20 April 2016

Queries & Publishing

**My theme for this year's A to Z Challenge is THE REVISION PROJECT. Topics I come across while I write the third draft of my novel, Uneven Lines.**

What’s left, anyway, after something is complete? You just move on to the next thing. 

A lot of these posts (or all of them...) have been about stuff that's actually within the story. Well, not this one! This is about what happens after the book is done. Just what the heck am I gonna do with it? 

Nowadays there are more options for authors once their book is ready to be published. We don't necessarily have to go the traditional publishing route. I don't really know the first thing about self-publishing, but sometimes I feel like it may be the best choice for this particular book. Well, because I'm just not sure if anyone will want to publish it. 

I know getting a book published is a long struggle. I know rejections are to be expected. I'm just not sure how likely I am to get that final "yes" after an endless sea of "no"s. But that doesn't mean I won't even try. I'm going to hold out hope that there is someone out there who is my literary agent soul mate. Someone who will get it. Not someone who will just cringe at the idea and not even give it a try. Really, that's what I want out of my readers, too. Just people who will get it. 

I've thought about a query letter. The one I wrote for Pitch Wars was complete rubbish so I'm not even going to look at it. I'm pretty sure I deleted it anyway. What I'd like to pull off with my query is to sell the book like I'm trying to get myself to read it. Well, I know I like my book. I know the reasons why. If I want to get someone interested in it, I think those points will be important to point out. If I just give a summary of what happens on the surface, it will turn most people off. But if I try to dig deep and really find a way to sell this story like the story that I know it is, maybe people will give it a shot. 

That being said, if the traditional publishing route doesn't work, I'm definitely up for self-publishing. It's so scary that I don't even want to think about it right now. I will cross that bridge if and when I come to it. I certainly want this book to see the light of day since I've worked so hard on it and despite all my incredible insecurities, I am passionate about it. 

But I'm getting way ahead of myself. First I have to finish the third draft. Then I need to get some real life (as in, more than one) beta readers. I'll probably put out a request at some point once the draft is done (this post isn't it! The title will probably be something like "BETA READERS WANTED" with fireworks gifs all through the post). Then while they have it maybe I'll start figuring out my query and where I want to send it. Then editing, and, well, you get it. But of course, the writing has to come before all of that nonsense. 

Would you rather find a publisher or self publish? How do you approach a query letter?


  1. I created a publisher. LOL! I actually did send out about 30 queries for one of my books without much interest. (Plus I was querying only agents - dumb! Things might've turned out differently if I'd queried publishers as well.) Meanwhile I studied the industry for almost two years. By then, I knew which path I wanted to take, and what path I could offer others.

  2. I had a query letter years ago that I shared with a group of my students. One of them read it, looked at me, and said, "You honestly sent this out?!?" Needless to say, I promptly retired that particular letter.

    And though I did receive a couple of traditional offers, I ultimately decided to go the self-pub route because I honestly felt that would be the best choice for both me and my story.

  3. I've published and self-published. I prefer having a publisher - there's something nice about having someone else as passionate about my book as I am, in a way that a commissioned editor wouldn't be.

    I'm currently querying agents with a novel, but it's not going well.

  4. I used my query to get an agent. It took a lot of time and a lot of patience. I guess I'll see how that all pays off. Since I'm a hybrid author, I can see the ups and downs on both sides of the publishing business.

  5. The short story I had published was queried via my professor at university so guess he acted as an intermediary w/ the agent.

    Joy @ The Joyous Living

  6. I weighed self publishing and traditional when the time came and I opted to self publish. It seemed the best option since at the time vampires were on the way out and I had a vampire book. I like the control of it. The hugest downside is having to pay for everything up front. But there are a lot of things both trad authors and self authors have to do.

    ~Ninja Minion Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

  7. Since beginning to follow you during the #Challenge, I am behind in reading your posts. Trying to visit as many others sites as possible. Looking forward to catching up soon. Enjoying what I am able to read. Thanks. Visiting on the letter R day where I have written about a hotel in Italy that I used in a second novel. Wish I were writing you from there rather than North Carolina. Having hun, however. Cheers.

  8. I must have missed the line when the Creator was handing out the "how to write a good Query letter" gene. The writing stories gene, that I got. But the query? I've spent hundreds of dollars on books, classes, and auctions to try to write one decent one. THEY ALL SUCK. I read examples and I can't figure out what an agent LIKES about them. At all. Thank goodness I'm not an agent! Then again, I'd obviously be the agent taking all the bad query letters and signing those people, so I suppose I'd be making money. Ha ha ha. But I think I'll stick to being a writer.