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Death of a traditional dream?

At what point do we give up?

At what point is it no longer healthy for us to pursue a path that isn’t leading to the desired destination?

I ask this question because of something that happened to me last night.

After a long and fruitless search, late last year I decided that I would give myself till the end of 2011 to find an agent and/or editor for my book Marlowe and the Spacewoman. If I didn’t find a route through traditional publishing, then come 2012, I was going to self publish.

I made a huge final push to find an agent or editor. There has been some interest, but nothing definitive yet. And now, halfway through the year, I’m pretty much resigned to the idea of self-publishing.

(I know, I know, the indie publishing scene is thriving and growing. The stigma of self publication is fading. But it’s hard to make the adjustment to the idea of the self-publishing model when for years your dream has been of the traditional publishing model.)

Last night I got together with one my critique groups for the first time in almost a year. And when I mentioned this plan to self publish, one of the members shook her head and said, in effect, your book has something to it and you should be able find an agent.

(There it is, the self-publishing stigma.)

And suddenly I doubted my plan. The stigma of self publication seems to be receding a little bit, but that could merely be the self-serving perspective of the indie authors I hang out with and follow on twitter.

There are arguments for and against self-publishing. There is one more than one treatise on why self publication is actually better for an author who has any business savvy. (And a pre-existing huge fan base, by the way.)

There is a sense of optimism amongst the indie authors I know that things are changing.

But there’s also that stigma. I’m not saying there are no quality self published books out there. There are.

Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of crap.

So what do I do? I’m getting tired of trying to find an agent. I’ve queried well over 100 well over – I know 100 itself is a small number). I’ve done the research route, you know, making sure you find the right agent to query. I’ve done the dance, I’ve jumped through the hoops, and I’m about as far as I can go without a positive response.

I’m not saying that self-publishing is giving up. My question here is: at what point should I give up on traditional publishing? At least for this book?

Yes, I had a moment of doubt last night, but right now I’m still sticking with the plan. I have one nibble at this point that hasn’t played out yet. All my other queries have you resulted in outright rejection or, even more frustrating, silence.

So I’m sticking with my plan despite my fellow critique partner’s reservations.

I just wish it didn’t feel like giving up.

 
 

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