After hearing about Marlon James winning the Man Booker Prize, and how many times his first novel was rejected, I harked back to the days when I too tried to get my book published the old fashioned way. My first novel was rejected by dozens of publishers and even agents, usually with the line ‘this is a good book, but it’s not for us.’ (Which, I’ll admit is better than the alternative…!)
Thankfully, I was still naïve in the workings of the publishing industry, and I have not been jaded enough to simply abandon the project. As with most writers, my mantra is ‘never give up’. This has been beaten into me since day one; and why I elected to go self-published. I decided that having complete control over the production, marketing and selling process was a good thing – even if it means that I am taking a crash-course in these aspects in order to get anywhere.
We have also heard a similar story with Harry Potter and countless others. I really believe that traditional publishers have and a big enough stranglehold over the industry for too long. It’s no secret that there are more writers than publishers, so they have the luxury to pick and choose who they want to take on. But how many masterpieces have disappeared into the ether as a result? I hope that the ability for writers to self-publish gives them the kick up the behind that they deserve. Self-publishing will always lead to a certain amount of bad reads, but then so has traditional publishing. At least this way, the public has the right to choose.