I’ve started reading through some magazines I’ve had sitting around for months and came across an interesting quote in the Editor’s Note of the July/August 2017 issue of Poets & Writers. In it, Kevin Larimer talks about the notion, popular amongst aspiring authors, of publishing as an “impenetrable fortress.” Even though I haven’t started to query yet, and probably won’t until 2018, I’ll admit to feeling this way. Just look back through some of my past entries for a slew of reasons why my series is “unpublishable,” something agents don’t want, not a good fit for #Pitchwars or other hashtag contests.
This is of course, just based on my own opinion. I’ve never had a beta reader or CP say that my work is a complete trainwreck. As mentioned, I haven’t even begun querying (nor have I written a query letter!), so I can’t say for sure that no one wants what I’m writing.
But it’s those little things that you see written on Twitter, or on editor/agent blogs, that can make it FEEL impossible.
That’s when you have to step back and tell yourself – that’s just one person’s opinion.
Someone, at some point, MAY be willing to take a chance on a story or a series that isn’t the norm. That isn’t necessarily what’s popular at this moment in time.
The quote from the Larimer piece that stood out to me was this:
“I think it would be a mistake if writers didn’t at least knock on those doors, maybe try the knobs to see if they’re locked. My experience has shown me that while those doors may be closed, there are passionate people on the other side. . .who are reading manuscripts with the hope of finding. . .an amazing new voice.”
I am willing to put in the difficult pre-querying work– sifting through agents to find those who could be a good fit, tailoring my query letter as needed. I am going to send out letters, however many it ends up being, for an entire year. I’ve told myself that if, and only if, a year of querying is entirely unfruitful, will I look into self-publishing.
I believe in this story and my characters. A realistic fiction, coming of age series, which veers back and forth between YA and A POV is a hard sell. I know that. But someone could be willing to take a chance, to open a door to said fortress, but it requires daring to take the first step.
That’s all I have time for this week – the fall semester is INSANE already, but I’m making a strong effort NOT to give up on my writing, my editing, or my blogging like I did last year around this time. Please be patient until mid-October or so, as my entries will probably be less frequent than before.
In the meantime, please follow me on Twitter (where I’m much more active) or Instagram (where I’m less active) – links over to the right!