To publish or not…
 A year and a half ago, I went to a writer’s conference and pitched my idea to an agent.  He didn’t like it.  In fact, he said writing about dwarves and
elves were racist. That was heartbreak number 1. 
Heart break number 2: I attended
a YA panel where I learned my chances of publishing a novel with a character of
color was slim.
Needless to
say, I walked away from the conference heartbroken. I didn’t feel as if there
was any point to finishing or perfecting my novel. 
through Google+ I met a butt load of authors who chose to self-publish and they
still made a good amount of money.
Now I’m on the cusp of confidently self-publishing my first novel. But
lately, traditional publishing references keep appearing on my newsfeeds.  In addition, I reconnected with a writingbuddy who is dead set on traditional publishing. Is the universe trying to tell
me something; should I be looking for an agent? 
To answer those questions, I decided to look at my mission statement:
 When I was younger, I wanted to read speculative fiction with
black characters. I found a few, but not nearly as much as I wanted. So my
mission is to write speculative fiction from the perspective of a person of
color. And at least 10% of my profits will be used to buy diverse speculative
fiction books to donate to public schools”
I felt kind
of silly writing this statement, but I’ve gone back to this more than a few
If you
refer to the original blog post, I also talk about querying and getting a
$20,000 publishing deal.
I also
googled my question. Here is my favorite answer from From Harold Underdown at

… do not consider
self-publishing until you have spent at least a few years working on your
writing, making submissions, and learning about the business of publishing.
That won’t be wasted time, because even if you don’t get published, if you do
decide to self-publish later you will be much better equipped to do so
successfully. You will have a more polished manuscript or manuscripts. You will
also have learned something about what you need to do (which is, very briefly,
get your book edited, illustrated, designed, promoted, reviewed, and
distributed–things a publisher routinely does, but which are difficult and
expensive for an individual to do.

If I’m
honest with myself, I want my books to be found in school libraries and I want to
be a great writer who gets invited to conferences. So as much as it pains me,
I’m going to hold off on self-publisng at least until I finish Coal Book
2.  Who knows maybe by then elves and
dwarves will be popular again. Hopefully, I don’t die in between now and then. 

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