For years, we’ve been led to believe that, in order to be successful, we had to toe the line and go through the motions of traditional publishing.
We were made to believe that the ONLY way to become successful writers was to find an agent and let them find us a publishing deal.
So, we’d write our book then spend countless hours researching how to write the perfect query letter, writing the “perfect” query letter, then editing it over and over. Then, we’d send off dozens if not hundreds of emails to agents whom we’re told hold the key to our writing career, and then what happens? We wait. And wait. And wait.
Agents can sometimes take weeks, months or even a year or more to reply to your query. I once received a rejection email 14 months after I’d send the first query to her. Of course, that came well after I’d already signed with an agent AND signed a publishing deal.
But whether it’s weeks or months later, if we’re lucky, we might get a terse “thanks, but no thanks” rejection email. If we’re super lucky, we might get some vague feedback that only leaves us more confused and depressed than we already were. But in most cases, most agents have a “no response means no” policy, so we simply never hear a peep.
It’s a painfully humiliating process that fills us with desperation and rejection, but we did it anyway because that was the only way we felt we could ever find writing success. We NEEDED those agents and traditional publishers if we ever wanted to publish a book.
And 10 years ago, that might have been true.
But not anymore.
Today, not only are there SO MANY successful indie authors out there, a ton of traditionally published authors are now jumping ship and realizing they can do it all themselves. And so many self-published authors are selling MILLIONS of copies of their books and making MILLIONS in book royalties.
Don’t believe me?
Lawyer turned author, LJ Ross has sold over 4.5 million copies of his murder mysteries.
Author Rachel Abbot has sold books to the tune of six figures every year since 2011.
Horror writer Adam Nevill was already a successful writer when he turned to self-publishing in 2016 with his book, The Reddening, which has far outsold his traditionally published books.
These authors, and many more, realized that they could maintain more creative control over their books and keep more money in their pockets rather than paying a whopping 80% of their royalties to publishers and agents.
Now, I have friends who are literary agents, and I’m not going to bash the profession as a whole. I’m just saying, who are they? Being an agent doesn’t require any kind of training or education. Yet, they hold our future in their hands.
They’re like the Wizard of Oz. Behind the curtain, they’re no different than you and me.
So, why do we give them so much power over us?
I think it’s because we’ve been conditioned (by the traditional publishing world) to think that, not only do we need them to be successful, but anyone who does strike out on their own as an indie author is just not good enough to hack it the “traditional” way.
Well, I for one, I have had enough. I’ve seen so many authors throughout my career who are as good, if not better, than many of the famous authors we know by name.
This past week, I took a personal sabbatical of sorts. During that week, I had somewhat of a revelation about my business, Write Your Best Book. I won’t bore you with all the details. But we’re shifting our focus to try to combat the traditional publishing world and empower indie authors to be successful in their own right without the stigma that’s been placed on self-publishing for years.
In fact, we have a mantra now that we want everyone to save, use, share, remember, and repeat. It goes like this:
I’M A BOOK BOSS I write amazing stories. I chase my dreams. I define my own success. I don’t take NO for an answer.
Also, we’re going to start using the hashtag #imabookboss on all our social media. Feel free to use it, too. If you are an indie author, and you post about your book in any way, please do use this hashtag (#imabookboss), and we PROMISE to like, comment, and share any post that includes it.
Remember. You don’t need ANYONE to tell you you’re good enough. YOU determine your own future. You’re a BOOK BOSS!