Publishing my first novel has definitely been an eye-opening, and somewhat humbling, experience. I have confidence in my writing ability and I knew that the book I was writing was well written and would be entertaining to anyone who enjoyed a good story. As I sent out queries to agents and publishers I knew, because of everything I had read about the book publishing business, that it was quite a crapshoot finding an agent and getting a publisher. But I think there is a little voice inside every writer’s head that says, “Yeah, but my book’s different.” Even though I tried to remain clear-eyed and cautiously pessimistic about my chances of immediate best-selling success, in my heart-of-hearts I believed that any book of high quality and value would catch the eye of some discerning agent or publisher who knew top-quality when they saw it.
After I sent out my first batch of query emails to about ten agents, I remember being excited about the possibility (or was it probability?) that at least one of those agents would respond positively. When none of them did I was a little perplexed. Weren’t they at least a little interested in reading a sample? The most discouraging part about my failure to hire an agent was that no one I queried even asked to see a partial manuscript. If you’re a first-time author of a literary-minded novel with no niche audience to sell to, I have no idea how you’re supposed to get anyone in New York interested in your work.
So I decided to self-publish. I formed my own publishing company and signed a contract with Lightning Source.
I think things turned out really well. The book looks great and it’s gotten some really positive reviews. I’m still hopeful that Glorify Each Day will find a larger audience. There’s still a part of me that refuses to accept the possibility that good work will be unfairly neglected.
John Banks was born in Asheville, NC. His storytelling is very much in the Southern tradition, with a special affinity for humorists such as Mark Twain and the Old Southwest school of writers. Though entirely imaginary, much of the material in Glorify Each Day must have come from his many years as a teacher in the public schools and community colleges of his native state and from the three years he spent as an a community college administrator.