04 October 2013

31 Days - Getting Published (Plans A through C)

I am participating in a 31 Days Campaign and am finally going to finish my memoirs. About her.


I would really like my memoirs to be published by a book publishing company. That is Plan A. Thus far my "how to get published" research includes an hour on Google and a few publishers' websites a few months back. But I got the distinct impression that in order to get published from a company worth its salt, you need an agent. I also got the impression that non-scammy agents only charge money if you get a publishing deal. More research is needed.

I've been following the journey of a fellow member of the Ds community who just recently succeeded in publishing her memoirs. After watching her long, arduous battle, I got the impression that the Ds memoir market is pretty glutted. This concerns me.

Plan B is to try submitting my memoirs to a less mainstream company, and maybe those religious in nature. Although, I don't know how much religious companies will love me because my book doesn't have any overt religious undertones (or overtones, for that matter). Not by design, but just because that's the way things went down. I was never mad at God about Abigail's diagnosis or heart surgery. I didn't find magic healing at Mass one Sunday. I didn't have an epic insight moment where I realize God placed a child with Down syndrome in my life for a particular purpose. Not that I want to get into the details of my relationship with Jesus in the middle of a 31 Days Campaign blog post, but suffice to say, I'm a devout Catholic who didn't struggle with her faith in the face of uncertainty.

Plan C is really more like Option C. I could always self-publish. I'm not a big fan of self-publishing because nothing cheapens a field like unrestricted access. (Which isn't to say all self-published books are bad or that they couldn't have been published via a traditional publisher). I also don't know if I could cross "publish a book" off my dream list if I did it myself. From where I'm standing right now, I don't think I'd be very proud to say "I'm a published author!" if all I did was upload a file to a website. Deep down I don't think I'd believe I really earned the title. (Again, which isn't to say that a self-published author couldn't be a good writer or have been published via a traditional publisher). But I don't know how I'll feel after 20 rejection letters or if holding my published book will become more important to me than how it got in my hands. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it, I suppose.


Amelia said...

While I'm definitely not an expert or anything...my mom has published several books and she says that if you want to get published, it is a good idea to try to get smaller things (like articles) published first.

Liz E. said...

Today is the first chance I've had to read through your 31 days and am enjoying all of your posts.

Since I started reading, I've been dying to ask out of curiosity -- what is it that drives you to want to publish a memoir about Abigail when she is still young and not when she is older? I'm sure this is something you've thought about and I'd love to hear your reasons if you need something to blog about at some point this month :o).