Blog PostsNovels, Fiction & SillinessWhy I Chose to Self-Publish

I worked on my first novel, Fanged, for three and a half years. The story went through several revisions before it was ready to be published, not least because I had three planned sequels to consider, and each time I revised the first book, I had to keep the plots of the subsequent books in mind. But the time finally came when I was ready to get my novel out to the world, and I had a choice between pursuing the traditional route and self-publishing.

It took only a few agent rejections for me to research the self-publishing route and decide that this was the path for me.

The few rejections from agents I received didn’t make me doubt that my novel was good. All of my beta readers enjoyed it and gave me honest criticism, and I knew I had written an entertaining page-turner that also had substance. I had received positive feedback from fans of vampire novels and from vampire newbies – “I’m not really into vampires but I loved your book!”

Literary agents, however, aren’t only looking for books that are good, but books that they think will sell. And I, a first-time author who wrote a vampire book, wasn’t (in their minds) someone who was going to sell.

Knowing what stories will sell and which ones won’t is almost impossible to predict, especially when you’re a writer of genre fiction. Vampires come in and out of style all the time, and I was sending query letters for Fanged once the vampire fad had started to die out. There wasn’t room for me in a saturated market.

That’s why I decided to make my own market and self-publish my book.

I could have applied to agent after agent until I received an acceptance letter. Maybe that would have worked. I had only received 10 rejection letters, fewer than J.K. Rowling received for Harry Potter. I could have plugged away, and maybe I would have eventually been successful.

But I knew that I didn’t want to wait any longer to have a copy of my own book in my hands, to look at the cover and think, “I wrote this.”

Sometimes when I have writer’s block or feel discouraged about the writing process, I pick up a copy of my own book and remind myself, “I wrote a whole book.”

There are few feelings more satisfying than holding your own creation in your hands after years of hard work and dedication.

I might not try the self-publishing route every time I finish a creative project. I will definitely try the agent route again in the future. But I’m glad I self-published book #1.

Because when your father’s doctor’s aide looks at the patient chart, recognizes the last name, and asks him, “Are you the father of Theresa Basile, who wrote¬†Fanged?” you know you’ve done something right.

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