You would think that being able to avoid ever dealing with the self-publishing life would be a good thing, but I have to say, self-publishing was the best thing I ever did. So far, I have mostly been sharing how I started out as a publisher and part of that was becoming a self-published author. I have talked about the uncomfortable feeling most authors feel when having to “admit” they self-published. There is a fair amount of mocking and disrespect in this path, however, as writers are passionate and care about what they’ve written.However, figuring out the “method” to query and finding a real, “publisher” has a lot of value as well. I began to study the art of the query letter, which really is just another form of using your writing skills. It’s a super persuasive essay, while at the same time a polite introduction to yourself. I was also brushing through the local community college night classes when I saw one that was entitled, “Making A Living As A Free Lance Writer.” I thought, I’ve got to see this and signed up, half to confirm my thought that the teacher must be out of their gourd and half thinking, if I learn anything at all I’ll be pleased. The course was actually quite good, I had already been working on my queries for a couple books, but within three months of taking this course, reading query letters out loud and polishing my techniques I sent off two book proposals with the hope of getting a publisher.I am pleased to say that I had three publishers ask or more and two of them subsequently accepted my books. The value of having taken the class and studying query letter techniques means I think I know what I did right. But also, I knew what it meant to push and promote myself already from having published my own work. I understood that knowing which bookstores were comfortable with my books ought to help. I understood that doing events, and contacting the media would be important. The one thing I didn’t want to happen was that I did the job for the other publishers, it would be a hard balancing act, on the one hand, after a bit more than ten years as a publisher I knew perhaps more about publishing than my publishers did. I wanted to help, but also wanted to experience what a publisher could do for me. I’d be lying if I said I was 100% happy with results of either publisher, although each did help me learn. The one thing I learned and the one thing I hope authors provide when I’m their publisher is that no publisher should have as much passion and energy as the author.