Life as a Writer: part 2×3

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Upon completion of “Magpie in August,” my debut novel, I began submitting to the literary agents I had researched (authors who want to go for traditional publishing should always research literary agents and houses before sending query letters). Omitting all of the uninteresting details, I received four “close, but no cigar” responses, thirteen flat out passes, and additionally, a dozen or so no responses (it is not uncommon that an agent passes on a manuscript via no response).

So, doing the math, I only submitted to about 30 literary agents. I’ve heard of writers submitting to hundreds over a period of two or three years. That’s balls to the wall tenacity, folks—some hard core patience. Patience is not a virtue of mine. After I’d crossed out every agent that made up my list, I began submitting to small presses. Out of eleven, I received one request for my full manuscript.

Don’t tap the keg yet. This small press ended up closing shop. Thank fuck I hadn’t signed a contract with them. Imagine the shit storm…

Admittedly, in the beginning I was a fucking snob who never entertained the thought of settling for indie author status. But then, I discovered some incredible talent here on WordPress—writers who self-publish—and I was blown the fuck away by their craft. For real, in total awe of these people. So, I looked into self-publishing (authors who want to self-publish should always research the avenues, of which there are many, since self-publishing is BOOMING for tons of reasons that I see as obvious).

Two months after “Magpie in August” was released through Amazon, one of the literary agents I’d had a boner for sent me an email. She apologized for the late response, which had come a goddamned year after I’d queried her, and said that although she was interested in “Magpie,” she couldn’t represent me because I’d already self-published—but please do query her with any future manuscripts. I didn’t know whether to laugh, or cry.

I chose to suck it up, and keep on writing. I self-published a book of poems and prose recently, and I’m proud as fuck of the collection. I’m currently finishing up my second novel, which I fully intend to publish all by myself. I’m proud to be an indie author. And I am super fucking fortunate to have a partner in Allane, who takes such care and pride in designing my book covers.

Someday, I may shoot for traditional publishing again. But for now, I am beyond happy to have cover designs created by the designer I want, and to have the ultimate say regarding content editing. I never was one to follow the rules handed down by others anyway.

Peace out, my friends


Published by Kindra M. Austin

Author of fiction, poetry, and very sweary social commentary. Editor, and co-founder of Indie Blu(e) Publishing. Co-founder of Blood Into Ink, and Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen.

8 thoughts on “Life as a Writer: part 2×3

  1. That is such a great post to read Kindra. I think your work is stunning, as I often tell you, so it’s incredible to know that you had so many rejections. I have an writing friend who has spent 10 years working on her memoir/novel, has submitted it to ONE agent, was rejected, & now doesn’t know what to do with her life… she’s not a blogger, but I keep saying ‘self publish self publish’; she’s kinda old-fashioned and can’t seem to get her head around not needing permission from anyone else to send her work out into the world… I am going to send her this post of yours! You are fabulously talented and brave, & deserve every success 🙏🏼❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are incredibly kind. Thank you so much. Please do pass this along to your friend. Rejection is difficult to deal with, even if one does have thick skin. Ten years is a long time to work on something, only to give up. I would very much like to see her dream come true. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been on this journey with you, for sure, and I’ve known your feelings on the whole process. I’ve felt proud of you and disappointed for you when you’ve not had the positive feedback you wanted. Your decision to self publish after receiving that final letter makes me even more proud. I always knew you could do this!

    Thank you for what you said. It’s a privilege to work with you, Kindra. I love you.

    Liked by 2 people

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