Sunday, January 11, 2015

RESOLVE Has Another Name

by Jody Feldman

Artwork, Victoria Jamieson*


A couple months ago I was asked to speak at a gathering of writers. The other speaker that morning was a woman who successfully self-publishes. It was a casual gathering at a university bookstore, where we were asked to discuss our paths to and experiences with publishing. As usual, I spent a segment addressing exactly why it took so long (about 20 years!) from the day I decided I’d like to give this kidlit gig a whirl until I got my first book on the shelves.

During the Q&A segment, a gentleman asked his question. “How on earth did you hold out so long? Why didn’t you just publish the book yourself?”

Several different answers swirled in my head: issues concerning the monetary outlay, the intense marketing and sales efforts, the desire to be edited, the confirmation that a company with bottom-line responsibilities deemed my work worthy. And while I did mention those eventually, I led with something altogether different.

“I put it in my mind that I wouldn’t stop improving myself and my work until I heard that YES. That’s the way it was going to be, all or nothing.”

You may call it resolve, but honestly? I’m just that stubborn.

*Depicted is Estella from The Gollywhopper Games: The New Champion

2 comments:

  1. I feel the same way. It's tempting with all the self-publishing going on these days (such a different outlook than the one given about 8 years ago at my first SCBWI conference) but I want to hold out for that YES too!

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  2. Jody, I hear ya, sister! Took me about 16 years to get my first book published. Longer than anybody else I knew - at least those who were actively writing new material, getting feedback, going to conferences, reading books about writing, making regular submissions (snail mail with SASE's, etc). I wanted to be good enough for a traditional publisher. It was a different world back then though. There was no social media or Kindle pubbing back then. It was a long, hard road when you know nobody and have no contacts or connections. And now I'm old enough to be all these "young authors" mothers. :-)

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