By: Mia L. Hazlett
I haven’t been here in a while. I finally turned Macy into a novel and finished the manuscript. Woo-hoo, well kinda. Now to find an agent, sell my book to a big publisher, and live off royalties. BAHAHA. Oh how naïve of me.
I’ve decided to chronicle my little journey of getting my book published. It will keep me from giving up, maybe.
My first book, Going Through It, was self-published. I’ll be honest, I’m sure I gave away more than I sold. The thing about self-publishing, you’re instantly published. You create your manuscript, hire an editor, design a cover, and upload. Easy enough. No matter the research you do, prepare to be your own cheerleader and marketer. Like constantly. On every platform. Everywhere!
When I completed self-publishing my book, I lived in my parents’ basement and had lost everything. I had no platforms, or any idea how to market my book. I won’t bash myself, because I made an incredible accomplishment. I fulfilled my lifetime dream of becoming a published author. The next time I dream, I’ll be more specific and add “successful”.
Now that I’ve finished my second manuscript, I’m going the traditional route- agent and publisher. I’m not saying self-publishing doesn’t produce success, but I’m not interested in publishing.
Beyond the basic tools, entering into the arena of traditional publishing, I come with research. I’ve read, I’ve followed, and I’ve chased every answer to the little questions that pop into my head. I’m better informed to pursue this channel of fulfilling my publishing dream.
I’ve edited my manuscript. I’ve gone through the Beta readers. I’ve been building my social media platforms, and started keeping my blogs current. I say it with ease. It’s not. I’m an executive assistant to a president and board of trustees, 9-5 doesn’t exist in my world. I have a teenager who is about to drive and a middle schooler who doesn’t think I’m cool anymore. My writing takes me into the wee hours of the night.
What have I had to learn? What is a query letter? Had no clue what it was. On every submission page, everyone wants a query letter and sometimes a synopsis. I had to develop both. I found, I could write an entire novel, but a simple letter was crippling. But I researched what a query letter was and how to write it.
At this point in my hunt for an agent, I’ve received 45 rejections. Probably 18 actual rejections and just haven’t heard back from those others. Honestly, it’s hard. I’m questioning myself. I’ve thought about self-publishing. Then I thought about rewriting the entire book. But then I realized, I can’t give up on myself and the years I put into my art. Obviously I would never reject myself, that’s why self-publishing was so easy. Submitting my work to agents and absorbing the rejection is part of the traditional publishing journey. Stay tuned.