Author Resources

Guide to publishing

Impossible Dream or Reachable Goal?

by Marie Pinschmidt, author of Man on the Balcony and Maggie's Retreat

It’s easy to dwell on the former (impossible dream) when the odds of finding an agent or being published are discouraging at best. It is said there is a story in everyone. Are you one of those people with a long-held dream of being an author? Have you allowed negative news from the publishing world to deflate you, so that your ideas or finished manuscripts are but a reminder of wasted hours in pursuit of your dream? Do you tell yourself, “Getting published is impossible, so why waste more time and energy?” Don’t despair; you’re not alone.

As have thousands of other writers, I followed the “acceptable” route of finding an agent (an almost impossible endeavor unless one is a politician or star of considerable note), sending out numerous query letters, and waiting for the inevitable letters of rejection. If you’re lucky, your query letter may be returned with a handwritten regret, rather than the form letters sent to thousands of writers who share your dreams (as well as your pain). Finally, I decided that if I wanted to see my books in print during my lifetime, I had to swallow my pride and take the initiative.

I researched the self-publishing industry with vigor, discovering that many of our finest famous writers self-published, at least in the beginning of their careers. Eventually, I was sufficiently impressed to go with AuthorHouse.

I made certain my books were well-written, well-edited, and the content was sufficiently interesting to keep a buyer reading. You need a good product in order to enjoy success in the publishing field. Being an artist, I designed my own book covers, which were approved and welcomed by the AuthorHouse design team. In short, I had enough faith in my own abilities to take a chance. What other choice did I have, except to allow the hundreds of pages and the toils of my life disappear into a dark drawer, never to see the light of day? Many dedicated and talented writers are producing high-quality work, like well-trained artists creating their finest paintings. Writers deserve a measure of recognition, regardless of publishing methods or means of distribution.

Is the light of your creative talents and dreams hidden under a bushel, leaving the world hungry for your ideas, your stories? My books have been well received and are giving pleasure to my readers, which was my primary goal from the beginning. I have experienced the joy of holding a finished product that gives me a feeling of accomplishment and pride. For anyone who is willing to go the extra mile to turn dreams into reality, there is no greater joy.

I read a large number of books because I think that to be a good writer, you have to be a good reader. The quality of my self-published book compares favorably with the quality of books sold by top book sellers, as well as those that grace the shelves of public libraries.

So forget the long-held stigma of self-publishing. Many of us have chosen that path, not because our work is inferior or of little merit, but because doing so gives us control over our writing lives. I didn’t hire a ghostwriter; I spent months writing and rewriting, editing and polishing, to produce quality products. I didn’t have notoriety or past successes to guarantee publication. I did it my way, and with a willingness and courage to accept success or defeat. I own the copyrights; my books are listed in the Library of Congress alongside every other published book, and are available to the public through the publisher, conventional bookstores, and on the Web.

If you have a finished manuscript, you’re way ahead of the game. If not, then get out that abandoned story or the collection of notes, and make your impossible dream come true. All writers deserve credit for their creative efforts, for the discipline to sit in front of a keyboard for months--often with no remuneration other than the satisfaction of a job well done, and for the opportunity to touch other lives with their words. Being a writer and finishing a book is a daunting task, but a reputable firm like AuthorHouse will guide you step by step through the publishing process, leaving you free to pull another idea out of your hat and start the process all over again.