That small success propelled me to go to a writer’s conference. I showed my work to an agent and she told me that if that was the best I could do I should give up my dreams of writing altogether. Ouch. Instead of giving up, I dove straight into rewrites and soaked up all the writing advice I could find. Five months later I submitted my work for a writing competition solely because the agent I’d met at my first conference was the final judge. My manuscript ended up winning the entire competition and the agent offered representation (but I’d already signed with a different agent by that point). I had multiple manuscripts written and entered another in a different contest. The final judge of that contest offered a contract based on what she’d read and that became my debut novel.
JKK: Go for it, seriously, you have nothing to lose. All research shows that hybrid authors are the ones doing the best financially in this changing industry. That’s because we have the best of both worlds, an established readership from our traditionally published stuff and the ability to put out more books that a publishing house would ever be able to contract. Readers who like your work plus more books equals a good situation for everyone.