Should I try to get my book published traditionally even though it’s hard, or should I self-publish?
Traditionally publishing and self-publishing both come with unique difficulties. For example, if you choose to query literary agents in search of a traditional publishing deal, you WILL get rejections and you will get lots of them. (It’s said that the difference between an amateur writer and a professional one is that a professional is an amateur who didn’t quit!) However, if you choose to self-publish, you may run across difficulties of designing your book and, later, how to market and sell copies.
Either way, publishing isn’t an easy road. Before you begin any publishing endeavor, you should be sure to do your research and choose the path that’s right for you.
How do I know when to reconsider my desire to get a paying book deal and pursue other options instead?
Writers get rejection letters. It’s a rite of passage that doesn’t end. Every time you open a rejection letter or email, you should give yourself a big pat on the back. Why? The fact that you sent out query letters at all means you’re ahead of the game (because you’re ahead of writers who give up too soon or who don’t have an effective submission strategy). Each rejection is a symbol of your positive, go-get-’em attitude, and you should celebrate that accomplishment!
It’s been our experience (working in publishing since 1994) that, if a writer wants a traditional book deal, he or she should not give up on that goal until they have sent out at least 100 queries to literary agents. (Even then, a paying book contract may still be available, especially if your book appeals to the niche markets that small presses often target.)
In short, if a traditional book deal is your goal, go until you can’t go anymore. Then, keep going. That’s how character (and literary celebrity) is born.
Remember also that the publishing industry has shifted tremendously in previous years, and the stigmas around self-publishing have vanished entirely. And if your heart is still set on a book deal, keep in mind that after you successfully self-publish, you might be able to revisit the idea of querying literary agents!
Got a question for Ronnie about the book biz, poetry, short stories, or other creative writing? Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you want to chat in real time, why not come hang out with us on Twitter?
And finally, remember: If you’ve been trying to get your book published and are looking for someone to help take the frustration out of the process, consider Writer’s Relief or Self-Publishing Relief!
Why bother? Which is harder to write or submitt 100 times? At this point I would rather just have someone publish it and take all the profit if my work means something to someone.
You are sooo right. Rejection in the name of the game until some one feels that your writings fit in niche. You can come so close, but no cigar. The 100 mark is a average. There are pages and pages of agents on many websites. Some one will be bloody bold and resolute as Shakespeare said in Macbeth and take the plunge. I think Agents are the most arrogant people alive. They want the brightest and the best to represent, but they aren’t willing to be altruistic to the very talented newcomer. My advice…beat them at their own game…Keep buggin’ them over and over again. Email is cheap. Flood their emails with worthy stuff.
We understand that submitting can be so frustrating. That’s why it’s our mission to take the pain and stress out of that process as much as possible.
Also, that’s why we’re giving out our free E-book, Rejoice in Rejection, at .
We do hope we can help.
My first novel is meant to be a tribute to women in uniform so I’m anxious to get it published as a matter on honor. I wouldn’t mind a little income from my second novel, but just to share the story with other human beings is a reward in itself.
If you just want to be read rather than make money from it – as the book on women in uniform suggests, then upload complete book to a free online site such as Smashwords. You never know, if you build up a fanbase for that book, they may be willing to buy your second work.
By the way, you can’t find 100 different agents in the Uk, so we have to set our bar lower! I wallpaper my study with the rejection letters – it drives me on. But I have just self-published my first book.
Well if that is the case. I’ll keep trying but it is so hard to try to get a Sci-Fi book out there in the world. I mean it even has dragons in it! But yet it continues to be rejected. *sigh* I’ll keep going!