Today, I have the pleasure of hosting guest blogger, Linda Cassidy Lewis. Linda’s one of my first (if not my very first!) blogger friend, and through her blog I’ve shared in her process of editing and self-publishing her wonderful book, The Brevity of Roses, which is for sale in e-format and hard copy. If you haven’t read it, you should: it’s a wonderful tale that takes us into three lives. We live with them as they explore themselves, and the people around them, coming to terms with their own demons, and finding peace.
Linda Cassidy Lewis was born and raised in Indiana and now lives with her husband in California where she writes versions of the stories she only held in her head during the years their four sons were growing up. She blogs about her writing experience—typos and all. The Brevity of Roses is her debut novel.
Once self-published, always self-published?
When Jennifer invited me to write this guest post, I asked her if she had any topic suggestions. She did, but at the end, she also posed a question: Would I ever query agents again? This is my response.
I did not plan to self-publish The Brevity of Roses. I made a serious effort to obtain a traditional publishing contract. Over a period of thirteen months, I queried eighty agents. Unfortunately, I was offering literary women’s fiction when YA was the genre du jour. I heard the death knell for my dream of seeing Brevity published by a major NY house.
My querying experience chipped away at my confidence in The Brevity of Roses, but in my heart, I believed it was a good book. My beta readers confirmed that opinion, but I needed to know what the reading public would think. I published it in April this year. At the time of this writing, my novel has received twenty-one reviews and ratings online with an average of 4.9 stars. I feel validated.
Now that I know there are readers for my work, I’m not satisfied with reaching only a small part of them. This is where promotion and marketing comes into play. My book is one of millions sold at Amazon. Consider those odds!
Though it’s true that all authors are required to do some promotion, and debut authors like me would do it mostly on their own, I still believe your book gets a boost from being traditionally published. There are some avenues of promotion simply not open to self-published authors.
I love to write. WRITE. I don’t love publishing or marketing. Would I consider letting someone else do the publishing and help with the marketing of my next novel? I have to say yes. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I need an agent. I’m not part of the segment of indie authors who vilify agents across the board. I very well might query agents again. Or I might self-publish with a larger marketing budget. Another option for me is to query a small press.
It’s too soon to for me to say I’ll definitely self-publish my next novel. I can say that I’ll consider all my options. And I’ll do the same for the novel after that because once self-published doesn’t have to mean always self-published.
Thanks, Linda, for sharing with us today!!