Sound weird? I think there must be a fine line between the two. Why, you ask? They both come through as faint whispers in my mind.
As I go through the typical aspiring author role, accepting rejection as my inaugeration--the humility I must endure to earn my ultimate goal--I can't help but wonder if it's really my natural path. Okay, now you're totally confused, right?
What I mean is, I'm a non-conformist by nature. If there's a way for me to alter tradition, I do it. I love putting my own twist on things. That's why I'm a writer. So knowing what the alternative to finding an agent and a traditional publisher is, grows more and more appealing each day. It's reachable, attainable. I could have my work out there right now for people to read. That's the true ultimate goal, right? Having readers for our stories??
There are risks, of course ... like losing the "debut author" status if I ever find publication with a traditional publisher. But I'd be losing royalties that way, anyway. If I self-pub on Amazon, B&N, etc, I'm keeping most of the royalties myself. I just have to be willing to market my stories, which you're exepcted to do now anyway with traditional pubbing. PLUS! If I self-pub, I make my own deadlines and am my own boss. That is so me.
However, even though I've been writing for five years now, I'm still a newbie to the publishing scene, and I'd really love the guidance and support of an agent. I feel like it makes sense. AND I write mostly YA, so I don't know how successful ebooks will be in that market yet. Ereaders are still mostly adult oriented (which I strongly believe will be changing in the near future when kids use tablets for school.)
So this is where the intuition vs. self-doubt comes in. I can't distinguish the two when it comes to this topic. The rejections I receive in the search for agents has nothing to do with the actual stories, only that they don't feel passionate about them or they just didn't "love" them enough. And I get that. I read stories sometimes that are decent, but I don't "love" them.
The thing is, others may. And agents read SO many stories that how can you possibly be able to dazzle them anymore? A perfectly good story can fall to the wayside because it just didn't sparkle quite enough in that agent's eyes. And the funny thing is that there are stories out there that STILL don't sparkle and have been traditionally published.
Long story short, the whispers I hear tell me I should put this effort I'm expending into finding an agent, into marketing the work I've already written. You know, building an actual website, uplaoding stories to Amazon, promoting, promoting, promoting, etc. Getting out there so readers can access my stuff RIGHT NOW. But I can't tell if these whispers are my intuition speaking to me, or my self-doubt that I'll ever actually secure an agent.
Either way, I'll keep writing and I'll keep honing my craft with each story.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Any experiences to share? Advice? Lay it on me....