Okay peeps, I finished my first book, The Welling: Creations, in January and have sent it out to several agencies, receiving nothing but rejections – or worse – SILENCE! Fortunately for me, I developed a very thick skin courtesy of eight years at the Maisonette Restaurant, so I’m not taking it too hard. Still, the waiting is killing me!
All advice points to starting a second book while waiting for the first to get discovered. Trust me, that’s easier said than done. Everything I’ve read says NOT to start the second book in my series, but let’s face it – I’ve never done what I’ve been told. I feel like I have to keep the faith that my book series is good enough to go all the way, and that even though I have 4 other novels that are completely unrelated to my series screaming inside my head, I want to stay the course. So, with that said, I have decided to start the second book in my series, The Welling: Transitions, today.
I will continue to send my book to agencies, in fact, I have a spreadsheet of 1st tier and 2nd tier agencies that I think are a great fit for my work. I highly suggest that any new author (or established for that matter) keep a good spreadsheet of what agency you contacted, all their contact info, the date you sent the query letter and who you specifically sent it to. Otherwise you’re going to have a big mess on your hands when you try to figure out who to query next and if you’ve already queried that agency/agent. It is important to retain professionalism and not appear as a schleprock.
My next target, after querying agencies/agents is to target small publishing houses. People have had quite a bit of success with small independent publishing houses as compared to one of the big 5 houses – especially for first time authors. Once I’ve exhausted the agency list and the independent publishing houses, if I haven’t hung myself from the rafters in my attic, I will look at self-publishing, or as the industry calls it – vanity publishing (ouch).
If you are on the same journey as me, there are a few crucial web sites and books that are a must-have for any arsenal.
~ The current edition of Writer’s Market.
~ http://pred-ed.com (Preditors vs Editors is a great resource to find out who has a good reputation in the industry and who is not to be trusted.)
~ www.queryshark.blogspot.com (if you want to read great archives and advice on writing effective Query letters, this is the place for you. I wouldn’t bother trying to post your own letter for her to review as she only takes a few. Still, it’s a great resource.)
~ www.publishersmarketplace.com (another great tool to see who is legit out there. You HAVE to manage your own career at this point and choose an agent/publisher that is trustworthy and is willing to put in the work to get you published. Don’t just take the first ride that drives by – do your homework. After all, you’ve worked hard on this dream and it deserves all of your protection/nurturing.)
Well, that’s all for now. I will trudge on through the muck that is getting published without any real experience. I have learned one thing above all, there is a certain amount of luck and karma involved in this process. If you don’t believe me, refer to my last post about some amazing authors who started out with rejections and ended up with a career!