In keeping with my new resolution (unrelated to the New Year) to participate in the upkeep of my site more rigorously, I was perusing some articles this morning and came across an interesting post by Jennie Nash.
Jennie is a six time published author, with publishers such as Simon and Schuster, Penguin, and Scribner to her name. If I could claim any one of those I’d feel like quite the success. However, she decided to branch out on her own and give self-publishing a whirl. She discovered some things along the way that surprised her, and are certainly worth checking out her article for.
The biggest lesson, however, is that even someone with her experience in the industry and her contacts and all the wealth of resources available to her—even with all of this, she still found publishing her own novel to be incredibly difficult. The audience base she believed she had simply was not there, and she had to hit the streets to do all of her own marketing.
This doesn’t come entirely as a surprise to me. Not that I know something she doesn’t, but as someone who hasn’t “made it”, I suppose I’ve prepared myself for quite the struggle ahead. Stories of hardships to come aren’t really all that shocking, and I’m more than aware that the road to getting my first novel published will be something of an uphill battle, to say the least.
I’m going to do my best to get this beast published with a traditional publisher. Not necessarily because I think it’s the most feasible way to go, but because as someone hoping to become a professor, I need a piece of work published by the industry. It’s really not all that credible to publish your own book and then bam, claim you’re a published author. Like Jennie said, that doesn’t really make you any different from the crazy cat lady down the street writing books about petunias. You need peer recognition.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking self-publishing at all. Eventually, that’s probably what I’ll end up doing as well. But I’ve got to get that recognition first, that acknowledgement from the writing community at large, before I’ll feel comfortable enough to settle into my own peculiar routine and writing all the strange books no publisher would dare touch.
That said, it’s a long road either way. But like John Burroughs said, with determination and resolve to see it through, nothing can keep my own from me.