Revived Post from 2011
*I wrote this post (now slightly edited) back in 2011. It’s rather interesting for me rereading it now. Looking back I’m still glad that I went the e-book route as opposed to continuing down the traditional route.
The Traditional Route
In March 2008 I completed what I suppose is technically a memoir, then it festered in a drawer for nearly three years while I winged the standard synopsis and sample chapters off to publishers. To me the very word memoir is off-putting. It conjures up pictures of a white-haired old man relating his war experiences in a somewhat starched and stuffy style. So when I approached publishers during that three years I avoided using it and instead I called it a True Romantic Adventure. It made no difference, I still got the standard pleasant and complimentary rejections. To get a personal story published I think you really need to be a celebrity of some sort.
Thousands of writers follow the same well-worn path of rejection, and not just for memoirs. It matters not what your genre is, it’s still a laborious and often disheartening task trying to get published, however dogged you are. A fact which also causes some concern is that some books which are now world-famous were turned down by dozens of publishers before eventually being accepted. I read recently that Zen and the Art of Motor-cycle Maintenance was turned down 121 times before it was accepted. So even if you are a good writer it could take donkeys years to get published. And even worse, what if your book was eventually published and sold like crazy after you had died; wouldn’t that cheese you right off!
Fortunately for me and a lot of other authors the age of the e-book is seriously with us now. It gives us all a long-awaited and sporting chance to sell our chosen genre. At last the author has some control. As one writer recently put it, ‘The Kindle (and other e-Readers) allows you to publish your work and let the people decide – democracy in action!