You were one of first bloggers to let me promote my first book on your blog and I have never forgotten that. I’m sorry to hear that you think self publishing sucks. But if you have the time, I’m gonna tell you a few things. So here goes.
You say you queried twenty-five agents. Well, I queried 3,000! Ten hours a day, seven days a week it was go through the lists, get their emails, cut and paste my letter, and then send it out. One full year!!!
I was pushing my first book, a 164,000 word mess. It was a good story, but I had no concept of proper editing. Anyway, I was told time and time again that anything over 80,000 words for a first time author was heresy. Finally, I got pissed off and sat down and wrote an 80,000 novel just as a big FU. Then I sent out queries. Lo and behold, within a month I had a contract with one of the biggest agencies in the country. And it was off to the races .. or so I thought. They got me published, but I had to do all the marketing, so what did I need a publisher for?
Long story short .. we went our separate ways after my first book. They still send me my royalties four times a year and I love those guys … but …
Anyway, in today’s world, traditional publishing is overrated unless you’re Stephen King. And I read that he puts aside $200,000 of his own money to promote each of his books.
Okay. The morale of the story is you can get an agent if you really, really work at it. By the way, that first book won the Editors’ Choice Award for best Western of 2013. The book that you were kind enough to allow me to promote on your blog.
Now on to the next thing.
If you want reviews or space on blogs to promote your books, ya gotta send out “begging letters.” Again … ten hour days, seven days a week. I must have sent out 5,000 over the years. At first I asked for reviews and I got some, but then I came to the realization that the poor bloggers (like you) get inundated with review request. So to be a little different, I wrote the bloggers and offered them a guest post (an interesting guest post) or I’d do an interview in return for a chance to promote my book. To date, I’ve done over 600 and I’ve sold a few books in the process. And the more books you sell the more reviews you get.
That first book of 164,000 words I edited down to 139,000 and self published it. Last year it was awarded Book of the Year by one outfit and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 by another. My point is that takes alotta work. I hate marketing. I’ve gotten to the place that when my next novel is published I’m not doing any marketing. No begging letters … no nothing. I’m writing this one for myself. In the end, the joy is in the process.
Of my four published novels, three of them have become best-sellers. One of them hit #1 (twice) one, #2, and one #5 on Amazon. Of course, I’m bragging, but I’m also saying that you can do it too if you have the fire in your belly. Me, I lost it.
I wish you the best of luck. And I’ll always remember that you gave me my first break.