I sent out 20 queries yesterday and got four prompt responses; rejections. I honestly have to say that I'm so proud of myself. I just read them and felt absolutely nothing but positive. No tears, no lurch in my stomach, no pinch in my heart; absolutely nothing. I don't know if it was the polite form rejections, the fact that I expect rejections by dozens before a "maybe", that I'm looking at this whole thing as a challenge, or that it was "4 down, 52+ to go" -- I don't know, but I'm proud.
I suppose that one factor of my optimism is that my book is going to be published one way or another. From the very beginning of my preparations to query (three months now), I've also been looking into self-publishing. I have read about companies that do the work for you, but, in my opinion, you get too little royalty that way. Then I've been reading about e-books. Did you know that Kindle allows you to keep 70% of the revenue?
When I see e-published books that are unavailable in print, I automatically think "he/she couldn't get an agent/publisher". Although I'm sure that's what happened to some, I think it's time I change my way of thinking. Randy Ingermanson wrote yet another brilliant post, and this time about e-publishing. His post is long, but it had my entire attention to the very end. He also links to a post by Joe Konrath that is a must-read.
Randy talks about the inevitable change in the publishing market and 9 different ways the market might change. He's very realistic and he talks about the positive way for both authors AND publishers. So far I've only seen negative posts from publishers/agents about e-publishing, likely because they're nervous. No. Not nervous; scared. But reading Randy's post, I honestly don't think they have to be scared of anything. In fact, this whole e-publishing thing might make their work a lot easier. Randy's one option was that writers will e-publish and the agent will watch what's selling and sign up those who are popular. That way they won't have to take some of the chances they take. As for the slush for the market, Randy says that the market is smart and will quickly find ways to get around the slush.
Yes, it will be hard to stand out and market myself if I e-publish on Kindle (or any other means), but I have a degree in business, and I should be able to cope. I'm confident in my writing, and I'm not scared of e-publishing. I actually find the possibility rather exciting.
There will always be printed books. There was one person who replied to Randy and said that he (the person) was old and had eye problems because of computer screens. He said that he wouldn't recommend reading books from a screen. There will always be people who will prefer buying printed books. I know that I'll be one of them, although I'm excited to buy a Kindle device and try it out. I like the idea of de-cluttering my shelves with the device. But I think that I'll always buy my favorite titles in printed form.
p-publishing or e-publishing? Either way, I'm optimistic about my future as a writer.