Acting on Good Advice
It was time for a change. I’d asked for advice from authors Jodi Thomas and Reavis Wortham. I took their suggestions and signed up for the West Texas Writers’ Academy and the Writers’ League of Texas annual conference.
The West Texas Writers’ Academy was in early June. Ms. Thomas suggested that I sign up for a class taught by USA Today Best Selling Author Bethany Claire. Bethany writes Scottish Time Travel Romances. She’s also a self-published author.
Bethany is about the same age as my sons. I was very impressed with her. She’s a smart, well-organized young woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. She’s also one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
Fourteen or fifteen classmates and I spent four and a half days learning how to become self-published authors. There was so much information and so many things to consider. It took a while to process everything Bethany shared with us.
I still wasn’t sure that self-publishing would be for me after taking the class. I write after work hours, on weekends, and during school holidays. There was a lot of work involved that my current publisher now handled.
The Writers’ League of Texas conference was two weeks later. I chose sessions about marketing and promotion. I had my pitch for Flames of Wilbarger County ready. Then came time for my appointment with the agent.
Meeting the agent was probably the most nerve-wracking experience I’ve had to date as an author. I was to be the second person to visit with him. I thought I’d have a few minutes to calm my nerves and rehearse what I wanted to say while I waited my turn.
It didn’t happen that way. The first person didn’t show up. Less than five minutes after I sat down, I was ushered in to meet Mitch Hoffman. I don’t recall what I said. I do remember that Mr. Hoffman put me at ease right away.
We had been told that if the agents were interested they would request only a few pages of our work. I was pleasantly surprised when Mr. Hoffman requested that I send him the entire manuscript.
After the conference, I went home and put as much of what I’d learned as I could into practice. I was limited in some areas because I was still under contract with my publisher.
It was September before I heard back from Mr. Hoffman. He informed me he thought the story had real merit. He liked the story and the writing. He didn’t think it was strong enough for a publisher to pick up mid-series. I was disappointed but not surprised. It did boost my confidence that he liked the book as a whole.
Now it was time to make a decision. Would it be best to continue with my current publisher, try to find an agent and another publisher, or become a self-published author?
See the May 2019 post for the next chapter of
My Indie Author Journey