From The Independent:
Authors, like artists, live with rejection. We meet it when trying to get published. We meet it trying to stay published. We write, and then others decide if our work is good enough to be let out into the world. Or at least, that’s how it used to be.
In 2001, I gave up my PR business to write a novel. I had no agent, no publisher, no experience. I didn’t even have an idea. In retrospect, it was crazy. But then, maybe sometimes craziness is exactly what’s required to change your life. I wrote the novel in six months, sent it out to publishers and agents and prepared for rejection.
Thankfully, I also received feedback on my writing. I edited the manuscript and sent it out again. I got to work on a second novel so that the next batch of – inevitable – rejections wouldn’t stop me writing. I told myself that it didn’t matter if I never got published. Of course it mattered.
The edits worked. That first novel was published. Three more followed.
. . . .
Meanwhile, the world of self-publishing was being born. For the first time, authors could reach readers directly and globally. The fact that royalty rates were higher meant lower prices to the reader. This transformation in publishing was exciting to watch.
. . . .
By now, the publishing rights to my first four novels had reverted to me. I decided to have a shot at self-publishing. To mark my new adventure, I reinvented myself. Choosing the pen name Aimee Alexander (my children’s names combined), I began to edit my original novels, a process that proved surprisingly necessary. So much had changed in the few years since they had been published. The way we use language had altered. Society too had become more liberal, tolerant. I had become more demanding of my characters.
. . . .
As an author, I had never really had much control over the publishing process. Now I controlled everything – the content, the look, the promotion. I also had access to data I never had before. On any given day, I could check where in the world my books were selling and in what numbers. When I did a promotion, I could see the results almost immediately.
. . . .
My story is one of many. The publishing industry is rapidly evolving, offering new and exciting opportunities for authors. Rejection need no longer dominate our lives. There is something uplifting and energising about taking control, making the decisions and creating forward momentum.
Link to the rest at The Independent