So for the curious, here’s an update on writer happenings around here.
I set a goal several months ago to self-publish one of my novels by June 1. It was an audacious goal. I wanted to challenge myself, spur myself forward, make things happen because I’d been stuck and stagnant so long.
And that’s happened for sure. I did another edit of my novel. It was absorbing and exciting and fun. But in the middle of that I was thinking again about whether I want to pursue the traditional publishing path or self-publishing. Both paths seem daunting, both paths offer pros and cons.
But I was searching for what was in my heart - what I really want, in spite of the fear. And what I want is to give traditional publishing a try. I feel like I would regret it if I didn’t. And what do I have to lose? Well, I stand to lose time and emotional energy, but I'm not going to get anywhere if I'm not willing to invest my time and energy and take risks.
So, here I am, weeks away from June 1, and I will not be slapping my lovely little novel up for sale on Amazon. But, I am okay with that. I’ve kickstarted the process, I’ve gotten myself moving and that’s what I wanted to do in the first place.
So instead, I'll be working on the process of getting traditionally published. For those of you unfamiliar with the publishing process here’s a quick overview of how it looks from an author's perspective:
- You send a query letter, a short blurb about your book and usually a sample, to agents who you’d like to represent you.
- Based on the query letter if an agent is interested they ask to read your whole manuscript.
- If they like your manuscript and think it’s sellable and a good fit, they contact you to offer representation.
- After you’ve signed with an agent, you may have another round of revisions and edits to your novel.
- And then the agent will start to pitch your novel to publishers.
- And then if a publisher wants your novel, there will be negotiations before the contract.
- Once the contract is signed, there will then be another round of edits and proofreading before your novel gets sent to print.
It is not an easy or short process to be sure. But it is what it is, and I’m diving in at the beginning. The last month I’ve spend most of my energy on getting ready to query.
It's taken me longer than I wish because I’ve been sorting through complex emotions - chief among them fear - to get to a point where I am ready to start sending query letters. I feel vulnerable admitting this, admitting that I am not bullet proof, that I’m thin skinned and sensitive. It’s true, I am. And I wish I wasn’t. So I’m having to psych myself up to go through this. There is a lot of rejection and criticism. It’s par for the course. So here I go.
I’ll be starting to query soon and I have no idea what that will look like - how long I’ll be doing it, how many agents I will query, how soon I will hear back from them (if at all).
So… don’t expect me to be posting every little detail here as I'm pretty sure it would bore you to tears. And don't expect me to be telling you in a month that I have some magical fairy dust publishing deal! But if you have a bag of magical fairy dust, please send it my way. ;-)
In the meantime, I’m trying to reignite what I love about writing in the first place and working on a new project. I want to keep the creative flow flowing!