I just gave my critique partner the kind of response I hope to get someday from someone doing a critical review of my stuff. Her new book is fabulous! I loved it! It really blew me away how she is developing as a writer.
Don't we all yearn for that moment that someone says,"OMG! Your stuff is awesome!" Sure beats questioning yourself every other day if you are in the right line of work.
There were of course minor flaws, but that is why we go through the process of having someone else putting their eyes on our work. Sometimes you go through your WIP so often you start having trouble seeing the mistakes or typos. Overall the work she sent me was pretty clean, and just needs very minor repairs to be ready for a wider beta audience, if not outright release for an agent. The stuff I pointed out for her would likely not even be noticed by a lot of readers, but I wanted to be thorough.
I’m very excited for her! Her book should sell in my opinion, and very well if she can find her audience. It’s better than a lot of stuff I’ve read that has a big following.
Finding the audience is the trick though isn’t it. Not only does she have to write a great book, but she has to have some marketing and some luck. An old friend of mine, Todd Wood, is on a book tour right now for his book, Currency, and he is all over the radio and television in his region. I haven’t asked him if he is sponsoring all that work or if his publisher/agent is helping with any of it, but I plan to. I also read that John Scalzi is doing his book tour for his latest release, Redshirts. His publisher is picking up a lot of the tab if not the entire enchilada. This is something the DIYer has to do on his/her own dime. As well as pay for an editor if they are smart. It is the major downside to self-pub, in that you are not only the writer, but you’re responsible for getting the cover done and doing all your own marketing and promotion, all of which takes away from writing time. If you are a known quantity like Scalzi the name recognition alone will generate some sales. The Self-Publisher is relying on word of mouth and a great deal of luck.
At this point I am leaning toward finding a good agent and trying to get a book deal traditionally. I think that is where my friend Stacy is going too and I wish her the very best luck in the world at landing a great agent/publisher!