Sunday, May 1, 2011


My time being an "Author" has been a series of ups and downs, highs and lows, successes and disappointments. I love to write and have five books "Published". That is not my issue. My concern is the way authors are perceived, ranked, accepted and or rejected by the "Industry. It didn't take long for me to realize that a new guy trying to break into a crowded field was almost impossible. The first line of defense one hits is the "AGENT" wall. Some obscure person in an agency decides an authors future by either tossing your baby into a pile of "Read Later" manuscripts, send out a flat rejection, cold and impersonal, or take a quick read of your query and then toss it. My experience with over seventy query letters has been zero for seventy at-bats. At first I thought it was my writing, that I was a miserable writer and should seriously consider that Walmart greeter job, or join the ranks of homeless. I dug my heels in, and took on the "Industry"...The world of "Publishing". I came to realize it wasn't my writing, but the people in the industry who guarded their place in the food chain like a fat man guards his Oreos. Terms like. "Not quite ready yet.", Not Commercial ", "Mainstream"...not viable...sorry... booked up for the next fifty years.... go away, ad infinitum.
Never one to be shunned by my fellow brothers and sisters, I went to P.O.D., Print on Demand. The problem with POD is that there is no demand unless you create the demand yourself. A POD is like a boat, you keep throwing money into it and in the end it still sinks. Five grand later, I decided to do what all capitalists do, I took my writing destiny into my own hands...I "Self Published". Oh sure, the middle man is still there collecting his portion, but it's minimal, and well earned. Now all my sales and marketing effort is in my hands, sink or swim, it's on my shoulders...and I love the challenge.
The new world order is on my side, thanks to the Internet, Amazon, Smashwords, Blogs, Face Book, Twitter...the new age of publishing has been born, and made available to all of the excellent writers who have been shunned by the mainstream publishing world. It's a new day for the authors, and the readers. The days of twenty and thirty dollar books is gone, the Buck Ninety-Nine and Two Buck read is available. The mighty are starting to crumble, the arrogant humbled, new names and faces  are popping up, a whole new dictionary of terms is being created daily.
The Industry is slow to turn their ship, their rudders stuck in the past. Meanwhile, the Self Published are gaining strength and attention from the reading public, and are welcomed. Ours is the only industry in the world where prices are going down, demand going up. It's a great day to  be a self made author.


  1. Great post! I haven't officially submitted anything to agents. In the contests I won or finaled in, some agents/editors got a chance to look at partials. About half loved my antagonist. Half hated him. It seemed like they each contradicted the other on what was good and what wasn't so great. I decided that I just really didn't have the heart to do that to myself. Nor the time. I have a wonderful writers' workshop where the members are brutally honest with the sole purpose of making everyone there better writers. And, I have awesome critique partners. So, I'll be self-publishing my stuff as soon as I'm sure it and I am ready. You can't please everyone, so I'll "sink or swim" on my own. :-) Thank you for sharing your insights.

  2. As long as all of the "self made" writers maintain the same determination as Mike Pettit, that ship called "The Industry" will have to turn. Keep up the good work, and the good writing.

  3. Well put! I had an agent, but he did nothing and I would have begrudged his 15% if lightning did strike. And the industry is laughable at the junk they peddle while telling many a good writer that they're not ready yet. Indeed, we're not! We can do better.

  4. Great post Mike. I know my submission list gets smaller every year as my readers grow. It's nice to know that somewhere down the road the writers have more options than, no, sorry, not for us.
    Advances would be nice and somebody doing all the leg work would be great too, but at the end of the day, I'm glad to have my work being read and people enjoying it.
    Finishing up a new novel now and I'm gonna try to take a break before I open it back up for the 2nd draft of editing, re-writes and character polishing. I may focus on marketing of my other books for the rest of summer. That's the part that sucks, for me anyway, I'd rather just write. It's hard for me to stay focused on something curent and promote something I published four months ago at the same time. But that part of the self publishing deal and I hope it in the long run it'll make me a better writer all around.