The New Renaissance
Why there's never been a better time to be an Unknown Author
by Jodi Cowles
The other day as I was driving home from a three-hour meeting that my client didn’t bother to cancel until I was two minutes away, it occurred to me that if I was a best-selling author I wouldn’t have to put up with this kind of treatment.
Oh wait, that’s not what I meant to say. Let me start over.
The other day as I was driving home, it occurred to me that, as independent authors, we’re living in a kind of Renaissance!
What do I mean? Well, let me just say that it’s been about twenty years since I finished my first novel and tried to find a home in the world for it. I managed to get it in front of a Bethany House editor who loved it but said it wasn’t in their genre. After that, a hybrid publishing company contacted me, and I remember asking my mom in kind of a plaintive voice, “What if this is my only shot,” as I signed my name on possibly the biggest check I’d ever written.
Fast forward two decades to last week, when I laid my newest, beautiful book baby on the altar before yet another editor. And while she said she loved the story and thought it could be a lot of fun, it was a hard no. My p-p-p-platform was too small.
Do you know what I didn’t do? I didn’t curl up in a ball and weep, swing by the store to pick up my friends Ben & Jerry, and go home to re-read the Jo parts of Little Women. (Although I am rereading Little Women because who doesn’t benefit from a dose of that every couple of years?) But I digress.
What I did do after getting the aforementioned rejection from on high was mutter something to myself along the lines of, “So you’re saying I’m an unknown author? Tell me something I don’t know!” And then I pivoted right back to plotting with my fellow Unknown Authors about how we can turn my new romantic comedy, Cold Turkey, into an underground summer beach read phenom!
Options, my friends! In case you lost the thread of where I was going—we’re in a Renaissance as independent authors because we have options! We don’t have to wait for the gatekeepers from on high to grace our little book babies; we can doll them up and debut them ourselves!
For a fraction of the cost of that check I wrote twenty years ago, it’s now possible to publish a fantastic, professional, great-looking book on your own, or with a couple of highly-skilled friends (or Upwork acquaintances). Don’t believe me? Take another look at Leslee’s recently released book. Other than a marketing budget slightly too small to secure an interview with Oprah, I’d set it up against anything on the market today.
Not to name names or point fingers, but we at the UAC know of a few authors who’ve been signed by a big-P publisher lately, and they’re still having to do all or most of the marketing and promo. Well shoot, if we have to do that anyway, why not power forward with our own tribe and get things moving?
This is exactly what we’re doing with my book (unless we get into a last-minute, three-book deal/bidding war, because, I’m not gonna lie. . .that’s still attractive to an unknown like me). We’re preparing to launch Cold Turkey into the world in a couple of months. I’m thrilled to not have it languish on my computer for years as I bounce around dancing on TikTok while trying to get somebody who’s Somebody to approve of me.
My dear Unknown Author friends, what a great time to be an unknown author! I challenge you to join the Renaissance, finish your passion project, and get it into the world! I have no doubt there are readers out there waiting for your work to inspire, encourage and entertain them. Readers who are tired of the same twenty authors with a new book out every year. Readers who are desperate for a new and different voice! If you need help in the process, contact us. We’re getting pretty good at helping to birth new book babies! And I promise we won’t show up in leotards, playing the lute, and feasting on turkey legs.
Stop waiting to be published
Tired of your manuscript collecting dust on your hard drive?
Confused by all the publishing options out there?
Still waiting for a big P-publisher to wake up and realize your potential?
Stop waiting for permission, attention, or affirmation. It’s time to say yes to yourself and get published!
The Unknown Authors Club help. From publishing packages to author consultations, our team is ready to assist you in getting your book baby released into the world.
Want to know more? Simply complete our Author Interest Form and our team will be in touch.