Author Tamela Hancock Murray

What If I Self-Published on My Way to Getting Focused?

The “Your Questions Answered” Series


I self-published two ebooks on Amazon and Smashwords. They aren’t/weren’t meant for a wide audience, instead geared towards Christian parents/grandparents who love a heroin addict. 

Additionally, my online writing audience is growing.  Should mention of those sites be included?  Different materials from my ebooks.  One is a work-in-progress Christian Fantasy, the other, intended for those who need to heal from heartache written in the form of a children’s story.

Would any of these be submittable for traditional publishing, even though they are currently on the web? 

Thanks for asking! Many authors self-publish as part of their writing journey, so you are not alone in wondering how that decision affects your career today and where to go next.

A Niche Audience

I believe you were wise to self-publish your book for people who love a heroin addict. Although sadly, this drug seems to increase in popularity with each passing decade, as you pointed out, your target market is relatively small. May the Lord lead addicts to heal, and may He keep their loved ones in His tender loving care.

Publishing History

Always mention any publishing history in your proposal and offer the most current sales figures possible. Always show agents and editors everything right away rather than for one and all to be surprised later after stumbling upon a title online.

Publishing Books on the Web

When seeking a traditional publisher, I recommend pitching a new project. The book publishers we work with seek never-before-published works. However, since you are also planning to mention your books published online in your proposal, an editor can say, “Wow! I want to publish the book that’s online!” You never know.

Focusing on Genre

Right now, you sound as though you enjoy writing in a broad spectrum for different audiences. However, because author branding is so important, now is an excellent time to choose a focus. If you want to concentrate on Christian Fantasy, I recommend building your brand and credibility there while writing the novel. Plug into places where fantasy readers and authors congregate and make connections. Go to a conference or two that emphasize this genre. Make friends and have fun!

Your turn:

How did you find your focus?

What is your favorite conference for your genre?

For the entire series, click here: “Your Questions Answered.”

Leave a Comment

What Should Be in the Back Matter of a Book?

The “Your Questions Answered” Series __________ Can you provide tips for what should go in the front or back matter pages that authors produce, such as:*acknowledgments*author notes*source citations in nonfiction Acknowledgments are optional but always appreciated by those acknowledged. Agents are often left off the acknowledgments list, believe it or …

Read More

How Do I Know It Is Ready to Submit?

The “Your Questions Answered” Series __________ I’m a 78-year-old psychotherapist in a psychiatric practice and have been doing some writing for patients over the years. My question is, “How do you know when an article or book possibility is developed and written well enough to send to an agent?” As …

Read More

A Self-Editing Checklist

The “Your Questions Answered” Series __________ How about more tips on some of the pitfalls of writing? What are things to look for when you are self-editing? Here is a short list: Grammar. Most people seem to have fallen asleep during the class on plural possessives, for example. Its and …

Read More

Do I Need an Agent?

The “Your Questions Answered” Series __________ I would love to hear more advice about finding an agent or if we really need one. I’m planning to teach a Zoom course on this topic through ACFW on September 18. Here is their link: ACFW conference. If you are planning to attend, I’d …

Read More

Should You Write Short Stories First?

The “Your Questions Answered” Series __________ What are your thoughts on writing some short stories before you jump into your first novel? I don’t recommend writing short stories before jumping into your first novel IF your goal is to be a novelist. Writing where you don’t want your success to …

Read More