My options for the future.

This post is going to be about my possible options and routes as an author for my future. Directions I can go, things that may become available, all that stuff. So this won’t be very interesting for the casual reader, but if you care about my future as an author, I’d recommend you read this to stay updated on what might happen.

First of all, I’m exploring my options as a self published author. I currently use Amazon KDP but I recently made an account with Ingramspark, another self publishing service. The main difference between the two (to me) is that KDP is free, while Ingramspark is paid but offers worldwide distribution, meaning it could be available in retailers like Waterstones. So it’s a pretty good deal.

There’s also independent publishers like Leaf Publishing House, who offer the services that a traditional publisher would give for a fee and giving you some independence.

And then there’s the route that most authors are aware of. You send queries to literary agents, and if an agent likes it, they might take you on and get you in touch with a traditional publisher.

The reason I haven’t gone down that route is simply because it took up a lot of time that I didn’t have when I first started last year. I had just started my A Levels, and my studies combined with my art, photography, writing and health, it was too stressful. Researching agents, writing loads of query letters, then waiting months hoping for an answer and never getting one. To be blunt, in the end, it was so much easier to just self publish and stay independent with all of the control.

I like having that control, don’t get me wrong. But now that I’m growing up and becoming more aware and more mature of the world of writing, I’ve realised that I need to change how I think and what I do.

That’s why, as I’m still writing my 5th book, I am sending query letters out to multiple literary agents. I’m trying to go down that route that many, many authors have gone down and succeeded at. It means I’ll have to be patient, and ready for rejection, but I can do that. I’ve got a really good feeling about this book, I think it’ll be good and I’m feeling confident about it. I like all of my books, but I think this is the one I need to really focus on. I want a good future as an author, and while I know that self published authors can be really successful, I don’t think I can make it on my own. At the very least I want one of my books with a traditional publisher and I want it to be this one.

If this route goes nowhere though, that’s fine too. If I get rejected 50 times, I can still self publish. I’m hoping to get some sort of response of interest by the end of this year. If not, then I will self publish the book with both KDP and Ingramspark in 2020.

What I am asking of my readers is support. Whether I continue to self publish, go to an independent publisher or get a literary agent, I’d like you to keep supporting me. There’s a few specific dreams I have as an author- get my books on the shelves of Waterstones, be featured in a literary festival, do workshops and talks in big cities- and I have a feeling I’ll need to be with a traditional publisher to do most of them successfully. I’ve done a workshop at a local secondary school, which went really well actually. However, if I want to do these things continuously and productively, I need some support. Both from my readers and a publisher.

This blog post might come across as whiny, pathetic, sad, or all of the above. Nonetheless, I want to be open and honest and discuss my possible plans and outcomes with all of you. A lot of people think I don’t know what I’m doing because I’m young and yes, sometimes I don’t know. That’s why I try to do my research and explore all of my possible options before making a solid decision. Things like, is it worth going to Ingramspark and spend £49 plus an extra £98 for an ISBN? For a book that might not sell at all. For a book that still might never end up on bookshop shelves. Whereas if I stay exclusively with KDP, the book will never be available anywhere in shops and stays on Amazon only.

In the end, as I said before, I want to be honest with my readers. That’s the purpose of this blog post. When I make a final decision – whether it’s a literary agent accepting my manuscript or not – I will let you guys know.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, hope you all have a good day.

Published by Alexandra Killworth

I'm Alexandra Killworth, YA author, freelance artist and photographer and mental health activist.

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