It was a tough decision. Seriously.
Perhaps I was premature. Perhaps RB isn’t up to professional standards yet, or -as a first novel – never will be. Perhaps I took the easy way out. Last thing I want to be is prima-donna deluded (or is that prima uomo?) and come across as sniveled and sanctimonious. But after 18 months of queries, waiting, lack of communication, editing, wondering, I decided it was time to stop scratching at the door of the traditional gatekeepers and move on.
To be clear, I’m not lifting my leg on agents and publishers. They’re professionals with a tough job, and they don’t owe me a thing. I’ve received very gracious responses from several who took the time to read and comment on my manuscript. Their feedback was invaluable to this first time author.
It’s just that between the slogging and waiting, and the exploding opportunities for self-publishing, I opted to change my course. From Smashwords free services (free ISBN for ebooks… how cool is that?) to Lulu, xLibris, iUniverse, CreateSpace, etc, the field is wide open and I’m sensing the readers are becoming the new gatekeepers. The material, distribution and access is at your fingertips.
Yes, there’s loads of trash to wade through. I’ve winced my way through the opening pages of many stories. (Get an editor, guys) Some will toss “Running Black” on the garbage heap, but that’s not the point. The game has changed, and I think in the midst of all that verbiage, there’s genuine talent that will rise to the surface and be appreciated.
And, I bet dollars to doughnuts if a self-pubbed book starts selling well, a publishing house will overlook their qualms and work something out.