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How long should an author wait to get published?

This past April, I attended the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on the UCLA campus. A woman stopped by our booth to learn about self publishing because her 84-year-old father had a manuscript he was hoping to see become a book. Much to her chagrin, he was waiting anxiously to hear from the slew of traditional publishers to whom he had sent his manuscript.

I answered her questions, but I also asked her why he was waiting to get published.  With self publishing the author controls all the rights; So get the book in the market, develop a following and start generating sales. In fact, doing so may make the book even more appealing to tradtional publishers if that is the goal.

I told her I wanted her father to go his mailbox and pull out a copy of his book instead of another rejection letter. When you’re 84, you shouldn’t have to wait to get published.

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