Thursday, September 26, 2013
Where to now?
Okay, so you've had an idea. You've got characters, plots and a world. You've whipped them all into shape and somehow fitted them into a book.
You've finished writing it. You've revised it and polished it. You've had it read by others: family, friends and complete strangers. They've all given feedback and now it's finally finished.
What do you do with it?
First you have to answer a few questions. The first ones are: are you truly happy with it? Is it your best work? Would you be happy for anyone to see it and judge it? If you can answer yes to all those then you can ask another question.
Why did you write it? People write for all sorts of reasons. Some of them want to tell a story. Some of them have a message. Some just like doing it.
You may have written it because you like writing and you like sharing it with people close to you. It's a labour of love and a hobby.
If however you've written it because you want it out there in the marketplace because you want to be a published author and share your creation with the world then you have to look at trying to get it published.
There are a number of ways to get published now, but I'm really only going to explore one. Most people look at one of two options. One is to self publish. With the advent of ebooks and epublishing, self publishing is a far more viable and less expensive option than it ever was before. Since ereading really took off the amount of self published books has risen astronomically and there have been some remarkable success stories, although you have to bear in mind that they are the exceptions, not the rule.
The other is what is referred to as the 'traditional route' and that's to get an agent, sell the work to a publisher and let them deal with things like marketing, distribution, contracts, etc...
I said get an agent before mentioning a publisher, because in many cases publishers won't accept unsolicited work, some will occasionally open the doors to unagented submissions, but generally you can't get in the door unless you're represented.
With Realmspace after I answered the above questions I decided to try the traditional route. So I am currently in the process of querying agents. Of the ones I've contacted so far I've been rejected at the initial query stage. Admittedly each rejection has been a little more encouraging and that at least makes me think that even if I can't place this work with anyone (I do admit that it's fairly off the wall and will probably be a hard sell, if at all) that I'm sort of on the right track with the queries.
Looking at it now I'm beginning to think writing the book was the easy bit, actually trying to get someone who can do something about it to notice it and take a chance with it and me is the hard part.