So someone asks me "What do you do?" And I say "I'm a writer."
The next question is always, "Have you gotten anything published?" And I fumble around with answers like, "No, not yet…but my agent is shopping my books around--maybe soon…"
And then, "Let me know when you do…" And I say, "Yeah, sure thing…"
And then I wonder about self-publishing. And if you're an aspiring writer, I'll bet you've wondered about the same thing. Makes sense.
The reality is that it does make sense in some ways--and in others, not so. It makes sense because you can see your work in print form (or digital) quickly--no need for an agent, no need to query publishers (most of whom won't take your work without an agent anyway). So…
1. Who's going to be your critic? My mother would think anything I write is good. So would my wife (although she's a pretty good critic). So would my friends.
2. The expense. The cost of self-publishing is significant (both financially and time spent in getting it done). Better have some bucks.
3. Finally, marketing: You get to do all of that yourself. Fun times.
And so the question: When will I get published? is a good one. And with the incredibly changing world of publishing today, one that's not easily answered. But for me--I'm still old-school.
I would have sent my first book to my mother if I could have (she passed on to the next life some years ago) and I know she would have loved it. But instead I sent it to my agent and he said I don't love your ending and you need a lot more words! So I did it--wrote twenty thousand more words and changed the ending. I wouldn't have gotten that advice from anyone else that I know--except perhaps from someone who hates me. But I know my agent doesn't hate me, therefore…
But you get the idea. So I stick with the traditional way. And hope...