I’ve been querying agents for almost a year and not a few at a time, in groups of 10-12 every 3 months. Yeah, that makes more than 40 agents whose assistants have read my query (at least the first line) and sent it straight to the slush pile. Three agents have requested the full manuscript, only to pass very soon after I sent it-that tells me that they probably didn’t read more than a few chapters. All this can wear a girl down, fer shure.
At the beginning of March I was perusing the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books site and clicked on one of the ads for e-books. I ended up at All Romance and lo and behold, I discovered they sold YA novels. Even though I own a Kindle and want to marry it, the whole e-book industry just never, well, occurred to me. I really only thought that publishers took printed books and formatted them to go on my Kindle and that was the whole deal. I knew that people self published books, but couldn’t for the life of me figure out where they actually sold them besides holiday craft bizarres and family reunions. In fact, the only example I’d ever heard of someone self-publishing a book and making it work for her was Laurie Notaro. ( Love her, love her books, queried her agent, “discovery luck” all used up on Laurie. Don’t even get me started on how Stephenie Meyer has ruined it for the rest of us schlubby SAHM paranormal YA romance writers-she really took all of our luck. And yes, I know what Oprah has to say about luck…something like it’s inspiration meets preparation meets constipation…)
Anyhoo, with that click on All Romance, a whole world opened up to me. I submitted Glimpse to Wild Horse Press because they are based in Tennessee, a state I like, for reals, and because they had published several other YA titles. They were super quick getting back to me and really nice, but passed on Glimpse. They did, however, give me editorial notes and told me I could resubmit. Well, if you’ve read the previous posts you know what happened there. I cut 40 pages, did exactly what they told me to and they still passed on it. They said the book didn’t engage them enough, which means they thought it was boring. (Duh! I cut out the drunken karaoke scene, what did they expect?) When I sat down to noodle what exactly they might have thought was boring about the book, I realized it probably didn’t have enough 1. Vampires 2. Werewolves 3. Sex because there actually aren’t any of those things in Glimpse .
Here’s where the crossroads come in: I’ve written down all the stuff I need to do to format Glimpse and send it in to two other e-publishers, but when I peruse their YA sections, all I’m seeing are vampires, werewolves, and sex, and, okay some fairies, er faeries, whatever. I’ve also written down a new list of 12 agents to send queries to. Now, I’ll admit I would rather get an agent and see my book on the shelves at Powell’s because that’s what I’m comfortable with, in which case I should keep querying. But, if Glimpse does get accepted by one of the e-publishers, it will be ready for public consumption a hell of a lot faster. Why don’t I do both or alternate like I’ve been doing? I can, it’s all just starting to get to me. I guess I’ve been thinking that if my intentions are focused on one plan instead of scattered around trying to get published by any means necessary, then I’m more likely to get what I want. (I’m aware that I made fun of Oprah, like, a paragraph ago and now I’m essentially espousing The Secret. I’m complex, dude.)
Ugh. I’m having a doubt day. Sometimes I want to give up on Zellie and Avery and write erotica for gay men.