So, almost a year ago, I wrote a book. My first, ever, and I was filled with a glee and joy I’d never known. Until it came time to edit, and I found my baby bookling was not the perfect creation I had imagined. Still, I did my best, murdered the worst of the darlings, and sent it out into the world…
And failed. Not a nibble or a glance, which I accept as simply part of my process as a writer. I moved on to other projects, and put my book in a metaphorical “bottom drawer.”
But a part of me still loves it, flaws and all. I’ve considered waiting until some future project actually makes it out into the world, then trying to pull this first book through with it—a free extra on my website? A self-published… something? Or, once I have an agent, a second chance at traditional publishing with the accompanying edit?
As other projects rise and fall, however, I have moments where I don’t know what my future will look like, and this imperfect little piece of my heart sits alone and unseen for eternity.
So I’m thinking about changing that.
I’ve considered self-publishing, but it’s expensive—and if it fails (meaning: completely ignored by the world), it could negatively impact my future projects. I’ve considered making more extensive edits and trying again, with other agents… but a part of me understands that this project reeks of first-timer flaws in all their glory. There’s just something a little off about it, and while I hope to convince at least some of you to give it a chance, I can’t help but admit that it has some problems.
Wattpad is a site to post writing, for free, for everyone. As such, I’m sure my little book will fall into some unseen corner of the internet never to be seen again, but at least it will be out there. For all its weaknesses, it has a personal connection for me and… I’m proud of it. I shouldn’t be, I know, but I am. It conveys my love for stories with more heart and soul than I knew I had.
This is not about defying the establishment—I greatly and deeply respect the publishing professionals who looked the other way, and I hope to work with them someday with something else. Instead, this is about sharing my work and hopefully getting some feedback, so I can grow as a writer (and one day actually make money doing this).
And if someone finds my silly little book and enjoys it, even for a moment, I could ask for nothing more.
All I ask is that if you have a moment, and you’re curious, go check out the first chapter. I’ll be updating very regularly, after I see how the site works a little, and get a feel for the process. If you have any input on anything—the title, the cover, the summary, the writing, the format, anything—please let me know! Any comment, of any kind or length, good or bad, will be loved and appreciated.
Here’s the cover and summary (amateur hour all around, I know, but it’s just for fun):
High school senior Jenna Avery has always known that the best escape is a good story—she just never knew the stories were in danger of escaping themselves. When she discovers the secret society hidden beneath the bookstore where she works, she finds her fellow employees, including the quiet stock boy she’d barely noticed before, traveling into the worlds of stories that have a nasty habit of blending into each other and threatening to collapse. Joining in on their adventures and wandering magical cities, escaping from mad villains, and attending elegant balls brings all her dreams to life—but quickly proves a distraction from the reality of caring for the grandfather who raised her, making time for her friends, and trying not to fail out of high school. Who wants to deal with the real world when the magic of stories turns escapism into a way of life?
Well… here we go. 🙂
Your story sounds awesome! I will definitely check it out. 🙂
I’ve published fanfiction novels online before, but I’ve never had the guts to publish more than a short story original of mine. The reason being, probably, because I want to traditionally publish. However, there is nothing wrong with sharing your work online! You can get some great feedback (although be careful, sometimes there will be some not-so-great comments that you simply need to discard because they contain no constructive criticism), and sharing your stories online and having people read and enjoy them is truly gratifying!
I’ve recently read a book that was first published on Wattpad, became popular, and was eventually picked up for publishing. And I know Wattpad, unlike many other free publishing sites, has many opportunities like this. I know of several books that started online and ended up on a Barnes & Noble bookshelf. 🙂
So don’t be discouraged! It might start slow, but us writers have to learn patience, haha. Just keep on writing and never give up!
Thanks for giving my story a glance! I appreciate even that much more than you can know. 🙂
I’ve definitely heard fairy tale stories of success, but I’m not expecting anything like that–not that it’s impossible, but I don’t know how anyone could find my little story in the sheer amount of material there. I’m posting it because… I just want to share this story. Even if no one ever reads it, just knowing it’s out there to be found (rather than sitting on my hard drive) makes me happy. And while I still hope to publish traditionally someday, I don’t know if that would ever happen for this particular story, so I’ll share it however I can.
Thank you so much for your comment! 😀
This sounds so cute! And I can’t wait to hear how Wattpad works for you. I have some similar feels about my first book, so maybe this will be a good option for me in the future.
Thanks! I finally decided Wattpad was a good choice for me; I considered self-publishing, but with the more ‘legitimate’ vibe of that, comes a lot of cost and pressure (I have a feeling traditional publishing would be more wary of someone with a failed self-published book than someone with an ignored Wattpad story). And in the end, with this particular story, it’s not about money or recognition–just getting to share it in all its ridiculous fun. I realized after I queried that it’s got a lot of first-timer flaws (I cringe when I think of how many metafiction ‘stories come alive’-type queries that agents must get), so it may never suit traditional publishing–but there’s just enough to this story that I still feel it’s worth sharing, in this way at least.
Thank you so much for your comment! 🙂