Hey, I’m Getting Published! (And Why I’m Going the Self-Publishing Route)

I finished my first novel one month shy of two years ago. It was a beautiful feeling.

Of course, the idea of “done-ness” for a novel is relative. I knew it would go through a round or three of edits once a publisher got their hands on it–that’s just the way it’s done–but there’s a definitive point where one can sit back and think to themselves, “This is as far as I can take it on my own.” That was where I’d gotten it.

But you know, it’s more mentally taxing than I was expecting.

A Dream of Traditional Publication

At first, I was diligently churning out query letter after query letter, toying with the synopsis, the pitch, the author bio. Not every agent replied, of course. There are plenty of other people trying to explain why their book is worth publishing, and agents have their active clients to work with in between all of this. Out of about 50 agents I queried, I maybe got… I don’t know, ten responses? All of them declined. But here’s the thing: the ones that replied… they reacted positively to the premise, stating that they didn’t feel like they were the right fit for the novel, but to keep looking. Agents are readers just like the rest of us. Even the most avid fantasy lover won’t love all fantasy.

So anyway, I was putting a lot of personalization into these query letters. Doing my research, pitching the story to the agent in a way that would hopefully connect them specifically to the story. It was a lot of energy and very little reward, and as the months passed, it got a lot harder to convince myself to put in the energy to send yet another query letter.

My mental health has always been a struggle, and without even realizing it, this endless cycle of waiting and non-answers bled over into the rest of my writing life. You have to understand, being a writer is a part of my very identity. Every aspect of my life, I’ve turned into a learning experience to better myself and my writing. There was no try. There was only do. Authorship was on the horizon; it was just a matter of when.

I’d spent the better part of two years writing my beautiful little novel. It was all-encompassing. Every story idea that came to mind while I wrote it was easily placed on the back-burner. Nothing could tear my attention away from it.

When it was finished, I had two particular ideas that I was excited to write out, and as soon as I was starting the querying process, I dove right into the next project. I wanted to keep the momentum going. And you know, for a little while, everything was fine. Writing was a struggle, but writing always is. I made headway in the first idea and, when that fizzled out, I decided to set it aside, let it simmer, while I poked and prodded at the second idea.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Something of a Wake-Up Call

The week before I decided to give up on traditional publishing–the publishing route I’ve always wanted to go–I had sunk to a state of mental crisis. I had quietly lost interest in reading. My TBR pile wasn’t moving an inch. Even the idea of reading some of my favorites in the hopes of jump-starting that interest again seemed like too much of a chore. And, of course, if I’m not reading, I couldn’t bring myself to break my silence on my blog, either. My fiction writing was no better off, either. I just sort of… gave up.

I was trying to come to terms with this new me. Perhaps I’d put too much emphasis on writing. Perhaps now that my first novel was done, subconsciously, there was nothing else left. Once you climb Mount Everest, where else do you go? Smaller mountains just feel like an insult, but the idea of going through the trials of Everest again is too daunting to consider. Maybe my writing days were over. But if they were, what was left of me?

The gas tank was empty. The battery was dead. The fire spluttering into nothing.

Then someone I follow on Youtube posted a video about their own self-publishing journey. Desiring full and complete transparency, they ran the numbers, explained their revenue. While watching this, something just… clicked. It wasn’t that I expected to become rich and famous from self-publishing. I’ve never really cared about how big my following was, even if that meant it affected my future book sales. It wasn’t about any of that. Mostly, it was the simple idea that it was still an option, moreso than I’d given credit to prior.

No more waiting, no more querying. If I did this, everything would be in my hands. My success or failure would be mine and mine alone.

I promise, this has a happy ending. Or at least, the makings of one.

It’s still a little overwhelming, I’ll admit. I want to make sure all the pieces fall just so. When you decide to self-publish, you have to put your writing hat aside and sew together something resembling a marketing hat. If you’re not social-media savvy, and I am not by any means, then the marketing bit is a little bit more difficult. I like to think my retail experience, paired with whatever tidbits I’ve picked up over the years while waiting for a favorite author to drop a new book, gives me something to work with, but ah, only time will tell.

All I can say is, it’s strangely comforting to step into this big dream of mine. I’m so excited to share it with the world. I don’t expect to become rich and famous, but I do hope to be known. I hope it finds the right people, the ones who need to read it the most, and I hope people are better off for having read it.

The Big Reveal

So, after all that hard work and heartbreak, dedication and resolve, now comes the best part of it all. We start the publishing journey together. Here it is:

Title: As the Crown Falls

Zyre Arnaud, hidden under the surname Mescal for her own safety, hates bloodshed and violence, an unfortunate fact considering she is an aljarne, blessed with battle magic. But she’s managed to keep all this a secret, until one day when Nyli Béranger, the youngest prince, arrives with the intent of finally proving House Arnaud’s treasonous activity. Zyre gets caught in a trap, and it’s only thanks to a stranger named Neelie Hijaladreia offering a much-needed rescue that Zyre manages to escape the island alive.

Prince Nyli gets his hands on several key players of House Arnaud, but the big prize, Baron Jervin Arnaud, manages to escape. While Zyre plans her next steps, she finds herself entwined in the conflict of her newfound friends. Yet time is not something she has in abundance; her father is gathering his troops to march against the capital to take the throne from the tyrant regis, trapping the rest of Zyre’s family in the cross hairs. Hesitant to throw her life away for a cause she doesn’t believe in, Zyre is forced to decide how much of her identity she is willing to deny for the people she is supposed to sacrifice the most for, and just how far family loyalty must bind her.

What to Look For in the Coming Weeks

The cover is coming soon, and I feel confident in saying you are going to love it. Follow me on Twitter or Instagram to keep up to date with when things are happening. The cover drop will likely happen exclusively on there.

An ebook and paperback are both in the works. With luck, they’ll be sold both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. We’re still relatively early in the process, so if any of that changes, expect that in an update. Who knows, maybe it’ll sell on both those places and more.

As for my blog? I’m still not reading as much as I used to, but right now I’m nearing the halfway point of a long-overdue Eragon reread, and I’m planning on writing up a post about it, what it adds to the fantasy genre, how it holds up in the years since publication, and so forth.

My site should be getting a revamp very soon, too. I’m so excited 🙂 Until next time,



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: