Publishing Angst and the Lack Thereof

I’m a reader. From the time my mom taught five-year-old me to discern between the “snake” words venomous and nonvenomous I’ve had a lust for reading. Reading is power, and I wanted it. Bwahaha!

In the first few days of first grade I told my teacher I could already read—because I knew the snake words. In truth, those were the only two I had in my repertoire. I remember feeling humiliated when she asked me to read a book to the class. Neither of my words were in that book, so I just made up a story to go with each picture. My secret was out.

But Mrs. Stewart was a great teacher and soon I was reading as well as the kids who truly did already know how to read. I practiced my new skill constantly. If I didn’t have a book, I’d read cereal boxes and coffee cans, billboards and newspapers. Anything with words.

Nothing has changed in the intervening years. I still love words. Reading remains my favorite pastime. And I’m an equal opportunity reader. On my shelves there are classics and poetry, biographies and histories, romances and humor, sci-fi and fantasy. I read traditionally published authors and those, like me, who’ve self-published.

On one Facebook authors’ site I read posts from authors who look at self-publishing as something only losers do—and many of these folks would rather submit their manuscripts to publishers a hundred, nay, a thousand times and receive a thousand rejection letters than self-publish. I find that sad.

I honestly believe my first novel Mayhem at the Happy Valley Motor Inn and Resort had a decent chance of being traditionally published, but I’m 64 years old. The thought of dealing with submissions and rejection letters was depressing as hell. And I had a story to tell. Lots of stories to tell. And while my stories may never make the best seller’s list, they are worthwhile or fun or goofy or sobering. I have something to offer.

So, if you’re a writer wrestling with the thought of self-publishing weigh your options. Maybe you’re young and time is on your side. Maybe you’re older, like me, and just have an overwhelming need to see your stories in print. There are beautiful options these days, unlike the times when self-publishing cost an arm and a leg. To borrow a phrase from Nike—Just do it.

Peace, people.

Author: nananoyz

I'm a semi-retired crazy person with one husband and two cats.

34 thoughts on “Publishing Angst and the Lack Thereof”

  1. Spot on my friend. I spent years getting a publisher and years wishing I never had–the things I’ve seen and put up with publishers. I’ve seen people get hung up on getting a certain one only and losing all faith in themselves. I still see it. I see sill see it amongst many unpublished authors. I self publish now. it gives me control of my back catalogue, my time and my earnings. Also my cover when I think of some of the things I was asked to shoot myself in the foot with and the release date. I’d one publisher sit on part of a series for 18 months after accepting it because I’d crossed them.
    I could have had the back catalogue with a publisher and I could have had the present series with one too but the back catalogue folks were a waste of space and the other one wanted a book every 3 months. yes there’s a lot of badly published self pubbed books out there but a lot of good ones and a lot of top authors taking control of their work so, great post.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Leslie…I could paper the wall actually with these which was why, initially I thought way to go. But the depressing thing re publishers was that when I decided to move, my list only included 3 I’d sub to after the horror stories I’d heard re so many. And I have to say I’m not greatly fond of the one I accepted and am just sitting that one out now. Way back Incy Black and I soldiered together in the ranks of the great unpublished and we both landed contracts at about the same time. The standing joke after about a year was,’Do you remember how we longed to land a publisher?????’ Far be it for me to put any aspiring author off finding one but it’s not always worth the effort. xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I love it when a new author’s book is picked up by a publisher. I celebrate with them. But I cry for those who refuse to consider other options even through rejection after rejection. And yes, there are some horrible examples of self-published works. The marketplace weeds them out. Like right now, I’m scared to death that Cowboy and the Executive might have a short run. I love the story, but it’s so very different from Mayhem that I’m worried i might lose some readers. Didn’t sleep much last night!

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Not at all. Chin up. You cannae please everyone all the time but so long as you please most of them. And the other thing re self publishing??? If folks don’t like it you just change your name for the romance market, making it clear you also write that genre under a diff name. Lots of people do it xxxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally agree with this. At this stage in life, especially, self publishing is the way to go. As long as the author uses an editor I don’t see much difference for the reader. The stingma of self publishing is no longer there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s fading, but there still folks who won’t read a book that isn’t traditionally published. All I can say is, they’re missing out. My friend, Lori Robert’s Herbst’s first cozy mystery has made it to the final stage in a writing contest. That’s pretty darned good.


  3. Isn’t that a horrible thing–to label someone a loser because they did things their own way? You are a writer for gosh sakes! That fact that you have books out there that people are reading is cause for celebration. If I’m reading, I have no clue how the book was published. All I know is I have it in my hands, and that is good enough for me.
    I stand in awe of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This won’t help with your worried writer tossing and turning, but don’t loose any sleep over concerns that this new book will disappoint, or shy away any “Mayhem”or subsequent sequel readers. I’m a third of the way into this new book and trusting the storyteller more with each chapter. In many ways I find it tighter than “Mayhem,”a bit more organic, and expert in moving players around the board. All this makes me more interested in reading your “Mayhem” follow-up.

    By the by, I read in dark mode on the Kindle and the Scout’s Honor logo is striking.

    Bic Scribbler
    Inkwell, Indiana

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh! I need to look at the logo on my kindle. Thank you for your words of encouragement. I had such fun writing Cowboy that I was afraid I had written it for an audience of one: me.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I was like that too. I didn’t go to Kindergarten and I’m sure you didn’t either. It wasn’t a thing in Texas back then. I read everything and cereal boxes was one of my favorite things to read because there was always toys in the box back then. The content made the toys sound so much better than they actually were, but it led my imagination down several paths. I think Mayhem is worthy of a publisher. You have a real talent! I can’t wait until you finish the next one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I actually did go to a private kindergarten, but we weren’t taught to read there. It was a big class and only one teacher. I remember coloring pictures and learning to use scissors, but that’s about it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Funny you mention scissors. My sister’s kindergarten teacher was beside herself. The teacher made a point to contact my mother about how badly my sister cut things out and how uncoordinated she was. The teacher went on and on about it and my mom said, “you know she’s left-handed, right?”. My mom went and bought left-handed scissors the next day and problem solved. The teacher had her writing and cutting with her right hand. OMG! Problem solved!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. My mother cut herself whole running with scissors(!) as a kid. I think she was trying to protect me so I didn’t don’t hold a pair until I was in kindergarten. I needed remedial classes in cutting.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh man! Never run with scissors or a knife in your hand unless you are a psycho killer and if you hurt yourself…no loss there! LOL! Remedial classes….oh man. I pride myself on my cutting abilities. When I had my sign shop, if I couldn’t cut a straight line with a yardstick and xacto, I was doomed! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this very much. You’re on the money there with your ‘just do it’. However you feel comfy to! I have been telling myself this for a good 16 years. Does myself ever listen? Hell no.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is a very tough decision. I dislike the attitude toward self-published authors as I feel like every book should be allowed to stand on its own merits. Unfortunately, like so many other things, everyone under that umbrella tends to get painted with the same brush. I’m like you, though. I had my reasons for choosing to do self-publishing. I know it would have probably done loads better under a publisher, especially with how bad I am at self promotion, but I still stand by that decision. There are good and bad to both sides and everyone has to make the decision that is right for them.

    Liked by 1 person

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