For many in the writing world being traditionally published is still the dream that we strive to achieve. I have made the leap from my snobby assumptions about Indie authors to believing in the work that they put in and the professionalism that many display. I have become one of them but I have not given up the goal of at least once being accepted by an agent and traditional publisher so that I can be considered hybrid for traditional and Indie work.
When looking into the traditional world one must first capture the attention of representation, in rare instances you can submit directly to publishers however you must make sure that you read the guidelines carefully and those opportunities are few and far between. Since most publishers do not accept unsolicited work it is vital to obtain a literary agent in order to get your foot in the door. Again very few agents will accept manuscripts mailed or emailed to them without an introduction first?
This is where the query comes in. The dreaded letter that must be perfect in order to accomplish your goals. You have to have the right hook to draw in your target. Once they are captured you hold them with the intricacies of your plot using just a few key lines. Finally you must demonstrate why you and not just your book are a perfect fit for their agency and representation. The letter shows your talent and ability while simultaneously selling you and your dream.
It is a world of rejection to be sure. Very few, like a fraction of a percent, strike gold on their first try. Be prepared. The rejections will most likely come and when they do it will be as a flood. My first book I submitted over thirty times and those I did hear back from were all rejections. I decided I had a lot to learn still and that is why I went Indie. I worked with an editor and have studied different aspects of promoting. I have so far to go still but the journey has brought me to a new level of understanding from where I started.
There is nothing wrong with either form of publishing as long as you approach them with the right attitude. We are professional writers whether a large publishing house puts their stamp on the book or we hit publish online ourselves. These books are our works of art, our business and we approach each endeavor that way. Anyone thinking of submitting I encourage it. It helped me and I haven't stopped dreaming of the acceptance letter but for now I love being Indie as well. Either choice you make I am happy to say welcome to our world.