Adventures in Self-Publishing: SAVING THE WORLD

Nov 12, 2018Pat's Chat, Uncategorized


            The competitive world of writing requires fortitude and persistence. I am often asked where someone can purchase my books. I usually drop my head, turn red, and fill with guilt as I explain – they are nowhere YET, except on my computer. I continue to send out queries to agents and editors and write often. It will happen, and patience is the key.

            For those who are unfamiliar with the publishing world, there are many ways to get your words into the world.

Traditional publishing is the gold standard and involves a publisher paying you up front for your manuscript and you collect royalties on its sales. They assist with marketing and placement in bookstores.

Self publishing requires the author to create their book on their own with formatting, cover, and content, and then work with a print company for a minimal fee to make it available. These books are readily available on Amazon, but rarely see the inside of a bookstore. All marketing is the author’s responsibility. The issue with self-publishing is that ANYONE can self-publish, and that doesn’t necessarily mean the writing should be published . . .

Vanity publishing usually involves the author paying large quantities of money for a company to design and develop their book to get it into the world. This is the least respected in the writing world, and usually vanity publishers only want your money and don’t care about the quality of the writing.

      Authors want to receive money for their words, because if a publisher desires your manuscript, it’s validation that it is “good writing.” When I first started writing, I pounded out a manuscript SAVING THE WORLD and wanted to see it in print – immediately. My children were reflected in many of the characters, and I wanted them to have a physical copy of my first “real novel.”

     After self-publishing, I continued my writing education and improved my craft. I saw the MANY errors in my self-published book and took it offline after a few months. I write picture books, middle grade, and young adult novels and continuously revise and edit. I periodically send out manuscripts, and some agents will request to read my whole novel, while others send rejections immediately. A pile of rejections sits in my writing room to push me forward.

     Recently I was given a letter from a child that rejuvenated my hope, and I changed directions:

Dear AS,

            I forgot to write back when you sent me the book “Saving the World.” I LOVED it so much! I have read it more than 10 times, and my sister has read it too and she loved it! . . .Tell Pat McCaw I said thanks for signing my book and that I love it.

     The version of SAVING THE WORLD that this young girl read was the initial one that was self-published six years ago. I knew it could be better, and I have had the sequel to SAVING THE WORLD sitting on my computer for five years. Getting a novel traditionally published after it has previously been self-published is difficult, so I decided to rewrite the novel, polish up the plot and characters, and re-release it self published as a second edition. For added fun, my nephews Caden and Carson and my brother, Wayne, added illustrations for the text.

SAVING THE WORLD is about a young girl drawn to her backyard forest by mysterious songs. She soon discovers a hidden world tucked in the trees – and it needs her help.

SAVING THE WORLD – the Second Edition – is now available online through Amazon! Here is the link:

The exciting news is that the sequel RETURN TO GRYMBALLIA will be available in the next month.

I continue to reach for the gold standard of traditional publishing and send out queries and manuscripts to agents and editors. In the mean time, I am excited to share a little of my writing endeavors with friends, family, and supporters of my dreams.

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