You've busted your ass to write the best novel you could. You've spent countless hours in critique groups slaving over others' stories. You've revised via the crits they wrote you and paid too much money for a professional website. You've poured over countless grammar books and read like a fiend until you think you'll lose your mind, trying to learn from the greats. You've blogged even though you had nothing to say. Shit, you've reached inside and found something to say. You've worked your butt off getting accepted in pro-paying short story magazines, anthologies, and even free e-zines. You might have also written a chapter in an instruction book. You worried at your WIP so there wouldn't be one error that would make an agent reject you. You added a bunch of people to your website, blog, Twitter, and Facebook, trying to build an author platform. You've read agent blogs and got involved in the Absolute Write forums. And still an agent doesn't care. Is all lost?
Not anymore. Gone are the days when if an author doesn't find an agent, the author won't make any money. Thanks to the Amazon Kindle, writers can now sign with Amazon and find themselves in a profitable venture, cutting out the middleman. You'll still need an online presence and luck, but why not? That's the way it is with anything.
How many good writers are passed up by the major houses because someone's latte wasn't hot enough, I wonder?
Complaints keep coming in about the e-reader. Writers and readers alike claim they love the smell of paper, but I doubt many people are sticking their noses in a paper book. It is great to have a high-quality color cover. Yet soon, e-readers are going to solve that problem, too. I still love my paper books, but I'm not sniffing 'em. Hey, I smell (get it?) a new generation of huffers! The book sniffers!
Here we are in the most exciting year for authors to ever come our way. Let's face it, the old publishing model doesn't always work--except for King and Koontz and a few others--so out with the old and in with the new. Revel in this, writers. I'm not saying to forget trying to get an agent. That's what I'm doing. Just know that if you don't, this no longer spells DOOM.
I owe a debt of gratitude to J. A. Konrath's blog for the information in this post:
A.R. Braun is a horror writer who has just finished his debut novel. You can connect with him on his blog or on his website: