I have been working my way up to publishing my first novel for a while now. The writing has been nearly complete for over a year – I have one last sweep to do for any grammar or word choice changes I want to make, but the story is done.
When I completed the first draft, well, first off I was shocked at the intensity of emotion that comes with writing the last line of a big project – I was beside myself with joy. But secondly, I started to think that maybe someone else would want to read it. Maybe a few someones. So I started reading books about how to get an agent and how to get published.
I wasn’t completely ignorant of the process – I have always been attracted to books like The Writer’s Guide and magazines about writing, but this was the first time that I had something to put in a query letter.
I spent a lot of time writing queries, researching appropriate editors and agents to send them to, and sending them out. I believe I spent several months doing this on the side, off and on. I never received any feedback other than a form letter. It was a lot of work, and all for naught. But I’m glad that I spent that time.
Writing about my novel, writing out a synopsis and finding “hooks” to quickly introduce what it is about was useful – the process helped me to see what still needed to be done with character development and storyline. But I don’t think that the process got me any closer to being published.
After I got tired of submitting queries to people I know receive 500 letters a week, I started thinking about publishing it myself. Luckily for me and other authors, things have changed drastically since I started reading about publishing. It used to be that books about publishing wouldn’t even really address self publishing – it was considered vanity publishing. Now I’m seeing articles and books about it all the time.
And that’s what I’m going to do. I’m starting my own small publishing company, I’m calling it Pennywick Press, and I will probably only publish books that either I or my husband write. And I can’t wait to get started.
My first project, Someotherville, will be published on June 12th, and I plan to keep updating this blog on the whole process. Hopefully I will figure everything out! Like I said, it will be an adventure. Wish me luck!