The reason I picked the self-publishing path is simple–I didn’t have a platform for my topic.
I didn’t realize that. In shopping the book idea for How You Rule The World around, I got a lot of feedback from top editors. The agents and editors who spoke with me were behind some of the best current titles in business. These people get a bad rap for being slow to respond, standoffish, or snobby. In reality, they were without exception, exceptional people working in a killer competitive industry complete focused on creating tomorrow’s top sellers. I learned a lot from them.
That’s where the path got very clear for me. You see, the cumulative feedback was that my book, when you combined it with my bio as a successful entrepreneur in tech, didn’t fit the mold. With my background, I have the platform, so I was told, of a break-out writer in the how-to business space. I “should” write a book on how to do publicity and marketing for technology brands. That’s my day job. It’s where my awards clump. It’s where I get my endorsements and recommendations. And thus that’s what my “platform”–the sum total of my friends, my fans, my network, etc.–supports. (Hmm, now that you mention it, I would like to write that book! ) But that book is not this book–the one I just wrote, How You Rule The World.
The readers, editors, agents and reviewers all said this book is about a quest, a spiritual journey–it’s transparent, heartfelt, painfully personal, and empowering. One highly placed New York agent who works in the self-help category told me kindly I needed to repackage myself as a self-help guru and spiritual leader in order to “make this book work” (think Tara Brach). To do that, incidentally, I’d need to quit being an entrepreneur and completely get out of tech and b2b. Not gonna happen.
One publisher floated the idea of me taking a year off to hold all-female retreats for female entrepreneurs. With any luck, I’d build a new platform. This book would then fit, and could be published by a major publishing house with less risk.
This all makes complete sense. I am grateful for the time it took to share these thoughts with me and for all the feedback. I felt completely supported by the publishing industry even as I was rejected–no kidding. I have rarely had so much honest, open and actionable feedback.
They made it very clear for me; I don’t fit the mold. Interestingly, the book is about what it’s like when you don’t fit the mold. With my expectations confirmed, I can now happily share the book with whomever craves a nonconformist, semi-spiritual manifesto from an introspective female entrepreneur who doesn’t fit in. Happy ending!
Please drop a short review on the book. (It’s free on Kindle Unlimited). Reviews help people find it, and by people, I mean other female entrepreneurs in particular. 🙂