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My Self-Publishing Journey

Why I'm Self-Publishing

Let’s talk a little bit about my journey. I didn’t always want to self-publish. Like many authors, I wanted that trad-pub book deal, wanted that advance, wanted everyone to make the tough decisions (cover, blurb, yadda-yadda-yadda…) while I sat back and squealed in the corner. I was willing to forfeit a little bit of rights to avoid the hard parts. Yeah. What a wild mentality.

However, I never, ever counted out self-publishing. But in the beginning, it was always last resort. “It’s fine if my top picks reject me,” I’d say, waving a hand. “I’ll just self-publish.”

(HINT: I never used to say the last sentence with enthusiasm.)

Spoiler alert: all of those picks rejected my manuscript.

I really only had one medium-sized publishing company that I had my eye on. I sent them my manuscript in April of 2018 and the editor looking it over said “yes, all it needs is a few changes and we’d love to publish it” in June. I was over the moon happy. My first manuscript that I ever queried was going to be published. Eep! I made the revisions they requested and sent the file back that September.

And waited.

Months went by.

2018 turned into 2019.

I sent an email in March, asking what was going on. I got confirmation that the editor was still going over the manuscript.

So I waited some more.

May I emailed the company again and was informed that the editor had left the publishing house, and an entire year of waiting went down the drain. The person who handled my case was extremely helpful, though! They assured me that they’d read it over and see whether or not it’d be a good fit for the company.

And in July, I was informed that my manuscript was not, in fact, what they were looking for. I was crushed. Absolutely crushed. Even though all along I’d been telling myself (and others) “oh, it’s okay, I’ll just self-publish”, I was still under that totally horrible mindset that traditional publishing was the only way to be an actual author. (I know, I’m cringing with you!!!) But the funny part was that I took a picture that day, the very day I was rejected, because I knew. I knew that things were going to get better. I knew I’d look back on this day and laugh—and even say “thank God”. Because that day, though it hurt my soul just a smidge, was the day that the road to self-publishing just opened up, and had neon signs with my name all over them.

How did I know? Because that very day that I got rejected, I saw that Sarra Cannon, an amazing self-published author and AuthorTuber, was hosting a self-publishing course.

Fate? Definitely.

In July, my self-publishing journey was in full gear.

And this is everything I’ve learned.

My YA Romance, WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR?, debuts January 14, 2020! It's available for preorder NOW on both ebook and paperback.


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