Starting out, I didn’t know anything about the publishing world. And I most certainly didn’t know anything about self-publishing. I had never even read an e-book before 2012, which is when my brother bought me my first kindle. I had my mind set on traditionally publishing my novel. I thought that was the only way to get my work out there. Throughout my senior of high school, I worked with a woman who used to work for a magazine as an editor. She came up with a list of about 70 literary agents, and we queried every single one of them. They all replied with the same thing, “We’re not currently looking for your type of work.”
Needless to say, I was devastated. I thought my novel was great. What author doesn’t think their work is publish worthy? Our work is our baby.
However, since I would have been starting college and nobody seemed to be interested in Zola, I put it away until late 2014. That’s when I came across a video on YouTube posted by Joanna Penn of the Creative Penn. She was talking about how self-publishing was really the way to go nowadays. I read a few of her articles and look at her videos. I became curious, and I started researching self-publishing.
I finally made up my mind in May of 2015 to self-publish. My father had just died, and we always wanted me to succeed. Both of our dreams were for me to become a New York Times bestselling author. It’s still my dream. I took Zola out of the binder and re-read it. I made some changes and sent it off to a professional editor. I found a cover artist, who I think is amazing. And I put it up on Amazon for pre-order.
Many people don’t understand why I chose to self-publish after wanting to go the traditional route for so long. If I’m honest, I just got tired of waiting for opportunities to fall into my lap. My father once told me that nothing is handed to you. That you have to work for what you want in this world. And I want people to read Zola. There’s a story in her that I’m ready for the world to read. And I have a feeling that now is the time for Zola, and me, to be heard. Self-publishing gave me the opportunity for that to happen.
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