I’ve seen a lot of authors share experiences with query rejections. And it can be rough trying to convince an agent or publisher to take a chance with you. However, I’ve also seen a few writers who get discouraged to the point of “shelving” their books. But, why?
Imagine putting all of your heart and soul into what you believe is a work of art only to hide it away because of the sheer number of rejections.
So, it’s no secret that I am a fan of self-publishing. Especially for those who don’t have a lot of money but want to see their work in print. In reality, there are a lot of benefits. And quite honestly, there are a lot of drawbacks.
However, putting your book on hold because you’re discouraged isn’t doing yourself or your potential fans any favors.
You never know whose life you’ll affect when you self-publish your work.
Many platforms today make it exceptionally easy and cheap to get your book out to the masses. In fact, I’ve spent a total of $0.83 publishing A Freelancer’s Tale, which includes marketing.
That’s a story of another time, however.
Though I haven’t made a ton of sales, I’m excited to have the first printed copy of my book sitting on my bookshelf.
Query Rejections Are Not the End of the World
It can be quite disheartening to put yourself out there time and again only for others to discredit your work. But it’s not the end of your journey. Especially today when you have so many options available.
Think of rejections as only part of the growing process. Sure, not everyone is cut out to be an author. Just because someone cranked out 90,000 words in a book doesn’t mean it’ll be something people want to read.
Now, I’m not saying that your manuscript sucks. I just want you to be aware that being a writer takes more than just having an idea you think is good.
It’s about storytelling and being able to engage your readers from start to finish.
With that out of the way, you also need to understand that you cannot please 100% of the people 100% of the time. This means that despite agents and publishers turning down your query, there is probably someone out there who is going to love your book.
Think of a movie you absolutely loved that critics hated.
If you truly want to see if you have merit as an author, don’t give up. That’s when self-publishing comes into play.
Why Self-Publish Despite Query Rejections?
It’s true that I am fairly new to authoring books. In fact, I’ve only the one published so far, which is an autobiography about how I started as a writer and never giving up even when things look bleak.
Needless to say, it doesn’t sell a lot of copies.
Mostly because no one knows who I am or cares how I started. The purpose of the book was to help me learn the process of self-publishing from beginning to end.
In that essence, A Freelancer’s Tale has succeeded.
However, there are several reasons why you should consider self-publishing after multiple rejections from query messages.
Boosting Your Level of Self-Confidence
Perhaps the most prolific benefit of self-publishing is how it affects your level of confidence. I can only speak for myself, but when I saw A Freelancer’s Tale go live on Amazon, I was filled with a sense of purpose.
It was, and still is, an incredible feeling that inspired me to go beyond the feelings of self-doubt and fear. And when I opened the package from Amazon of my first-ever printed copy, I welled up inside.
It fulfilled a life-long dream of seeing my name on the spine of a book on my shelves. For me, it was momentous.
Since then, I’ve been attacking my writing and career with a fervor I’ve never experienced. Despite having the hardest past few months with multiple deaths in the family, I’ve managed to keep everything together while moving forward.
Getting Your Name Out There
Part of being a success at anything in today’s world is getting your name out there for recognition. It’s all about personal branding, nowadays. By self-publishing your book, you begin that process.
For instance, when you search for my name, it’s mostly the blogs and social accounts that pop up first on page one. But the Amazon link to my book is on Bing and my KDP Author page is on Google.
My point is that getting your book out there with a bit of marketing can help you create a reputation.
Now whether that reputation is good or bad is completely up to you and what you create. However, self-publishing can help build a foundation from which you can build.
Building an Audience and Fan Base
Along with marketing comes creating a fan base of your target market. These are the people who are most interested in reading your content. It may be slow-going at first, but you can expand upon this simply by being active on social media.
Now, remember, not everyone is going to appreciate your work, and that’s fine. The ones you should care about are the ones who love your style and ideas.
Getting your book on platforms like Amazon or Barnes & Noble is only the beginning of something that could be greater than you can possibly imagine. Well, as long as you put yourself out there and give your readers what they want.
No one can guarantee success, especially when it comes to writing. But you won’t know what kind of success you can achieve unless you put the book out there.
It doesn’t matter how many times a query comes back with rejections. If you write something people want to read, they will buy it whether it’s self-published or not.
Remember, even your favorite movie has haters.
Costs Can Vary Greatly
Now comes the downside of self-publishing: costs can be all over the map. Sure, I spent $0 actually publishing A Freelancer’s Tale. But I did that on purpose to see how difficult it is and whether it can be done.
You can spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars self-publishing your book depending on the service.
For example, I spent $0.83 recently on Amazon Ads without a sale. But I know people who will dump hundreds of dollars each month in marketing.
There’s only so much you can do for free, but at least you can get your foot in the door.
Self-Publishing Does Require a Lot of Work!
So, self-publishing sounds like a great idea for many new authors. Especially for those who don’t have $4,000 to toss at an agent or an editor. However, it comes with a great caveat…
It takes an exceptional amount of work on your behalf!
You are responsible for every aspect of publishing your book. From the moment you write the first sentence to advertising, it’s all on your shoulders.
Before you freak out, though, understand that there are a number of ways you can afford each part of self-publishing. There are many affordable experts, businesses, and apps out there to help you along the way.
I’ve actually been working on a page of writing tools for self-publishing authors. It’s an ever-growing list of things I’ve found exceptionally helpful.
But what if you don’t have the money to put into your book? Well, I was able to do the entire process while using free apps such as Canva for the cover and the free version of Grammarly to assist in editing.
In fact, there is a video on the homepage of this blog of how I made the cover for A Freelancer’s Tale.
It is possible to self-publish, but it does require a significant amount of your time. For me, the benefits were surely worth every moment I’ve spent on the book thus far.
Don’t Let Query Rejections Hold You Back
The entire point of this post is to show that just because you get a ton of rejections for your book, there are options available. Self-publishing can help you in a multitude of ways.
Mostly, from a mental standpoint.
Confidence in yourself and the feeling of pride from holding your own book in your hands can be incredibly significant for pushing you in the right direction.
Besides, it’s not like you can’t query agents and publishers with your next book. Build your own library as an indie author and ignite the flames of your creativity.