Tonight I got drawn into some forum threads about self-publishing and POD. Some of the disparaging comments kicked my adrenaline into overdrive. People choose print-on-demand for all sorts of reasons. It doesn't necessarily mean they're bad writers; perhaps they simply lack the armadillo armor necessary to persevere through the traditional channels. At least that's true of me.

In one of my comments, I mentioned my publisher, Virtualbookworm, as producing high-quality products. The design, the paper quality, the binding are all first-rate, and they're very responsive to author input. If anyone on Crimespace is considering going the POD route, I highly recommend them. And if you'd like to check out the quality for yourself - as you should before choosing a POD company - I invite you to order one of my books, either from or from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. I'd welcome your feedback!

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Comment by I. J. Parker on January 11, 2009 at 8:23am
Don't give up! And good luck!
Comment by Julie Lomoe on January 11, 2009 at 6:02am
Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Fifteen years! That's really something. Short stories are on my to-do list for the year. In regard to critique partners, I've particpated in some writers' groups that were extremely helpful. One was an online Sisters in Crime group, and another was a Saratoga mystery writers' group that included Anne White and M.E. Kemp, both of whom I believe are on Crimespace. So by now I'm fairly confident that I've found a viable voice - so my readers tell me. My main roadblock now is the confidence issue, along with pure procrastination.

Several people have told me my books are so good that they're surprised I "had to" self-publish. That's a stigma I'll have to overcome. One author friend encouraged me to use her recommendation when contacting her agent, so that's going to be my next step.

I'm not familiar with your work, but I'll check it out soon! Thanks again.
Comment by I. J. Parker on January 11, 2009 at 1:08am
I sympathize. My series was delayed by 15 years because I could only take 5 rejections per book. Fortunately, I published short stories and one won an award. That got me an agent. Now my agent fields the rejections. For that matter, since she's entered the fray, my rejections make better reading than my reviews. And I get very good reviews.
Other than that encouragement, I would urge you to develop a thicker skin. Writing needs continuous input and criticism so that you can grow as a writer. Perhaps you might start with some very honest critique partners. Let's face it, nobody judges as harshly as a disappointed reader who has spent his money on the book.

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