They keep telling me to self-publish

Okay, I’ll come clean. I’m in search of an agent again. For the fourth time. What a process this whole book thing is. I had an agent a while ago, and once again, for right now, I don’t.

My first agent? That’s when my book was a mixture of self-help and memoir. The last time we spoke she said, “I’ll make a few edits on the proposal and send it to you tonight. Then you take a look and get it back to me, and then we’ll send it out.” That was the last I heard from her. She never returned a phone call or email after that. I could only hope she was okay and move on. But I owe her. Because if we’d sent out, and published, that book, then Way Out wouldn’t exist.

My second agent? I owe her big time. She got me to write the memoir, instead of the combo-book. “The combo can’t sell,” she said. “You have an amazing story. Write it and I’ll represent you.” Only by the time I’d written it she had a huge killer new job, and as much as she loved and believed in my memoir, she didn’t have time to devote to a new author, especially of a memoir. It was a loss to lose her, but, again, I owe her big time (and she’s been amazingly supportive and helpful since).

My most recent agent? I owe her for getting me really going on this blog, and all my social media. She loved my book and my writing, and fully believed that it could, would, and will sell. Those were wonderful words to hear. She loved my book as much as I had hoped my agent would, and we planned to send the proposal out early this fall. But over the summer her world went unexpectedly topsy-turvy and a few personal crises hit. She unhappily told me that she had to step back from work to focus on her personal life, so she didn’t have time to devote to a new author, especially of a memoir. I unhappily heard her – and respect her choices and her honesty (I’d rather she step away than promise to give me something she didn’t have). But those weren’t the most wonderful words to hear. Again it was a loss to lose her, but again, I owe her for how she pushed me along.

So I’m looking for an agent once more. I hear this sort of thing happens often, which helps when I think I’m the only one this could have ever happened to.

Then just the other day, someone I met again suggested I self-publish instead. “I was told it’s the only way to get a memoir out there,” he shared. “Memoir is the hardest genre these days.”

I’ve heard this before. I’m sure I’ll hear this again. I may end up self-publishing. (A very good friend who is in the business, and who has been suggesting I self-publish for years, would be happy to hear that.) I know that one way or another, I’ll get my book out there. If for no other reason than that my daughter won’t read it until it’s a book. But I’m not self-publishing yet. For today, I’m still looking for an agent.

Why? Because I want someone to hold my hand while I go through this. I think it will be more fun. I want someone (besides me) to love the book and tell me it’s great. I want someone to be excited for and with me, and to help me finalize the title and pick cover art. And to edit it so that it’s as good as it can be. Maybe because I’ll believe I’ve “done this” (whatever that really means) more if the book is published by a real publisher (not by me). I need and want to let that one go, because so many wonderful books are self-published these days. But it’s probably part of my many reasons that I’m still pursuing the traditional route. For now, I’m still looking for an agent.

The good news? I do find agents to look at my manuscript. And even those who say “no” often tell me how strong the book is. They just have their own reasons for not taking it on. But I do seem to find new doorways opening every time the one I’m counting on closes. I just have to remember that when it gets tough to remember it. More good news? I love writing. I really love writing. And I’m excited for this, however it happens. More good news? Self-publishing will still be there, when and if I choose that route.

For now, I’m still looking for (another) agent. Know anyone? 🙂

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One thought on “They keep telling me to self-publish

  1. So, what you’re saying is “Please suggest good titles for my book.” It would be my pleasure…1) My Uncle; His Wisdom 2) The Woodchuckers and Other Mindblowing Phenomena 3) Why we declaim ‘Uncle’ When Admitting Defeat. 4) Publisher Shmublisher!!! 5) How My Husband Was Accepted into My Family 6) My Soul, My Anchor, My Rock, My Uncle

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