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I’m Going to Be Published…Self, That Is

// Author: Jordan Locke // 23 Comments

My last post talked about the difficulty with determining what is good writing, especially when it comes to my own. Well, I had a bit of an epiphany.

I’d been going through a novel I wrote a couple of years ago, the one that got me my agent. And you know what I discovered?

This book is pretty darn good.

Although we had some close calls, my agent, truly wonderful as she is, wasn’t able to sell it. There are a number of reasons. The market for dystopian novels was starting to wane, for one. Another is probably just dumb luck. And finally, it could have been because my writing isn’t up to snuff.

I’m through doubting myself, though. Damn it, this book is good enough for publication.

Yes. I’m going to publish it myself.

I’ve discussed the decision with my agent, and although she’s reluctant to give it up, just in case a publisher might have wanted to buy it down the road, she gave me her blessing.

I know the odds. The market for self-published books is super crowded. It’s nearly impossible to break out. But I’m going to give it my best try.

Being a designer as well as a writer, I have been formatting the book and creating the cover. Look for The Only Boy coming soon.

Tell me in the comment section: do you think I made the right decision?

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  1. Jordan Locke - December 7, 2013 1:36 pm

    Please add a comment below.

    • MarethMBotha - January 26, 2014 6:29 pm

      Your boy’s picture is unusual and I think one that readers will look at twice; then look at the title and contents, which is what any author desires. I wish you everything of the best with self-publishing – a VERY big, brave step. One has to believe in oneself and deliver the best possible book. After all, people are paying good money to read our stories. :-)

  2. DS McKnight - December 7, 2013 2:09 pm

    If you believe in your book then you made the right choice. Self publishing is hard work – for most of us, it’s not overnight success. But it is worth the effort.

  3. Jordan Locke - December 7, 2013 4:30 pm

    Thanks, DS. This was a tough decision to make. I hope it’s the right one.

  4. Ana W. - December 9, 2013 12:24 am

    Go for it. Good Luck!

    • Jordan Locke - December 10, 2013 3:29 am

      Thanks, Ana.

  5. Emery - December 10, 2013 1:40 am

    Congrats on this exciting new journey! I have just begun the process of self pi located my own novel as well! When you believe in your story others will as well! The next best step is of course to get it to those readers who will believe right along side you! I’m a personal fan of dystopian novels and I’m sure it is one worth reading.

  6. Jordan Locke - December 10, 2013 3:31 am

    Thanks, Emery. Good luck with your self-publishing adventure, too.

  7. Amy Kaufman Burk - December 17, 2013 12:08 pm

    I chose to self-publish my first novel last summer. It’s a big decision, and it takes determination and effort. It’s also extremely rewarding, and I’m deeply grateful every day. So stand by your writing, put it out there, and I wish you the best of luck. I look forward to reading your work.

    • Jordan Locke - December 22, 2013 4:05 am

      Thanks for the encouragement, Amy. It seems like it should be an easy choice, but it’s not. Putting your work out there without any backing, not knowing how people will react, is nerve-wracking. Glad it worked out for you.

  8. janice Abel - December 17, 2013 3:00 pm

    Good luck to you. Believe in yourself and go. Just because you self publish does not mean you have closed the door to other options in the future. I have found it tough. A few years ago had great time publishing Little horse stories as serial stories for newspapers. Paid? You bet. But now with newspapers having trouble my success in selling books has gone down down almost to nothing. Having a very difficult time in creating a market beyond people who know me. But go girl- Janice

    • Jordan Locke - December 22, 2013 4:08 am

      Hi Janice,

      Yes, creating the market will likely be tougher than writing the book. There’s a lot of competition out there.

  9. Dotty - December 21, 2013 12:50 am

    It’s a good choice… If I ever managed to complete a book of any worth I think self publishing would be my first idea… Yes it’s a tough market but what market isn’t and you really just have to depend on word of mouth to really get something selling and spreading… Plus I have spied your book and I am going to buy it, it sounds amazing, just my cup of tea! Good luck! I will tell the world about it once I’ve read it (so in a week or so)

    • Jordan Locke - December 22, 2013 4:13 am

      Thanks Dotty,

      I hope you like it, and thanks for the retweets of my announcement on Twitter.

  10. Danielle - December 21, 2013 3:41 am

    I think you made the right decision. If your agent wasn’t able to sell it, you might as well go for it. You can continue to write in the meantime. The next one will no doubt be better and she can give it another shot.

    I’m working on formatting my first novel now. I didn’t even try for an agent because I want to self-publish. I was on the fence, but mostly leaning toward self-pub. It’s a business decision for me. I know it’s a lot of work, but I’m willing to do it.

    Good luck to you and everyone else who’s self-publishing.

    Thanks for following me on Twitter, by the way. @DanielleLeneeDa

    • Jordan Locke - December 22, 2013 4:17 am

      Hi Danielle,

      I’ve written two novels since this one. My agent is pitching one of them to editors. This one means a lot to me, though.

      Thank you for following me, too.

  11. Don Drewniak - December 21, 2013 9:49 pm

    My two books have sold enough online to cover expenses – that’s it. However, I’ve done very well locally selling paperback copies. It has taken a lot of time and effort to do so. Best of luck.

    • Jordan Locke - December 22, 2013 4:23 am

      Thanks Don, and good luck with your writing endeavors, too.

  12. Chris Stevenson - December 22, 2013 3:03 am

    Well, Jordon, my agent and I ended up in the same funk, having been unable to sell my YA book to the biggies. Ironically, this book took the grand prize in a novel writing contest, copped six small press contracts and went to film option. So, like you, I KNEW I had a winner here, yet the Big 5 didn’t see it or glossed over it. We did finally manage to sell it to the sixth small press house with a nice advance. If that wouldn’t have happened, I would have self-published this title because it meant so much to me.


    • Joanna Wiebe - December 23, 2013 6:37 pm

      I agree with you, Chris. Selling to the Big 5 (sometimes Big 6?) is very hard to do and seems to come down, quite often, to the marketability of the book. My debut novel made it through several rounds of readings with the editors at the biggies but couldn’t get through the marketing / sales teams there. It ultimately went to a great small publisher with a fantastic reputation and awesome bestsellers; they are as concerned about marketing as the next pub is, but they don’t have the stress of shareholders breathing down their necks and looking for 10% YOY growth in a declining industry.

      Back to self-publishing, :) go for it, Jordan!!! Self-publishing seems to be for authors what web series are for actors and directors: a great modern way to share your story, build a global platform/fanbase and do what you love. Virginia Woolf self-published – and even hand-printed and bound her books – before she found a publisher. Go to town with it! You never know where it might lead you.

  13. Jordan Locke - December 22, 2013 4:24 am

    Hi Chris,

    It’s such a crap shoot. Editors have so much on their plate. A lot of great books get passed over.

    Glad it worked out for you in the end.

  14. James W Hoddinott - December 30, 2013 4:05 am

    Good Luck with your choice. It is tough going to gain financial success but having people reading your work and pursuing your dream is a great reward in itself. I have always enjoyed going to book clubs and meeting ad talking with people who have read my writing. I hope you all the success.

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