I finally cleaned my desktop. It was a hawt mess after I finished Hide And Keep.
It was a bit worse than the what you see here. It was slightly debacle-ish. I had to laugh when I found this screenshot in that bottom right corner:
I was pretty ok with the letter when I received it. I’d already self published my third book and it was doing really well. Actually, I was totally “IDGAF, Avon.”. I’m gonna do me. Shortly after that, I wrote Waiting For Mr. Ashwell and I haven’t looked back. I love what I’m writing, how I’m writing and publishing, how my books are being received and the relationship I have with my readers.
I jumped into self publishing because I didn’t want to wait months to hear back from “real publishers” (I received that letter in response to my first book). Then, I thought I’d self publish until the real publishers wanted me. Now, I don’t know if a bigger publishing house would work for me. I know there are pros, and I’d be mightily tempted if an offer ever came through. But, I like the freedom and control, I need the faster pace of self publishing.
Years and years ago (2002), I got a rejection letter from William Morrow/Harper Collins and I was crushed. I gave up. Until last fall. I can’t say that I wish I had stuck with it and kept on truckin’, pushing that book to every publisher under the sun. I’m a much stronger writer now. Hell, I’m a stronger writer than I was last fall. But, I wish I hadn’t stopped writing. I didn’t write more than an occasional blog post or email for yeeeears. And I’m a little ashamed. That first book, if I’m honest wasn’t great. It probably shouldn’t have gone past a query letter (oh, how I absofuckinglutely hate query letters). I don’t regret all the books I might have published by now. I regret all the growing and miss the writer I could be by now.
If you’ve got a book inside of you, don’t let a rejection letter hold you back. In fact, it could be the best thing that’s happened to you, as a writer. There are so many options in self publishing. The field of publishing has been democratized, for good and for bad. Chances are, there are readers out there that are waiting for you, and they’re awesome. You’ll never know unless you try. So, please, try.