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Monday, April 12, 2010

Alternatives

So we've established that the process of finding an agent can be extremely painful and discouraging. In days gone by, before the advent of computers and the internet, the only real option for a writer who could not find an agent or a willing publishing house was something called the vanity press--in essence, an early form of self-publishing.

Today, those vanity presses still exist, but self-publishing has lost much of its early stigma. It's easier to publish and promote your own book, thanks to a wide variety of web sites. These sites can guide a writer from the very first steps of editing through layout and publication, not to mention publicity and marketing. Sometimes this kind of self-publishing is just what a book needs to garner a bigger market; if an author generates sufficient buzz, an agent and/or publisher might be more willing to risk a contract.

Another choice is e-publishing. Publishing your work in electronic form is even easier than print self-publishing, and it's usually free as well. With the advent of all the electronic readers, e-books may open more doors for authors than ever before.

It's a bold new world out there. Writers need to be just as bold.

I've been looking at these options myself. It would certainly be easier on the pride than the query/rejection cycle. I haven't actually done it yet simply because at this point it still feels. . like giving up.

But give me a few more months, and I may be hawking my own self-published books!


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