Of Writers and Prose: Self-publishing; the new query letter? (revisited)

Quill-InkSeveral years ago I wrote a blog post for From The Write Angle about how the self-published book might become the new query letter.


Now, over three years later, I want to explore this issue again.

With the rise of several best sellers (Amada hocking, E.L James, Hugh Howly), it seems my predictions on this were somewhat true, but more importantly, the creative force of all those authors took self-publishing from somewhat respectable to legitimate publishing alternative. Something I’m sure we were all hoping to see.

I’ve heard rumours of agents searching the Amazon site or other sites like Wattpad looking for the next ‘big thing’. I’ve even heard that a few writers have found representation this way, but for the most part, this is still something that has happened to a few. Putting out a book yourself is not the first step to a Traditional path, but it is the first step for many authors who, despite getting positive rejection forms (no, that’s not an oxymoron), are rejected simply because the agent/publisher had books similar or felt they couldn’t sell the manuscript.

I think self-publishing a series of books shows an agent/publisher that you are serious about your career and putting out a good project. Are your books well written with an eye-catching cover? Were they edited and practically error free? It also gives them a look at your skills as a writer. ARE your books full of rich characters and captivating prose? Is your story strong with no plot holes? What about the business side of writing? This is important too and how you market yourself and your books is part of the process. How many social media sites are you on? How do you interact with your followers? How do they interact with you? I think the latter question is more important. Authors in this new digital era need to be communicating with their readers and not just about buying their next book either.

In the few years since I wrote that article, I’ve put out four books, eight short stories, hundreds of blog posts and featured in one anthology. I’ve made wonderful friends on all paths, and even though for the moment I am self-publishing, the thought of having an agent still pops up. Who knows, Anything is possible.


About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal it to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing or working with crystals, she enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking and very loud music.

2 Responses to Of Writers and Prose: Self-publishing; the new query letter? (revisited)

  1. Not just self published books but even blog posts. I’ve had two agents contact me because of my blog.

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