Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Why I'm happy I stopped querying

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I used to send out queries to literary agents every month. Then I gave up.

That's it in a nutshell, but of course, it's a longer and more complicated story. I have had about 250 rejection emails, cumulatively, over several projects. There probably isn't a single agent in each project's genre that I haven't queried. I have had some limited interest but no takers.

As I wrote in my blog post of 2018, I know it sounds very unfashionable, with all the positive upbeat advice out there: "Never give up! You never know when it happens for you! The next query might just be the one!"

Well, folks, I do give up. Mind, I don't give up writing, publishing, making it as an author or earning money through my books. I give up the uphill task of researching agents, sending queries, waiting (or giving up on waiting) for feedback, and receiving another form rejection or, at best, an "I like your style, but it won't sell" type of message.

I had two choices... No, make it three: keep querying and hope to land a book deal one day; become discouraged and give up writing; or keep working on writing and getting my books out there myself. I chose the last one.

Upon thinking, I realized that the indie publishing model is my preferred modus operandi anyway. I wasn't seeking approval stamps or literary recognition. I like having total control of my own work. I like how quickly an indie book can be produced and hit the market (because you bypass all the stages when you're negotiating with someone else for approval).

Over a year after I had sent out my last query, I can definitely say I'm happy with my decision. Time is a very precious resource for me, and I freed up a large chunk of it once I decided to focus solely on the indie author path. Now I can concentrate on writing the next book, and the next one, and on finding my audience. I have started making some money from my books, and it flows directly to me, and much more quickly, too, than if it had had to pass through more hands.

I have had my Wild Children series placed with a small publishing house, and while I loved working with my publisher and really appreciated the thorough, professional attitude, I realized that I have a lot more fun (and am much more motivated) as a solo venture. I'm pleased to be an indie - or, as some say, an author-entrepreneur, and am excited about all the possibilities this opens before me.

As for 2020: onward and upward!