Abandoning the Fear of Traditional Publishing

I have long expounded on the virtues of self-publishing as providing authors the opportunity for complete creative control. 
Flee! But don't, actually. Keep reading.
Flee! But don't, actually. Keep reading.
It's time to be honest. If you've read my blogs in past, perhaps you've been convinced that this was the summation of my feelings on the matter. The truth is that I was scared. Scared that the work I was doing wasn't good enough to catch an agent's eye, or even more daunting, survive a trip across an editor's desk.
The truth was that I was not writing the story that needed to be told, as I was advised by one of my professors in graduate school. 
Today, I admit this to you, dear readers, not because there is anything lacking in self-publishing or Indie publishing. In fact, there are still some projects that I have in the works that would be well-suited for such endeavors. 
But for my novels, I have to admit that I have steered away from the traditional route because rejection of a work of that size scared me. 
I've received rejection letters for short stories, sure--stories that I've worked hard on. But nothing takes from a writer like a novel, and a historical fiction novel is among the greediest of all for all the research involved.
I can admit to this now because I believe, for the first time, that I am working on a novel that might survive the trials of traditional publishing. I am working on a novel that has the potential to use history to call to mind the oppression--and sometimes subversion--of a common people. Of women. Of those existing on the outskirts of society.
That novel is The Coven of Essex. The story is told by three main characters: A man who is a member of the upper strata of society but is facing financial ruin, a woman who flaunts her independence in a time when to do so was unacceptable, and a man who must find a way to live despite the stigmas of "executed justice." This novel questions persecution, wealth, society, and the assumptions we make today, 350+ years after the story takes place.
I am finally telling the story that needs to be written and finding an agent and publisher for this work will, I am certain, be filled with ups and downs, but it will be an honor, just as writing the story is an honor. 
Don't be afraid to write the story that needs to be written. Don't be afraid to pursue whatever pathways will lead to its greatest success--not for money, but to share ideas, to tell the story, and to inspire readers.


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