As of today, I have officially started the query process to find an agent for my debut novel. What is life?!
I haven’t submitted anything to anyone since I was 17 and thought I could do no wrong. I submitted a terrible novel with no beta reads and only my own editing directly to a few publishers accepting open submissions. Big surprise, I was rejected. After that, life got busy, I moved to a new country, started a family, and basically adulted all over the place.
I’m back to dreaming. I’m serious about writing. The game plan? My first round of queries has gone out. I will continue to send out waves of queries until I either am accepted by an agent or I have my second book ready (betas, edits, the whole shebang). At that point, I will wait for the final round of queries responses and then begin the process of self-publishing.
One thing that attending Penned Con taught me was the significance of having multiple books in the indie world. I am not able, at this juncture, to write a ton of books in a short span of time – so I am giving myself time to expand my catalog.
I will keep writing. Keep building my platform. Keep loving books. And I will see where this ride takes me!
My first novel is almost ready. It is written, edited, read, and edited more. I have written and rewritten, cut and added, and sweat over the whole thing. It is almost ready.
Almost is such a huge word.
I have been debating whether to publish via traditional publishers or to go the self-publishing route, and I still am honestly flummoxed by the whole thing. I know my own preconcetions about publishing factor in greatly. As little as six months ago, I would not read self-published books because of a few bad apples I had read few years ago.
Since then, I have learned how many good self-published books are out there. I have learned that traditional publishing still requires a great deal of working marketing and promoting all yourself…they don’t just do it for you. I thought I could just write and they would do the rest. Sure, maybe if I were Steven King.
So, what direction to go? A part of me leans traditional for the validation is provides. Get accepted by an agent and you know you are “good enough.” A part of me leans self-publishing because it won’t take a year or two, best case scenario. Both are huge amounts of work. Both appeal.
So…what to do?
Thus far, my answer has been to bury my head into writing the first draft of my next book and ignoring it entirely. I build my social media platforms, write, and dream.
I need to make a decision, though, if I a ever going to move forward. I wish it was an easy decision – but nothing importent in life is.
The day before, I had so much optimism. Hope. I was going to go, find a tribe, and meet new people. Make new friends. I could close my eyes and envision that, by lunch, I would have found a few people that I could eat and talk and connect with.
Then I arrived.
The room was full of people. New people. Unknown people. A sea of faces that all meshed together into an image that made my heart pound. Every face was friendly and terrifying. I could imagine myself going over, saying hello and asking to sit, but I could not make my feet move.
Tears burned behind my eyes at the thought.
I was frozen.
I was burning.
I could never.
My breathing sped up, shallow and quick. In, out, in, out, inoutinoutinout. How do people do this? How do they meet new people? All of my friends came from places and groups – built in friends. I feel like some extrovert always adopted me, and I can’t rely on that.
Move. Just say hi. What’s the worst that could happen? I told myself over and over that I just had to take the step.
I was frozen.
The day slid by, and I slid out at the end. Alone. Unknown.
My heart a tattered shambles.
A big step toward becoming an author is education. I am not a person who is ever going to say a college degree or formal education is necessary to he an author, but that doesn’t mean there are not things to learn.
How to publish.
How to market.
How to handle the stress and the ins and outs of the industry. I know how to write. I do not know marketing. I like to say I know just enough to be dangerous: I have a vague idea of what works and what doesn’t, but I have no idea how to do is successfully.
A local book convention offers a writers education day, and I looked at it for weeks. A part of me really wanted to do it. Another part of me felt like I was too early, too new. Bless my husband, he told me to do it, so I jumped in.
It’s time to learn. If this is the path I want to walk, at the very least I will learn where I can eventually get. I am ready to take my writing seriously.
This is the next step.
Wish me luck…