Monday, July 22, 2013

Stone of Names: July Status Report

I'm now shopping my manuscript to literary agents, which is the least fun part of the writing process. Basically this phase is several months of sending my work to total strangers so that they can tell me it's unsellable.

To be fair to the literary agents: they have a much clearer view of the market than I do. That's their job. If they don't think they can sell my manuscript to a publisher, that's a business decision, not necessarily a quality decision. To say that a book is enjoyable is not the same thing as saying it's sellable.

The question at this point is: will every agent (and every publisher) agree that they can't sell this book? Or is there someone out there who would be willing to try?

I've sent 20-ish query letters, and I've received 5 rejections. Some folks are likely to let their silence substitute for a rejection, and so I won't be hearing back from everyone. It's not an auspicious beginning, but it's possible that I haven't really tried hard enough yet. It's possible that I really need to send a hundred or so letters before I can really claim to have tried my best.

But I'm not sure I have the patience to send that many queries, given that I could have this book up on Amazon within a couple of days if I wanted to.

I expect I'll keeping querying for a while, but not indefinitely. If I can't interest an agent by the end of the year, I'll get my cover art together and self-publish. There's a very real possibility that I won't sell more than a few dozen copies if I self-publish, but it's better than letting the book sit on my hard drive doing nothing.