Traditional Book Publishing versus Self Publishing Option


Okay, a Literary Agency has been representing me since Nov 2010. So far, I have not seen anything in particular which has impressed me. I was both excited and relieved that after 9 months, I had completed my first novel. I sent the digital file to my literary agent to await a contract offer from a publisher. The agency accepted my manuscript in April and it is now almost 5 months and I have yet to hear a word from my agent. If it were not for the  “canned” quarterly newsletters the agency emails, I would not have any communication what-so-ever. So? What are they doing for me? Who knows?

Back in May, I wrote a short story for an online writing event. The story was, well, in my eyes a masterpiece. Hey, I was the guy in school that hated to read or write and I cheated on all of my written reports. Don’t even ask me the difference between an adjective or an adverb, cause I’ll just stare blankly back at you.  I saw no point in conjugating verbs (conjugate? Isn’t that a clinical word for sex?) I can think of much more aesthetically pleasing décor than a diagramed sentence. So, why am I even mentioning all of this? The novel which took me nine months to write was my very FIRST attempt at writing and then I took on the challenge to write a short story. I was on a roll, till I discovered that my brilliant writing was lacking.

I revised and expanded the short story into a novella (no it’s not soft and frilly so we shant call it a “novelette”). Then the manuscript went not once, but twice under the eyes of scrutinizing Beta Readers. The revisions and modifications were sometimes frustrating, but I learned and actually retained a little something about writing and grammar. But the real revelation was when I saw how much my little story had improved. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a lot better than when I had begun.

Two months later, that novella was published and the whole world could read my story. And exactly how did I get published? I self published with Smashwords (digital formats) and CreateSpace (paperback) and both are sold on Amazon.

I learned so much during the editing and numerous revisions of the novella Storm of Passion. Beta Readers provided invaluable assistance during the process. Currently two Beta Readers are critiquing my first novel Auf Wiedersehen~Journey to Goodbye. Even though my agent had me believing that I had actually written the greatest American Novel since Joyce, Fitzgerald or Faulkner. It will take hours and hours of revisions and rewrites, but mark my words; my re-vamped novel will be published in early 2012, with or without the assistance of a literary agent, most likely without, since my agent’s contract expires very soon and I don’t see a renewal in their future.

I guess it all depends on how one looks at one’s work as to a publishing preference. Myself, I had a story to share and self publishing allowed me the option to get my story out without the “blessing” of a publisher. Sure, the book may have its imperfections, but don’t we all, isn’t that what makes us so much more interesting. Without our imperfections we wouldn’t have anything to gossip about, would we?

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2 comments on “Traditional Book Publishing versus Self Publishing Option

  1. rawclyde009 says:

    Thanks for the article. Us writers need all the help we can get…

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