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Publishing… Times Have Changed!

The next step in understanding the publishing process is to realize and accept that Times Have Changed!

I self-published my first novel, Carly’s Calling in 2003 with 1st Books Library after several months of rejections from hundreds of agents and publishers. I was a working mother with four children, three grandchildren, and living in a small town in the Midwest. My name certainly didn’t create a buzz when it arrived on an agent’s desk.

I learned quickly that the publishing world wasn’t going to be easy, but I have always liked a challenge!   I began researching self-publishers and was surprised to find many authors were experiencing great success on their own…some even hitting the New York Times Best Seller List.

1st Books Library (now known as AuthorHouse) was one of the leading self-publishers at the time. Their staff was friendly, professional and easy to work with and within 4-5 months and a few thousand dollars later, I had a finished book in my hands.

Receiving my first order of books was such an incredible feeling. I really did it! I loved the cover I created with an artist who I knew personally and worked with. Holding the book in my hands has definitely been one of my greatest accomplishments. I was proud of myself for following through even in the midst of all the rejection.

The real work was only just beginning!

I began contacting local newspapers and radio stations requesting interviews. I sent letters to bookstores requesting book signings. Some were hits and some were misses.

I landed my first book signing at the new Barnes and Noble store in Council Bluffs, Iowa. It was a huge success! Barnes and Noble and the local newspaper advertised sufficiently and hundreds of people showed up. Many people waited in line for quite some time just to purchase a signed book. As I watched the line get bigger, I thought to myself, they’re here for me? It was and will always be a great memory. I met many wonderful people at book signings and made some great friends along the way.

WOW! Times have changed!

Unless you’re Nicholas Sparks, the chances of bringing in a large crowd of people for book signings is slim at best. I learned this the hard way. My second novel, Secrets of the Porch, was traditionally published and released in March of 2014. After four signings, I realized that times have changed. My first local book signing was well received – by family and friends. The next three signings were a flop! I sat at a little table in the bookstore by the front door as people smiled and passed me by. Fortunately, I knew it had nothing to do with the quality of my writing. I’ll say it again…Times Have Changed!


You may have a New York Times Best Seller in your hands. Together, I want us to go on a journey of SUCCESS! In my blog we will talk about our successes and our failures. I want us to share with each other what we’re going through, step-by-step, on this journey. We can share marketing strategies that have worked for us, and those that didn’t. I want to hear from you!

In my November 2014 Blog Post I compared the creation of a novel to that of a pregnancy. There are pains and joys from both. I realized after reading my post that it seemed a little too depressing, when actually, the process of publishing is very exciting and rewarding. Join me monthly as we share our experiences together and become friends along the way!

Publishing…Times Have Changed by   Sue Ann Sellon

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