A. J. Wyatt is an aspiring author who is currently working on his first novel and is actively pursuing a Masters in English studies with a specialization in late Victorian and early Modernist British Literature at Southern New Hampshire University. In his spare time, he enjoys gardening; reading classic literature; drinking Earl Grey and taking long nature walks.
I’ve been pondering over the last few months the idea of traditional publishing versus self publishing when it comes to the ye ol’ manuscript dilemma and I have come to a definitive conclusion about the matter, thanks to an insightful perspective from a fellow writer colleague. I truly feel that traditional publishing is the way to go in this quick and instant gratification oriented culture. Before you get up in arms about my verdict, I request you keep reading to learn why I arrived at this conclusion.
I need it NOW
Let’s face the facts, we are living in an instant world where anyone can write a novel and self publish it over the internet overnight but immediacy often does not equate to efficacy. I still think there is something to be said about taking one’s time to properly plan, outline and execute a story to one’s best ability in order to entrance, entertain and leave a lingering trace upon the reader. Writing should never be about impressing your friends or getting Facebook likes by having dozens of mediocre novels that are slung together in a sloppy and mindless manner and thrown up on Amazon through a self publishing medium in order to get attention and to prove to oneself and others that one is a writer. If this is your method, you are doing it wrong.
Rejection is a Natural part of the Initiation process
With that in mind, there is something to be said about seeking out the still remaining yet soon to expire dinosaur of traditional publishing because it is about integrity and paying one’s dues by putting oneself out there in a big way under the professional scrutiny of those in the publishing industry. Certainly, not everyone is going to get what you are doing or be your best reader, it may not even be that your work is unworthy, but these people are still professionals and I feel that their opinion, in many ways, still matters when it comes to looking over a wanna-be writer’s manuscript. I think the often inevitable pile of rejection notices steels a writer’s nerves and forces them to push harder by taking a deeper and more critical look at their writing. There is always room for improvement and rejection teaches one this valuable lesson. The trick is to never give up and keep at it, keep striving for the impossibility of perfection and never half-ass something that can be executed much better by taking more time and learning from the rejection slips.
Delay the desire for instant gratification and do it right the first time by doing it the old-fashioned way. Be at the level with your writing that it is of the highest and most professional quality, then if all else fails self publishing might be the ticket to launch your career because if you can get the sales and open the market for your work, then it could work in your favor to get a publisher’s attention.
A.J. Wyatt 9/26/13
Question: Indie Authors, did you make the mistake with self-publishing? If so, how did you correct it? Comment with your story below.