On September 15, 2015, I clicked the publish button on Amazon for the Kindle and Createspace print versions of my first novel, BLOOD SACRAMENT. I've been trying for decades (literally a couple decades) to get this work into the hands of an agent who would then work to shop it until a traditional publishing deal was struck. It's never worked out that way. I laugh when I see how many rejections well-known authors received. 17? 28? Try 120! Most of the agents simply ignored me (it's not personal -- they treat most of us who send the "all-important" query letter that way). They simply did not respond at all. The remainder responded with a "personalized" letter that started with "Dear Author:"...
I know in my heart that I wrote great query letters, and I equally know in the same heart that these letters weren't ever truly read. They were either deleted unread or an intern hit an automatic response button. I would not mind a bit of truth: "Dear Author: Since you are not already somebody, we are not interested in you. Please come back and try again if ever you become somebody. In lieu of that, we may consider you if you are referred to us by somebody. So go out and become body or become known by somebody."
So what did I do? I finally came to my senses and realized that if I really feel my work is good and compelling, why don't I do something about it? Why don't I self-publish and let those who really count
-- the readers -- decide? Although my efforts may come to nothing, I have to try this. I'm getting too old to accept being treated badly or ignored.
I owe a lot to the successful efforts of self-published authors like Hugh Howey, Theresa (T. R.) Ragan, and C. J. Lyon. Also, I've learned so much from the podcasts by the Self Publishing Podcast trio of Johnny, Sean, and Dave. I'll never be as prolific as you three, but you have destroyed the anti-self-publishing stigma that lurked in the back of my brain.
Once BLOOD SACRAMENT is off and running, I'll write about how the story was written. Actually, the story behind the story is worth its own story.