So you’ve written a book…now what?
After seven years of researching, writing, editing, rewriting and agonizing, I finally gave all 95,000 words of my completed memoir to my writer’s group for feedback this year. Done. Check that one of the life’s to do list. However, writer’s block has now morphed into publishing block. What do I do with this mass of words given that I know nothing of the publishing world?
I googled. I googled writing organizations in Canada. I googled Canadian publishers. I googled how to get published in Canada. One article in particular laid out an appealing plan of action. Decide if you want an agent. Cross reference publishersweekly.com with agentresearch.com to find agents that are accepting new work. Compose a query letter and send it off to as many agents that fit your genre.
Twiddling my thumbs got about much as some agents can take up to three months to get back to you so I read through The Writers’ Guide to Canadian Publishers and shortlisted eight publishers interested in my genre. As an emerging writer, I needed to write a submission complete with marketing plan to send with my query letter to the publishers. My submission was seventy pages and took me one month to write.
The replies I have received from agents so far have been professional and helpful and most of them have indicated that the publishing market is very tight. I am somewhat hopeful that one of the smaller publishers will pick it up. The reality may be that I must self-publish. It is the way many first-time authors are going.
Self-publishing is also complex and somewhat mysterious. Vanity press versus traditional self-publishing. E-book option versus print only. How to finance the venture…So many questions.
Local author Sara Leach has tackled many of these questions, after self-publishing two children’s picture books. She will be giving a workshop at the Whistler Writers’ Festival this October on writing picture books, and having gone through the process, she will be able to shed light on what has been a learning curve for me.