Not that I was looking for it (<– not true at all), but it took a long time to get that praise from mjp regarding my book. If you haven’t listened to the podcast interview, I urge you to download it now (or you can stream it). All I wanted was his blessing. I had no idea he would react the way he did.
When he finished reading my book this time, he wasn’t just impressed, he gushed. If you knew how hard he is to please when it comes to writing, you’d understand.
A couple years ago, when he finished it before — when I thought I was done with it — he practically hated it. His initial feedback sent me into a dwindling spiral, down, down, down. I didn’t expect my reaction to be that of a crazy person, but it was. It’s just that I highly respect his opinion. What can I say? It was important to me, and as much as I tried to make it not matter to me. It did.
However, over time, in itty bitty tiny baby steps it seemed, I eventually excepted that, if he didn’t like it, I’d be okay. And, of course, that was when he thought it was extraordinary. Doesn’t it always work out that way? Son of a bitch, right?
So, it is now week seven since I’ve finished the book, and I think it’s interesting that tomorrow will also mark Day 50, A.D. (I guess I’ll make it mean, “After Done?”). Either way, seems I can’t escape 50 tomorrow.
The same week I completed the book, I started querying agents. I wasted no time. Seven weeks doesn’t seem so long, But I’m extremely industrious. And, I have a timed marketing strategy. I’ll share a little bit about it with you and you can steal it from me if you’d like when it comes time for you to write a book. I dare you.
First of all, on average, most agencies won’t answer you for a few weeks. They tell you four to six, or four to eight, weeks sometimes (today I ran into a 12-week one!), but usually, I’ve been hearing back in one to three weeks. I mean, it all depends. Three or so agents have written me back within 10 hours. Obviously, they didn’t read the manuscript. At best they read the sample. Most likely they only read the cover letter and know right away they don’t want the story. I can fully understand. I think a person can know right away.
In any case, as of today, I have queried over 100 agencies. I didn’t even know NY had that many! I have about 25 more to do, too. Those will be by Monday, and then I’ll have to wait again. When their turnaround time runs out, probably around the last week of September, I will query a couple more agents that want exclusive submissions. They won’t look at yours if you have simultaneously submitted somewhere else. And they may tie up your manuscript for up to eight weeks.
But during that wait, I’ll be researching more about indy publishers, which I’ve already had a jump start on. I’ve been overlapping my Plan B over my Plan A for the last two weeks. Again, I don’t waste any time. As I exhaust my lists, I have to start thinking about pushing on, and what I am going to do next. There’s a lot to think about, if I can even get there. If I even go with an indy. If I can, what sort of distribution/press can they offer me that makes their commission worth the percentages? Enough to forego doing the whole thing on my own? A lot of self-published authors have to ask themselves this important question. I am scared if I’ll have to self-publish, honestly. I know it will be like a full-time job, and I need time to paint. I’m going to have think up some strategy about this… Hmm (rubs beard).