I understand why no agents signed me…and they were right.

Anna and the French Kiss

 

Tomorrow (June 26th) is my official release day.  And throughout the past months, I’ve been doing a lot of self reflection about my selfpub journey.

Results? One very long blog title and possibly, a very long, rambly post. Why? Because I think every publication journey is different, because every publication choice is different, and because in my view there´s no right or wrong answer to some of the questions.

The important thing to remember is to weigh the pros and the cons of each option.

  • Some people decide to go the self-pub route because they do not want to go through the traditional path. It´s a conscious choice from the get go, they decide it at the beginning of their journey.
  • Some may want to have a hybrid career, they want some books, some genres to go through the self-pub route and others to go the more traditional way. Some may have agents. Some may decide that in the middle of their career, some want to build upon an audience they already have.
  • Some people decide to go the self-pub route because they tried querying, they may be disappointed or even disgruntled by the process. For whatever reason.
  • Or, and that’s the case for me, some tried the traditional way, but never got “the” one. They did dream about getting “the” call, but weren’t quite sure how it would go afterwards. They had more questions and uncertainties than answers. They  know their book is good, they know their book needs work, and they think they can be good at the self-pub route. They enjoy the organizational and coordination part. They want the perks of self-publishing and understand what they “lose” in the process. Because, again, each path has pros and cons.

My point here after a rather lengthy introduction is to thank the agents who took the time to read my manuscript, to give me feedback. And to tell them: “I understand why you didn’t sign me. And you were right.”

The book I presented to them was not the book that you may or may not buy tomorrow…It’s similar, yes, but it is very different. The subplots have changed, some characters disappeared to make room for more depth for the others who remained standing. The road of Natalya took a different turn, Camilo and Rita became “real” while before they were parodies of themselves.

Natalya became stronger and weaker, she gained qualities and her flaws became more pronounced. She became “real”.

To make this happened, I went back to my CPs and beta readers notes (THANK YOU AGAIN!) and hired two editors. Both Sara and Maya gave me very detailed feedback on what I needed to do, on where I needed to go. Years before, I didn’t “get” it the first time around, nor the second time, nor the third time I revised ONE, TWO, THREE.

  • I was not ready to kill my darlings.
  • I was not ready to trust my writing.
  • I was not ready to trust my instincts.

Because I knew in the back of my mind that One, Two, Three was not ready when I queried it the first time. The second time back in early 2013, I thought I was getting there.

But why would an agent bet on “someone getting there”? especially after they receive a revised manuscript that is not ready, that didn’t dig deep enough into the characters, that didn’t go under their skins.

Yes, some loved my story, they saw the potential in it, they hesitated, they almost made THE call. But honestly, I’m not sure how I would have handled one more revision at that stage.

Fast-forward to January 2014: when I made my announcement, when I decided to choose my own magic, I was ready. I felt ready. It felt right.

ONE, TWO, THREE went through two very intensive content editing rounds, one intensive copy editing round and one proofreading round.

I loved my story now, I love it even more now because I let myself really connect with the characters. I’m still afraid.

Afraid people may not love Nata & Tonio, may not enjoy their story. But I know, that the story I am putting out there, is a story I am proud of. It is a story that was meant for the self-pub path.

Because going that route meant setting a deadline, meant finally trusting myself.

 

 

10 Comments

  1. arranbhansal says:

    Great post and I love your honesty. I wrote a post a while back about agents titled ‘Thank Goodness for Editors’. Within it my editor explained why it’s so hard for agents to pick the right books. Self publishing worked for me and it’s very rewarding!
    Arran

  2. Natacha says:

    You have worked very hard and your hard work is paying off, for that I thank you. Going for it and publishing the book, its not just an accomplishment for you its a gift you have brought us to read, enojoy and get lost in the characters lives. I cant wait to get my hands on it and get lost in it!

  3. I love this! Thank you for an open, honest post. I can totally identify with this, and I think that’s much where I am/was with my original manuscript. I started the querying process before it was truly ready, and now I regret it. Another rewrite later it is infinitely better, but still a work in progress. I haven’t given up hope on traditional pub yet, but it’s on the back burner for now. Congrats on your release though! That’s great…wishing you the best 🙂

  4. Pingback: What’s Up Wednesday | Kitty Hietala

  5. Pingback: Looking back…2014… | Elodie Nowodazkij

  6. Pingback: Self-Publishing: O is for…ONE TWO THREE | Elodie Nowodazkij

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