I have alluded to my plans of self-publishing a bit here and there, but there’s something about flat out saying it to the world that has been making me wildly nervous. I think it’s the normal fear of wondering what people will think… the imposter syndrome nagging me, asking me, “Who do you think you are to do this?” The fear making me wonder, “Will anyone actually buy this? And read it?” The doubt pestering me with, “Will anyone even like this?”
And of course, the extra annoying—am I a legitimate author if I decide to also be my agent and publisher and publicist and just DO IT MYSELF?
These questions have been holding me back. Holding me back from something I actually want to do for myself. So I have been working through that by having conversations with people I love and trust, journaling, calming my nervous system (though, I’ve not been doing a great job of tending to my nervous system this week and here’s my own reminder!). And overall, just reminding myself over and over and over, that this is a very legitimate path, I am taking all the right steps to do this as professionally as possible, and I am ready.
The way traditionally publishing a novel works is (in general terms)—you write the book, you edit it as pristinely as possible, you research agents that represent your genre, you query agents (basically cold-email them) hoping they will request to read part or all of your book, and you wait.
And then you wait… and wait… and wait some more.
You wait for an agent to take a chance on you and sign you. You then wait for your book to be sold to a publisher who wants to take a chance on your story. You then wait for edits, for them to design the cover, put all the marketing plans in place, etc. etc. etc. It takes a long time! It is obviously a very valid path for a lot of authors, and that is wonderful. If it were a faster process, maybe I would have gone that way. But it’s slow. And I want my story in the world, I want to kick this career path off. So, I stopped querying. I will email the agents who have my full book, and notify them, and I’m going for it.
My 36th birthday is on Sunday and I’ve decided I don’t want to wait around anymore for someone to take a chance on me. I am going all in and I’m taking a chance on myself. I recognize I have the privilege to do so as a (mostly) stay-at-home parent who has saved some money for this endeavor. I’m grateful to be able to, and I hope you’ll join me along this adventure.
See you in Seaside! (That’s the fake Massachusetts town my book is set in. 🙃)