There’s no denying that it’s difficult to break into the publishing world. If you visit your local Barnes and Noble and wander the shelves and shelves of books, it seems like it should be easier. After all, there are thousands of books there. If all of those people hit the publishing “jackpot”, then why shouldn’t you?
In some ways, being published is easier than ever before. And it is also harder than ever before.
With the onslaught of self-publication, and the relative ease that comes with it, many writers are choosing to head down that road, and they’re seeing success in doing so. Self-publication, if done right, is a great way to see your book published.
The beauty of self-publication is that you get to make all the decisions. You decide how you want your book to look and feel in a reader’s hands. Do you want it to be paperback, hardback, leather bound? You choose the cover art, layout design, font, and pagination – you are the puppet master.
How does the book you’ve written beg to be wrapped?
Realize, though, that this is a route that requires investment. If you find that the financial need exceeds your budget, then you may want to consider looking for an investor. There are organizations and groups dedicated to the arts that are often willing to underwrite a project if they believe in it.
Self-publication, if done well, can be a great way to see your book in print. If, however, you have hopes and ideas that are more grandiose, then you may want to go the route of traditional publication. This path can take much longer, and it can be very frustrating, but if you work hard and play the game right, you just may find that your patience and persistence pay off in the end.
There are some (many, in fact) who would try to convince you that it is, indeed, a lofty goal to have a book published. There’s a pervasive idea floating about that traditional publication is not worth the time and effort when you could just do it yourself.
While it’s absolutely true that self-publication is a quicker (but by no means easier) route, don’t let outsiders dictate your dreams. If you long to see your book on bookshelves, then chase that dream and don’t give up!
The road to publication, whether traditional or self-publication, is hard, but it’s not impossible! Sometimes it takes luck, and sometimes you simply have to know the right person, but most of the time you just have to work really, really hard.
A wise mentor of mine once said, “Worthy goals are rarely easily achieved.” I thought of that every time I got a rejection letter in the mail from an agent or a publisher. I reminded myself that perseverence paid off if I was willing to push through.
On June 27, my first novel will hit bookshelves nationwide. Like a River From Its Course is a historical fiction novel set in World War II Soviet Union. I fought for this book for ten years. I fought through the writing process, and I fought to see it picked up by a traditional publishing house. I did this because I believed in this story, and now that I’m on the horizon of seeing that hard work come to fruition, I can honestly say it was all worth it.
Are you dreaming of seeing your work in print? Can I offer you this encouragement?
Don’t give up.
Fight for it. Do everything you can to make your story, your book, the very best it can be, then offer it back to the world. Stories are the make up of life. They’re the filter through which we learn to see the world. So tell your stories, and fight for their place in a world longing to read them.