I chose my literary agent carefully. After searching through many websites, I knew she was the one as soon as I found her. On 24 February, I emailed off my book proposal and then continued editing furiously just in case she asked to read my manuscript. A month later, after making significant progress on my book, I have received a response. Although she turned me down, I found that I was not at all disappointed. She was kind and helpful in her message –

“I found your pitch fascinating, though I’m sorry to hear of all you’ve been through. I think the challenging point for me about this project is that you are based in South Africa and do not seem to have a well-established U.S. Platform. I’m finding that more and more, memoirists are expected to have at least a somewhat developed platform prior to seeking publication. I think for this reason, I have to step aside. I’m sorry to not have better news!” She made suggestions of how I might consider a hybrid publisher and even offered to make an introduction for me. The message continued, “Aside from them or another similar hybrid publisher, I’d advise you to develop your audience further to help you get a book deal with a traditional publisher.”

After thanking her and investigating hybrid publishing, I have decided to go with one of my original ideas instead. To self-publish through Amazon’s Create Space. I do not really want to ‘develop an audience’ or prove to a publisher that I have enough people who will read my book. My book was written for my children. I have found healing through writing it. I would love to think that it will find its way into the right hands and touch people along the way.

By deciding to self-publish, suddenly the end is much nearer than I expected. This is very exciting. I need to finish the final edit, send it off to a professional editing company and then go through the process of design with Create Space. I am extremely grateful to the literary agent who was a part of my journey and decision making.

For more information on publishing options read this helpful article at The Creative Penn.

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