I’ve been through it twice before but getting rejected by the publishing world hasn’t gotten any easier. My first two novels were produced independently as a consequence. “Independently” is a better way of saying that I paid to have them done myself. “Vanity publishing” is a harsher description. Regardless, I had to work outside of regular (and, as the stigma goes, legitimate) channels.
Originally, I enlisted Createspace, a division of Amazon. They have since merged with Kindle Direct Publishing which now handles both e-books and paperbacks for the company. KDP, so far as I know, doesn’t offer as many services. In my frustration, I looked into formatting book covers and interior layouts on my own. Not only did I save a lot of money but I learned a few new skills: Word, Acrobat and Photoshop were indispensable. I preferred my own results to the professionals’. After reformatting my first two, I’ve gotten my third project, IMAGE, “print-ready”. I’m pretty familiar with the manufacturing process (twenty-five years in the industry will do that) and can now handle file preparation. The process of guiding a book from vision to reality isn’t too mysterious anymore.
What troubles me is soliciting agents and publishers. Self-promotion is my greatest weakness. A public relations campaign would be amazing. Still, how many small presses could fund one? Not to mention my Parkinson’s. A book signing (or worse, reading) event would be a sight.
I’ve sent query letters to thirteen California literary agents (IMAGE is a uniquely California-centric novel). All have declined to represent me. Last week, I got the dreaded rejection email from my last hope. I don’t mean to sound dire. Some writers get over a hundred such messages, persist and are hugely successful. Still, KDP has my files. They’ve already sent me an author’s proof. One click of the “Publish” button would launch IMAGE into the world. How much longer can I hold out?