My $5.97 Lottery Ticket

I confess, I’ve never bought a lottery ticket; least not that I can remember.  The odds just seem too high for it to make sense to my frugal mind.  However, I’m playing a new writing game that feels a bit like buying a lottery ticket, and thinking of it that way is actually quite empowering.

Here’s the game, compliments of a blog post of Dean Wesley Smith. (You can read his post here.) While I’ve been concentrating my writing efforts primarily in the self publishing direction with Kindle and CreateSpace, Dean offers a more balanced approach. As he pointed out, after publishing a book, another direction to take could be down the traditional publishing avenue by writing a “short three page synopsis of the book, then put a copy of the trade paperback book with the synopsis and a cover letter into a flat rate priority envelope and mail[ing it] to an editor with a #10 SASE (self addressed stamp envelop).

When I read this, I realized it would be a simple step to take, not only on future books but on some of the books that I’ve already published. So, last week I prepared a packet for Dominion Over All, did a little research at the library to determine which publishers I’d like to see pick it up and mailed it out to an editor for Dial for Young Readers.

Today, I did the same thing for Seeds of a New Birth and mailed the packet to TOR. And the $5.97 lottery ticket?  Well, that’s how much it cost me to mail today’s packet by priority mail.  It feels like I’m playing the lottery because I know both of these publishers receive a ton of submissions every month, so the odds aren’t great.  But hey, someone has to win the lottery, and I figure the odds on this writing game are better than the odds of winning the actual lottery.  It’s also consistent with my ‘both/and’ philosophy to life. While I will continue to focus most of my time, energy, and efforts towards indie publishing, I will not include sending some of my work towards traditional publishing outlets.

Once again, thanks go to Dean Wesley Smith for his creative ideas.


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