I feel a bit like the little girl who didn’t find what she wanted under the tree on Christmas morning.
But I’m not a little girl. So what does a big girl do when she can’t have what she really wants? She modifies her wish and starts looking for ways to make it come true on her own. She’s proactive, not defeatist.
I’m talking, of course, about finding an agent for In Her Mother’s Shoes. I haven’t received any new “no thanks” notes, but time marches on and I’m seeing the writing on the wall. Like so many writers out there, I have a story I want to share, and I’m going to do that one way or another.
So I’ve started researching self-publishing options. Shoes has been edited by three professionals at this point, so the writing is clean. It won’t be one of those self-published books that make you cringe with the poor grammar and dozens of misplaced commas. The story flow has been critiqued and numerous changes made. It’s in great shape. It simply hasn’t caught the fancy of any agent.
In Her Mother’s Shoes explores a woman’s relationships with her family, both past and present. It takes main character, Meredith Fields, on a journey to a more nourishing and nurturing life, and through numerous life adventures along the way – not the least of which is having a chimpanzee left on her doorstep. (Really, it fits in the story line!) It’s a feel-good story with a satisfying, happy ending, along the lines of Maeve Binchy or Debbie Macomber.
I still have manuscripts out there with three agents and two publishers, so that dance hasn’t ended yet. But in the meantime, and in anticipation of the potentially negative responses, I’m ready to look at other options.
A new writer friend of mine was kind enough to share her choice with me. She’d been published traditionally twice, and chose to publish her third book on her own. She researched how to format her book for e-book publication, put it on the market for $.99, and says she has made more money on this book than on the other two combined. She sent me a how-to manual for do-it-yourself e-publishing. I looked at the inch-thick document, read a couple of pages, and fired up the internet for a Google search of self-publishing options. I’m simply not technically savvy and confident enough to do it on my own, although that would give me the most freedom. I also don’t feel I have the time to wade through the manual and use trial and error to get my book out there. Maybe another time, but not this one.
So now I’m looking at a few companies whose names I’ve heard: Xlibris, Abbott, Dog Ear (I love that name – would go with them in a heartbeat just because of the name if I wasn’t so set on making a careful choice!), and Lulu. I’d love to hear from you if you’ve had experience with any of these. A friend has published her book through Xlibris (I wrote about it a couple posts back – Celestial Mesa 2012) and was pleased with them. But I want to explore multiple options and hear from as many of you as possible.
Meanwhile, I can’t help myself – I’m still hoping for a “yes” on at least one of the manuscripts out there!
Unfortunately, I don’t have any experience with any of those publishers. I’m interested in reading about your experiences once you choose a publisher. Please, update us when you have the time!
I’ve been working with Smashwords to publish one of my books as an e-book though. I’m using a pen name for that project since I’ve never published a digital book before and the whole book is pretty much an experiment.
Best wishes for 2012!
I’ll be sure to update you! And I will be interested in hearing how it goes with Smashwords. I thought about them, but just don’t feel brave or confident enough – and this book means too much to me to take chances. But I hope it goes well for you! Care to share the name of your book and when it will be out?