I’ve been reading a lot about writing and publishing these days. I notice there are a lot of writers out there drowning in self-doubt and frustration and the common element I notice with these authors is what is generally known as the “publishing world”. Yes, we have all tried to understand and hopefully weasel our way into the “publishing world”. Most of us want our books published and we would rather get the marketing backup supplied by the “traditional” publishing methods. However, lately I wonder just how much “better” said method really is.
I started with the traditional method and eventually went the self-published route. I wrote, queried, got rejected, edited, re-queried, got rejected again, edited some more, got frustrated, almost drowned in the self-doubt and eventually churned my way out of the bucket of cream.
My book was not ready for publication back when I was querying and I probably needed to re-evaluate my agent query list and re-write the letters. Yes. I’m sure, they were not their best, but I don’t think my book would’ve gotten picked up anyway. Well, maybe eventually… but it felt like eventually would be in 20 years when I no longer cared to write stories like The Adventures of Pixie Piper.
Creating the agent list was frustrating. Most of them said they hated portals, fairies were too girly, etc. I say, who are YOU to tell a child what they want to read? Which brings me to the whole point of this blog. The kids need a voice in publishing. So far, adults are telling them what to read. Adults decide what books might be interesting for children, and they decide what books get published. Well, adults can be wrong about kids. In fact, adults are often wrong about kids. What nobody reads Middle Grade? Isn’t that one of the key elements of these books: How adults don’t get the kids? Perhaps there is truth in that.
The initial reaction of kids when I show them the book is awe. Granted, that is all thanks to the beautiful cover. The second reaction: “I love fairies!” Their eyes sparkle and they smile and get all excited and that to me is the most satisfying feeling ever. They like it!
But if I hadn’t self-published they would not have this book at their disposal. The kids depend on a very long list of adults first liking the books they read before they actually even get printed. They have no say in what gets published. They can only pick from the shelf at the shop. How do we know they wouldn’t pick a different book if it was available?
So I invite you to ask your kids what they would like to read about? Maybe they’ll surprise you.