Like many new authors, I had dreams of seeing my novels in bookstores and libraries. How cool would that be? I sent out close to 200 queries for Beautiful, but none of the literary agents shared my vision. Maybe the timing was wrong. Maybe the pandemic messed everything up. Hell, maybe I’m just not as good of a writer as I think I am. And maybe the title of my author website, “How’s Your Book Coming?” has turned out to be more ironic than I’d hoped.
Bottom line: I couldn’t find a literary agent to represent my first novel. I suppose I could put my manuscript on Kindle or iBooks or wherever and “self-publish” it. But… to what end? The average self-published novel sells less than 200 copies. Total! Which, from my perspective, is the same as selling zero copies. And marketing a self-published book requires money, time, networking, and salesmanship. I’m a writer, not a marketer. I believe in working to my strengths.
If traditional publishing didn’t work for my first novel, if I don’t care to self-publish, and if I want people to read my novel, my only other option is to make my novel available online for free. So I’m putting it on Wattpad.
There are additional things to like about Wattpad. In no particular order:
- Each chapter is a separate “part,” so I can see which parts of the story resonate the most with readers
- I can build my audience and then if they like what I’m writing, they’re more likely to buy a future novel because I’ll be a known quantity
- if I develop a large readership on Wattpad, I’ll mention it in future query letters
- there are traditional publishing opportunities for writers on Wattpad. Just the thought that there’s still a possibility, even if it’s not likely, is enough. There’s nothing more valuable than hope (well, hope and a solid plan, but you know what I mean).
A book needs a cover, whether it’s a physical printed book or an e-book. I am artistically challenged; my drawing ability is limited to smiley faces and stick figures. However, I know how to find people who are talented in areas where I’m not. Do you want to see the cover for Beautiful?
You do? Really? Then check it out!
This is exactly how I imagined Cara would look. We don’t see her scar. It’s hidden, like so much else about her. I’m extremely pleased with how the cover turned out!