If you’ve been reading this blog you know I’ve been trying to find representation for One Night for a while now-nine months to be exact. I have sent over 100 query letters to agents and a handful of small publishers.
The comments I’ve been getting about my manuscript have been overwhelmingly positive:
-You have a highly engaging voice
-I love this story
-The main character is endearing
-What a unique concept
-This is very funny
-Your writing reminds me of John Green and Jesse Andrews
-I really enjoyed reading your book
People have all said no for various reasons. The thing is, the reasons for not offering representation or publication are all subjective and there is no pattern among them. For example, one agent said there was too much of an adult character for a YA novel. Another said they didn’t agree with one part of the plot. If every agent or editor was commenting on the same issue I would think the manuscript has a problem and I need to fix it, but that’s not what’s happening here.
It’s frustrating, but it’s also liberating.
What I know about my novel is: it’s entertaining, highly readable, and people love the main character. I’ve had the feeling for a while now that I cannot simply put this manuscript into a drawer and move on. Thompson and his band of quirky friends need to see the light of day, even if I have to publish the book myself.
I had a long discussion with my husband about the pros, cons, and costs of self-publishing. Before I got to the end of my sales pitch he stopped me.
“This is your dream,” he said. “Do it.”
We’re lucky we’re in a financial position that allows me to make my dream of being a published author come true (thank you day job). We are also lucky I’m a marketing director and can apply all my job knowledge to the marketing of my book.
For years I’ve been waiting for validation from the New York publishing industry that my writing is worthy of publication. I am not going to get it with this novel, but I’m ok with that. I’m at peace because my book is going to be released into the world. It is going to have a chance, however small. The best part is I’ll be able to show it to my kids one day and say, “Your mama did that.”
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Very good luck with your novel. If that one doesn’t get traditionally published, maybe your second or your third one will. Being self-published is incredibly stressful, it entails a lot of hard work and some financial sacrifices, but you have control over everything, from your cover to your marketing strategy. Your sense of achievement will soar too. I’m proud to be self-published myself, because I haven’t scrimped (I hope anyway!) on the quality of my product.
Thanks so much, Caroline!
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