Posted in Writing

On Writing a Novel

Even though it’s been a couple of months since I finished it, I’m still in some disbelief that I’ve actually written a novel. An entire novel, start to finish, with plotted out characters and a story line. And here I am, some months later, asking myself – now what?

I spent so long working on this book, put so much focus into it, and that’s good, that’s what drove me to actually finish it. But I wasn’t even thinking about what the next steps would have to be. There’s so much focus around writing the book and then having it be a legitimate book that’s already published and being read that it’s easy not to think about the part where you actually need to get it published. You need to find a publisher that’s willing to publish your book, despite the fact that you’ve never published a book before and you don’t have an agent and you’re not famous, and that’s not easy. I haven’t even begun the process yet and I can already tell it’s not going to be easy because I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING.

Writing is overwhelming. So overwhelming that I forgot how overwhelming it would be to try and actually publish the book. What do I know? I minored in publishing in school, but if anything that just made the process even more overwhelming and impossible from the writer’s perspective in me. You want to publish a book? Ha, good luck. So does half the world. What makes you think you’re good enough to be noticed among the waves and waves of other people trying to publish a book (and for that matter, even if you do somehow get it published, what makes you think you’re good enough to be noticed among the waves and waves of other books that are being published?)?

I feel as though I have both many options before me and none at all. Getting published by one of the big publishers is out of the question, at least for now. There’s the self-publishing route, but I’m still hesitant about joining that ship for many, many reasons I won’t bother going into right now. I had to do some research for a class into alternative ways of getting a book published and I came across the concept of crowdfunding for books, which I had never heard of before or considered it something that would work, but the more I read the more viable it became. As weary as I have been about self-publishing, self-publishing through crowdfunding seemed a more lucrative, successful way to go, one that I would maybe consider if all my other plans didn’t work out. Again, I am hesitant to go in that direction, partial as I am to the traditional way of publishing a book. But sites like Indiegogo almost swayed me.

I’ve been putting off trying to start the process of getting my book published because I didn’t even know where to begin. Like I’ve said, all I’ve focused on, all it seems like we’re meant to focus on, is the act of writing the book itself. Like once you’ve written a book, getting it published was just the inevitable next step you didn’t have to worry about because it would just happen, which is of course the most ridiculous idea ever. Publishing a book doesn’t just happen. You need to make it happen. And so now, I’ve begun to make it happen. I’ve pulled myself out of my writing stupor and have begun to work. I’ve found a database that lists pretty much every small publishing house that exists and gives their basic information, like whether or not they take unsolicited work (praise to the ones that do!) and now, to my utter disbelief, I have a list of actual publishers that I can send my book to. I have publishers that I can send my work to!

But I can’t send it right away. I need to do a final edit and read through, fixing the things I didn’t like as best I can, adding in a few odds and ends, making it the best book it can possibly be. I need to write a synopsis for it too, which strikes me as an impossible task. You’d think that it would be easy – I wrote the book, I should know how the story goes, and I do of course, but I’ve always found describing my story a difficult feat. I definitely need to work on my elevator pitch skills.

But I’m excited. Because I know publishers now that I can send it to. Hopefully, somewhere in that list there’s a group of people who believe in my story enough to see it published. My fingers are ever crossed.

I’d best get to my editing! ♥



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