Here we are then, in the early stages of the struggle to write and be published, having commenced my first novel in January 2014. From certainty to uncertainty, but with determination, the story so far;
My first novel, Ragged Hearts, was finished last year and, having done many edits and rewrites, it is ‘ready’ for publication; other than a cover. The work was planned in detail before commencing the first draft and it was completed according to that plan; both in terms of content and timescale.
From the start I planned to self publish but wanted to wait until my next novel was finished, having read that two books ‘out there’ has more power than twice one book. Correctly marketed each sells the other. Things really start to happen at four or five books, but that is too far in the future to contemplate.
The first draft of my second novel, The Sagittarius Incident, is currently at 71,000 words so it will be at least late summer before editing and rewriting is finished. That seemed like rather a long time for Ragged Hearts to sit around in nowhere land, and so;
I began reading about traditional publishing. I had thought about it already and what I read confirmed those thoughts, Essentially, as a new author the process of a publisher taking on your book is a good learning experience, with editors helping you to find yourself as a writer, cover designers, some built in marketing etc. Of course there is also the kudos of being published by a traditional publishing house and seeing your work physically present in a book store. It also states that your work must be of a pretty good standard (though there have been bad novels published). In the indie world one is competing against a vast sea of books and marketing is the key.
Much has been written about the pros and cons of indie vs traditional publishing but my belief is that a new writer is better off being published traditionally, unless you know you have a really savvy marketing plan. Once established it is a different story.
What to do?
Until the second book is fit for publication I am submitting Ragged Hearts to literary agents, having 6 submissions out there at any one time and with each rejection fire off another.
Rejection – How to handle it.
I believe in Ragged Hearts as a worthy novel but also have a sense of realism. Rejections will come, and they have, to date – 3, and I expect many more!
No worries. Persistence is king. I take heart from the countless examples of authors who have been rejected many, many times before finding success, from Stephen King to J K Rowling and countless others.
Of course, if I were to be taken on by an agent that is far from the end of the story as they then have to sell to a publisher, A long and uncertain road. If Ragged Hearts hasn’t been taken up by the time The Sagittarius Incident is ready, 8 months or more, I’ll probably self publish both. Though that is subject to change, uncertainty 🙂
In the final analysis I believe hybrid publishing is the future, a mix of indie and traditional. I may just stick in there pursuing the traditional route!!
The Best You Can Be
It is natural to feel dejected in receiving a rejection. My initial reaction was ‘is it good enough?’ My self belief was temporarily shaken. I reread the submitted work and thought no, this is my very best right now. And that is all we can do, give it our best, the utmost of which we are capable. We are learning all the time, as I develop I am quite prepared to reach the stage where Ragged Hearts is given up as a lost cause, despite my current belief in it. Now, that would be painful considering the many months of work I have committed to it. But if I am a much better writer in 3 years time will it still be worthy? Realism friends, this is a hard path to tread. That is why, above all else, you must love writing for the sake of it. You would write even of you knew you would never be published.
I love it! Creating characters, stories, events and worlds; nothing quite like it 🙂
Do your art and let it rock!
Can you relate to this? I welcome comments regarding your own thoughts or experiences 🙂