Searching for a publisher and/or agent is time consuming. I've spent much of this summer pouring over sites to see what might fit my style of books and researching various publishers and agents. I don't have to tell anyone reading this how time-sucking this endeavor becomes.
My biggest problem, er, one of my biggest problems is writing in two very different genres: historical romance and paranormal romance. To me, the jump was easy, but to those in the writing world frown on diversity, fearing readers will not follow the writer to the other genre. To that I say, there are many readers who enjoy various genres and as a librarian I know folks are always looking for new authors to read. Just yesterday I pursuaded an elderly gentleman to try a new genre. He was grinning when he left, said this was rather exciting to try something different.
Now, back to the time-sucking problem. It's the time waiting to hear back that wears me out. I keep good notes on when and who I send queries, date of when I sent and when to expect a response, plus notes on what bits of my work was sent. The exhausting part is the waiting to hear back. I know, I know, I'm supposed to do other things and I do. Still, I'm too slow in keeping the rotation going, the research of yet another venue and before I know it, I've lost a few weeks when I should have sent something out. Yet, I'm waiting, as if I'm at a station where the train refuses to arrive; three months is an exceptionaly long time to wait before I scratch their names off my list.
Recently I came across a publisher that only accepts snail mail. I was shocked. I hadn't sent anything through the mail in ages. But I liked what I saw in my research so I copied my manuscript and took it to the post office. I expected to send it book rate but living in a small town has an occasional downfall. The postal officer knows me, said, "You haven't sent a book out in a long time." And she went on to tell me manuscripts do not fall into the category for book rate. I paid $8.43 to send my book to the east coast.
Keep in mind I have sent a few other queries out this summer, all via email. I have received one reply signifying they received my manuscript and to expect to hear more from them within three months. I appreciated knowing my material reached its destination. Another bounced back too quickly with a rejection and I was surprised they could read my query so fast, let alone the work sent with it. That told me I had not sent my work to the right place even after pondering over what they were looking for. The other two I have not heard from at all. I'm hoping they received my work, but I have no sure way of finding out without pestering them and that I will not do. If I don't receive a response within the next few weeks, I will assume they are too busy to send out rejection notices.
The surprising thing, I received a post card, the one I had packed in the snail mail packet. I got it just the other day. It said everything arrived okay. The whole thing made me smile. Yes, that was an expensive reply but I think it was worth it. It felt very human. It was hand written, probably by the receptionist or clerk, but still a human touch that in this cutting edge business renewed by hope for the writing industry.
So as I ponder over more possible publishers/agents, I make a wish. Or maybe it's a prayer. Why can't publishers see that an author is more than just one style of writer. Why can't I find someone who appreciates both genres I write. Life would be a little easier if I could tell publishers I multi-task very easily. Working on a historical in the morning and a sci-fi in the afternoon is no big deal. I do it everyday at home and at work. I work with preschoolers early in the day and teens after school.
If only I could braid these two paths into one! I need an agent who is as versatile as me. Is there anyone out there willing to take a chance? I'd love to know about them! I'd really like to talk to them.
Til next time ~