Help me think through this, ‘cause it’s driving me nuts. I’m finishing up my novel, Fire in the Woods. I felt pretty cozy about it going in to the beta process. Now, rounding to home plate, I’m really excited.
I’m excited because, as authors, we always think what we’ve written is great. The Beta Process is usually a slap in the face as reality sets in. For me, the slap was not so hard. Yes, it needed tweaking, but every single beta reader is just as excited about this novel as I am. Wow… it’s a pretty great place to be. (Ten beta-readers, in case you were wondering)
So now I am sitting here with a novel that I am reasonably sure is good enough for a big publishing house. No brainer, right? Send it on out!
This is where I hit a snag. Am I a patient person, or an impatient person?
The truth is, that the big houses that I am interested in… Baen, Daw, Tor, Random House, Entangled (a little smaller) are now — are you ready for this -
ACCEPTING UNSOLICITED MANUSCRIPTS.
Wowzers! No need to take a year to find an agent, and then wait another year to get your stuff read. (If you can get by without an agent-there are pros and cons to this)
Anyway, the problem is that many of these houses do not accept simultaneous submissions. That means they expect you to send your manuscript to them… and only them. Now, this would not be a problem, but all of them, in their submission requirements, give themselves a HUGE timeframe to review novels. I understand that they get a lot of submissions, but you want me to take a year before I even hear back from you? And then if you decide to pass, I’ll need to wait another year to hear back from the next one?
My goal is to have Fire in the Woods traditionally published in printed copy format. I want the perks of professional editing and layout and cover design (etc) However, there are plenty of small houses out there who will read your query in a day, and read your manuscript in a month or so.
So, what, I wonder… other than prestige… would I direct myself to a big house when I have the possibility of getting my novel in the hands of readers in a year, as opposed to two to three years or more?
Hmmm. I think typing this just made things more clear to me.
Anyway… what are your thoughts?
(Self-publishing is not of interest at this time. I don’t have the time or money to do it right)
- My First Beta Reader Experience (kylydia.com)
- Beta Readers, a valuable resource. (awapara.wordpress.com)
- Seeking a literary agent (teamoyeniyi.com)
- The Publishing Roller Coaster (laneymcmann.com)
- Who’s Your Critic? (wordencounters.wordpress.com)
- Why We Need Beta Readers and Editors (coreymp.wordpress.com)
- Why You Need Beta Readers (mxkremzen.com)
- Interview with Jay Kristoff, author of Stormdancer, and a giveaway! (mithrilwisdom.com)
- Should I have Beatings from My Beta-Readers? (michaeljholley.com)