Wanted: One New Spine–Must Be Tough

Hi, my name is Tamara, and I do NOT have an unbreakable spine. In fact, my spine is pretty weak, especially after getting rejections over and over. So I’m in need of a new one, preferably one that never breaks. Also a new heart would be nice, one that doesn’t feel like a ball of lead after every writerly rejection.

I get that rejection is part of the process. I get that I need a tough backbone in order to survive in this industry. Most of the time I’m fine. But sometimes those darned rejections catch me unaware, and I crack.

At this point, I’m considering all my options for publication. After A to Z I’ve gained some new followers, and I know that most of you are writers, so I’ll pose this question:

Self-pub, small press, or agent?

What’s been your experience?

Have you had experience with any of the three methods listed above? If so, please dish, as I’m sorely confused.


  1. A couple things come to mind when I face a rejection letter or even a strong critique from a beta reader. A.) I remind myself I didn't invent language – just writing a story –that helps me not take it so completely personal. B.) I remember agents/editors/publishers have so many constraints as to what they can accept and represent. As for which way to go – consider both – keep submitting while you look at your best options for self-pubbing and move in that direction. Hang in there!!

  2. Hi Tamara!
    I love your blog title: Tamara Dares To Write!
    It tells me you are a spunky person!

    I'm in the process of self-publishing a book of flash fiction.
    My advice would be to first do your homework. Find out all you can about traditional versus self-pub. Weigh up all the pros and cons.
    Above all, make an informed decision.
    (I’m trying to visit some blogs that I missed, in the “madness” of the busy A to Z challenge.)
    Keep writing!
    New follower via Networked Blogs.
    Writer In Transit

  3. Btw, I've added your blog to my wordpress blog reader – I know you don't get notified of this as you're hosted by Blogger, but thought I'd let you know as it's always nice to hear of new followers! 🙂 I'm a relatively new blogger too and every time I get a new follower or a comment it makes my day!

  4. Hey Tamara! I'm a new writer too, so I don't have advice to give, but personally I'd go with self publishing – because I don't like the idea of waiting to be given permission to put my stuff out there. At the end of the day if I self publish my book and a few people buy it, that will make me happy.

    Publishers have to take into consideration profit margins, overheads, etc, and so they will only take books on that they think will sell a certain amount. There are plenty of books on amazon that are self pubbed, selling only a few hundred copies a month, nothing enough to pique a publisher's interest, but plenty to keep a writer happy! That's the way I'm looking at it anyway 🙂

  5. I've only had short pieces published. I'd say that my percentage of published to rejected is about 70/30. I can't weigh in on agents, etc. The one thing that I can offer is to be absolutely sure that if you submit to a specific journal, publication, anthology, or publisher is that you do your homework. By that I mean that you need to make sure that you research, read what they've already published and get a feel for what types of writing seem to appeal to them. Other than that, a lot comes down to persistence and "shopping" your work around. Plenty of authors have had a ton of rejections before finally finding a home for their baby.

    Also, beware of "start-up" publishers. I had the unfortunate experience of being taken by a "Publisher" (Trestle Press) which turned out to be a crook. Fortunately, 2 very sharp writers/bloggers exposed him about a month after he published a short story collection for me. Among other things, he was stealing artwork and photos and using them for book covers without authorization. I pulled my book and requested all rights revert to me, and he complied.

    I was sad but wiser.
    Good luck to you. 🙂

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