I am already implementing my contingency plan. After querying agents for two years, I decided to self-publish. Some agents gave me a flat-out “no thanks,” some asked for partials or full manuscripts. A few said they thought my manuscript was well written and made them laugh out loud, but felt my story wouldn’t get the attention it deserves in today’s publishing landscape. Whatever. The story was doing nobody any good sitting in my laptop, so I formed my own publishing company, Aging Nymphs Media, and slowly but surely took the steps I needed to take to get my book out.
Last October, Bastard Husband: A Love Story http://tiny.cc/XgIfx
became a reality. It’s an autobiographical account of my first year alone in Las Vegas after a midlife divorce and how I transitioned from being sad and miserable to trying stand-up comedy for the first time at age 46. Within two months I had already made back my expenses, thanks to a blog http://vegaslindalou.com
following I have been developing since July 2008. I had a book launch party/reading here in Vegas and afterward a local comic offered to produce a one-woman show based on my book. I have two preview shows scheduled for this week and it will begin a regular Wednesday through Saturday run at the Alexis Park Resort, just a stone's throw from the Las Vegas Strip.None of this would be happening if my story remained in my laptop.
I'm thrilled to have my book out there. I look at it and think, I did everything*--the front and back cover, the interior design... it's all a reflection of my choices and I love it! And I still own the rights. Of course, I’m still open to the traditional publishing route, but it’s something I no longer pursue since my plate is full right now as I try to get my show off the ground.
It’s smart to have a contingency plan. But in the meantime, keep plugging away, have faith in your project, and if you decide to self-publish, maintain the tenacity to overcome the hurdles. Good luck and I am happy to share my lessons learned--God knows there's been a lot of them!
* I did, however, work with a team of editors--that's one thing you simply cannot do without. Period.