wanted from finishing my first book. <3 I don’t care if this creation takes 10 years. That will be 10 years of joy.
The reason I wanted to write this out to the world has to do with others who may feel burned out from querying. Don’t let anyone influence you to do the opposite of what feels right for you. Do your research, and see how great things can be. We have the option to self-publish now for a reason. People got tired of waiting, tired of being controlled, and sought the joy of living in their own worlds. I am not telling others to not query at all, but limit it. That’s what I did. I always told myself, ‘if I do not have representation for my book by May 2018, then I am self-publishing, and not looking back.’ The seed had already been planted. My soul already hinted to me that self-publishing (full control) was what it wanted. The fact that I knew to set a limit should have told me I wanted to self-publish all along.
This post goes out to others who are feeling funky about querying. I was told over and over that most people give up before they would be able to attain representation for their books. I am here to disagree with that, too. People don’t give up, they get burned out. Every represented author tells writers to, ‘hang in there, because your time will come.’ That’s really sweet of them, because they know the struggle. Or do they? Some do, some don’t. Either way, I do not actually know, for a fact, how much time I have to spend waiting around. I believe in living in the present. I do not like to wait around to make magic happen. Especially when we no longer have to! So, yes, my time came when I WOKE UP and realized traditional publishing was NOT for me right now. I’ve never done anything traditionally. Who knows, perhaps even this could lead one to the traditional route of publishing.
My main point here is to know yourself, and let that passion run wild. It’s within you for a reason. If you keep getting rejected, and worry that agents or publishers will change your manuscript so much that you’ll hate it, move onto self-publishing. This decision has made me so entirely happy I am glad I gave myself a time limit on querying and, honestly, I should have made it sooner. Just something to consider.
There are a lot of awesome people in the industry, too, that’ll help you. I met a couple agents that I am truly inspired by. You will, too. I hope others will get to feel THIS excited over their projects, because it is what I feel life is all about.
Ask yourself what you want to achieve out of your work. If you’re like me, self-publishing is really okay. :o)
Yogi out. Om.