Hi Simon,

I'm absolutely not knocking self-publishing per se. Many of the novels now recognized as groundbreaking and occupying a hallowed place in the canon of English literature were originally self-published. But for most, it's a minefield of potential discouragement and disaster. I wrote a thing about self-publishing, here, if you're interested: Thinking of Self-Publishing Your Book?

10,000 copies sold is an excellent result. Most first time authors--whether traditionally or self-published--sell about 500 copies. A first print run these days is rarely more than 1,000 books. So, I congratulate you on that outstanding success.

If you want to get a good deal with a mainstream publisher, I recommend that you pitch to agents in the first instance. A good literary agent will fight your corner and help you build a writing career rather than just sell a book.

You clearly have what it takes. The rest is down to how doggedly you persevere. Go for it.

Austin is a professional writer and editor. Skeptical about everything else, he believes in kindness. Here, he shares sensible advice for serious writers.

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