Author’s note: The following post was published on http://www.teresaedmond.wordpress.com.
Like many writers, for years I’ve pinned my hopes on getting that one “yes” from either an agent or a traditional publisher. I was afraid of taking the self-publishing/independent publishing route because that didn’t “validate” my author status. However, practically every agent that answered my query gave pretty much the same answer, like this agent’s answer quoted below:
Thank you for your recent query. Unfortunately, I feel that in today’s market, I cannot take on projects unless I feel strongly about them. I’m sorry to say that it didn’t happen with this one. This, of course, is just my opinion and others may feel differently. I wish you the best of luck with all your publishing endeavors.
Through much research, I learned that it’s not really about whether an author is talented; it’s whether an author’s name can sell more books, or whether the book follows “the trend” (for the last few years, it has been all about zombie apocalypses and paranormal romance stories a la “The Twilight Saga.” Though I like both genres). Frustrated that no one was willing to take a chance on a new author like me, I decided to take matters into my own hands and publish my novel Warding Off Reality under my own imprint Heathermoors Books.
I know Warding Off Reality is a departure from trending books (it’s a satirical paranormal romance set in a psychiatric ward), and I’m a new author. But I’m doing whatever it takes to market it. I’ve been researching my target audiences, blogging, updating my Facebook pages and tweeting. I’ve also been contacting local venues like libraries and bookshops, as well as researching and contacting local papers for possible interviews. (It helps that I work for a paper; they said they’ll interview me LOL)
We independent authors have to do our homework. We have to understand the market we’re targeting, decide what type of covers will look attractive and sell our books, and above all ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS to the people in the publishing industry –authors and agents alike! And that makes the book publishing process a lot easier on my part.