As I do more research I am coming to the conclusion that my best option is probably to remove my books from publication before trying to interest a traditional publisher.
Yes, I know that there are success stories of self-published authors who interested traditional publishers, but those are all people who were successful in self-publishing first.
From a business standpoint my self-publishing efforts have been a failure, and as such, having my books on the market is a liability. From what I have read, I would be better off presenting myself as a total unknown (which isn’t entirely a lie–I’m mostly unknown) than as a failed self-publisher.
I’m not going to do anything right away–it’s my habit to contemplate and consider options and chew things over before I act. For one thing, there is no guarantee that any traditional publisher is going to consider my work under any circumstances. What I write isn’t safe, I don’t fall neatly into a particular genre, I don’t have clear-cut good guys and bad guys, and my books aren’t “just like” a proven best-seller.
However, I am finding that self-publishing isn’t working for me. I am losing money and wasting huge amounts of time with no return. I do believe that it is a viable alternative for many authors, and I wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from trying it.
For me, though, I don’t have the skills of a promoter, I don’t have the time to devote to it, and I don’t have a large disposable income to spend on it.
If I am going to make a career of writing, I will need to work through an existing publisher. Increasingly I am seeing that traditional publishers want nothing to do with self-published authors, unless the author has already proved her- or himself as a top selling brand.
As I say, I am still considering options, however it seems at this point likely that in the near future that I will remove my books from Amazon, shut down this blog, and concentrate on sending out query letters. I won’t try to conceal the fact that I did self-publish, but I suspect that I am more likely to get a response if I present that to a publisher as a phase in my life that I am done with. A mistake that I have since corrected, a heresy, if you will, that I have repudiated.