On May 1, 2016, my manuscript, Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, One Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s, had been developmentally edited, line and copy edited and then proofread. It was now ready to be published and boy was I ready! After much contemplation, I decided to investigate traditional publishing, create a book proposal and a query letter.
In mid May, I began researching publishers of memoirs that were similar to mine, small presses, and literary agents who were accepting queries for memoirs because agents know editors. After I had developed a good list, I visited websites, followed the submission guidelines to the “t” and began sending out query letters with a book proposal or whatever they asked for and/or filled out a submission form. As I read the submission requirements on the many websites of literary agents, I was a bit depressed because response times varied from 8 weeks to 5-6 months. Now, I worked as a professional and was very busy, working 50+ hours a week, and a response time of that nature is just not acceptable. Even when I knew a conversation was going to be hard, like a rejection letter, I still called people back in a timely manner. So, what’s with these literary agents? Boo hoo, they receive many submissions, thousands they say, but don’t some of those submissions pay their salary?
So, the other day I came across a couple of articles that have helped me make up my mind that I will give the traditional publishing route about a year before I cave in and self publish: Harold Underdown http://www.underdown.org/self-publish.htm and Jane Friedman https://janefriedman.com/should-you-self-publish-traditional/. “My advice is that you do not consider self-publishing until you have spent at least a few years working on your writing, making submissions, and learning about the business of publishing. That won’t be wasted time, because even if you don’t get published, if you do decide to self-publish later you will be much better equipped to do so successfully.”
So, folks, believe me when I say, “It takes years to write and publish a book, at least, for a first time author.”
P.S. Thanks for letting me vent. I must remember to enjoy the journey!