Self-publishing my book is the only way I got published. I don't know why. I compared my sentence structure with that of bestsellers. I read dozens of books on how to write and how the successful authors acheived their dreams.
And after a few attempts at submitting my work to agents, I began to wonder if maybe I didn't know as much as I thought I did about writing. Maybe the quality of my work wasn't good enough. That theme of 'not good enough' ran ruts through my brain. It forced me to take a good hard look at book one of my Juliet Harrison series; I edited it and cut pages out of it; I smoothed over plotholes and moved scenes around. But while I made it a faster read, I realized I'd only cut out its heart and left behind all the parts I didn't like.
With no other path before me, I decided to scrap the whole book and start over. These Chains that Bind went through not a revision but a complete rewrite, with only 20-30 pages culled from its first drafts. Now, I am proud of my manuscript. Its heart is beating stronger than it was.
I'm thinking about submitting it to agents again, but right now Amazon Kindle is treating me rather well.