Agents and Indies and Self-publishing oh-my!


As I patiently move through line edits and more rounds of read-throughs of Wine Bottles and Broomsticks and begin seriously plotting the second book in the Rick Basket series, rather a lot of my mental energy is being wasted on the question ‘what comes next?’ I mean, after final revisions and copy-editing and things. I’ve thought I’d been to this point before, but not really. This time though, I really am. If all goes well I’ll be sitting with a full draft in a few weeks.

Obviously, I really want to get this thing published, you know, like a regular book – but HOW?

It seems like every writer out there has a completely different and thoroughly justifiable position on this.

The most promising initial path I’ve got for this project and where I want to take it is to try and connect with an agent. Of course, I’m completely unknown, don’t have any proven track record of selling books or meeting deadlines. Not only that, I’ve got to find a person I can trust and works in good faith and also won’t deadbeat me. It’s scary and, I suspect, very hard.

Another path, the sort of knee-jerk path, it seems, is to just start firing the manuscript off to various publishing houses. I have serious doubts I’d even manage to get read, let alone get signed. To make it worse, if I do manage to get a contract, I’m likely as not to screw it up and kill the project before it really gets off the ground. It’s my biggest fear in taking the next step here, actually. I like writing these characters and I want to keep doing that. It would really suck for me if I got derailed because of my own stupidity.

The last approach is self-publishing – a highly popular and sometimes successful way to go. The problem is that I don’t have much time and I certainly don’t have a lot of cash, so while I could self-publish, the amount of advertising I could do is pretty minimal. This, actually, doesn’t help either. It’ll be out there, sure, but I won’t be able to tell people who actually want to hear it’s out there that it is. Plus, and this is an ego thing, I won’t be able to walk into Barnes and Noble or the local indie store and find it on the shelf.

So, here I sit, heartburn chewing up my insides staring cross-eyed at a manuscript trying to viciously eliminate passive voice and unnecessary dialogue tags while stretching my plot-holes into compelling story that gets me over the 80K mark (77.6K at last count). Sigh – Any agents out there want to take a look? No? Well, had to ask.

photo credit: The Printing Press via photopin (license)


11 thoughts on “Agents and Indies and Self-publishing oh-my!

  1. Matt Bowes says:

    Die die die passive voice!

    I’m no help on the other, though tradpublishing isn’t quite what it used to be. They’re a dying breed. There ain’t nothing wrong with submitting your manuscript – maybe it gets nuked and you get a string of rejections, but if someone picks it up and publishes it, why, that’s golden.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, I keep thinking that the traditional route might be a bit of a waste of time, but I feel like it’s not dead yet. Based on the reaction from beta-readers on this particular book that the story is commercially viable, and I’m leaning toward finding an agent who might be able to help me sell it. That said, I’ve got another book on the heels of this one, so if I submit for a year and nothing happens (the likely scenario), I’ll have 2 books done and that could help with self-publishing and advertising. I dunno, it’s just hard to know what the heck to do.


  2. D Hargreaves says:

    From someone else who writes and also stresses about the publishing side, a bit of advice with tradpublishing: if you’re likely to feel pressured by deadlines, and you have a plan to write a series, I would at least have first drafts of all the books completed by the time you submit the first one. There’s nothing like having a big multi-national company breathing down your neck to kill the writing buzz; just ask George R R Martin πŸ˜‰

    Good luck with whichever you decide to do πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have found some success recently with s Twitter pitch session, of all things! Although the acquisition editor didn’t take my fantasy on- she did give me clear suggestions and a request for a rewrite. We’ve also developed a report- she’s given me her direct email as well as permission to check in with any questions.
    I found her on She’s hosting another pitch to pub session on February 26th. Even if you don’t love Twitter- it’s a powerful social media site for something like this.
    Winners from the last session have landed book deals and agents.
    Another option!
    Good luck!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh I do love Twitter, feel like I found my tribe out there. I’ve thought about the pitch session but have no idea how to get involved. I’ll have to poke around and check it out. Thanks!


  4. Nico Smit says:

    If you do come up with a solution…please share. Exactly same scenario this side πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jessmbaum says:

    I have a list of indie and small publishers if you need help subbing to the presses that accept unsolicited manuscripts.


Make it a conversation, leave a comment below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s