A Revelation at Target, or A Potential Solution to the Eternal Debate

jk - yes

I’ve often said that if Target doesn’t have it, I don’t need it. But the other day, I stumbled upon something completely unexpected: clarity. You see, I’ve been struggling for a long time with the Eternal Debate that faces all of us new, eager, undiscovered authors: Traditional or Self-Publication. I know, the debate is long and tired, and all sides have valid points depending on what you’re actually seeking to accomplish with your book(s) and career. Believe me, I’ve had all the internal and external debates possible on this one.

And then came Target. I was browsing the YA books (shocking, I know), and there it was: the Up & Coming Authors section. I took a cursory glance at them, saw a few pretty covers and nothing really caught my eye, so I turned to move on. And then it hit me. That tiny little section that is lucky even to get the cursory glance from a stranger is exactly where I’m trying to be! Every one of those books on the shelf has a mommy or a daddy who spent YEARS praying for their eventual existence, going through an eerily similar process to what I’m going through right now… and will probably live and die on that tiny Target shelf, never seeing the light of day. How very sad. Part of me wanted to snatch up one of each and take them home, just so someone would love them. (This, by the way, is the same part of me that is no longer allowed to go Christmas tree shopping because I end up crying over all the Charlie Brown trees that will die in a wood chipper. But I digress.)

Thus, the revelation. Why am I killing myself to find an agent, who will then have to turn around and find a publisher, who will then maybe MAYBE decide that my book is worthy of a small release to similar sad shelves? With all of the changes in the industry in the last few years, why am I fighting self-publication? I’ll have to market myself, yes, but won’t I have to do that anyway? At least with self-publication, I can choose my own cover, my own fonts (I LOVE FONTS!), my own release date, plus I keep my profits.

So yeah, I’ll probably do ONE more round of query letters, just to say I tried everything I possibly could in the traditional route. But really, I’m already thinking of covers.

All this, plus I got milk and a new lip gloss. Target really is a magical place.

5 thoughts on “A Revelation at Target, or A Potential Solution to the Eternal Debate”

  1. I’m about to start querying agents on my latest novel. Been through the excruciating process on two different novels before. Thanks for sharing your epiphany and curious to see how your journey goes 🙂 You tread the path before me, if you will


    1. It’s not an easy decision, to be sure. I’m still scared to “pull the trigger” but I’m so close. When you consider the odds, and the time, and the thought that even IF I get an agent, and a publisher, and do everything “right”, it’s STILL not a guarantee anything will come of it. That, to me, is worse than anything the self-pub world has to throw at me. I’ll definitely chronicle the journey here … it’s sure to be a wild ride!


  2. Clarity, milk, and lip gloss- can’t beat that! Querying can be so disheartening, can’t it? I’m actually doing it for real this time(last time several years ago I sent out 15 queries before realizing the first book I’d ever written just wasn’t good) and some days I’m optimistic of my chances and others I’m down in the dumps and wondering why I’m trying. Whatever you decide, I’ll be cheering you on! There’s definitely more than one path open to authors these days and that’s exciting.


    1. Thanks Leandra! I’ve started my last round of queries already … brand new shiny query letter and a much stronger ms. So we’ll see what happens. In the meantime, I’ve just been struck with inspiration this week for my next project and I can’t WAIT to start actual work on it. It’s occupying most of my waking thoughts these days, and it won’t leave me alone. I love it. 🙂


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