It's True- Writing the book is the easy part!
Contributor
Written by
Kathryne Arnold
July 2011
Contributor
Written by
Kathryne Arnold
July 2011


 

Well, maybe I wouldn’t go that far, but it feels as though that became my truth once I typed the last sentence of my first novel. It is an incredible feeling that rushes at you when you’ve actually completed a full-length manuscript and finalized the finishing touches. You put that dot at the end of your last sentence, and are instantly overwhelmed with the fact that you actually penned a book and YOU’RE DONE. It’s a crazy, good, intense feeling but is hard to put into exact words, which is ironic since I was capable of writing a fairly lengthy, complex novel.

Somehow I didn’t realize initially that I would need to have en editor review my entire book, from top to bottom. Not just for proofreading, structure and language corrections, but to analyze the overall theme from an objective and professional viewpoint, as well as looking at characterization, chapter content, timing and reviewing the plotline(s), among countless other details. Is it seamless, does it flow easily and fit together into a well-written, functional, entertaining novel? Then the rewriting required after the initial edit, followed by a second edit of the issues recently corrected, making sure to leave no stone unturned, that the whole comprehensive piece of work has been thoroughly examined.

So now you’re ready to move onto the next phase of the book process. Sending the book out is extremely time consuming, takes from your piggy bank, and I would say anxiety provoking in itself. You need a marketing platform, both a brief and more detailed synopsis, and a query letter to send as a cover sheet. One must make a decision first to either query book publishers directly, self publish with minimal assistance from the publisher, find a publicist who can help orchestrate the direction of the book and outline/achieve your personal goals, or you may choose to send materials yourself to agents in the publishing industry.

If you choose the first or last of these scenarios, after searching online or poring over manuals marketed strictly for contacting these professionals, you must put together packets to send out according to each publisher’s/agent’s individual requests. These you can do either by emailing or through snail mail, which is undoubtedly a tedious but necessary step in the process, requiring one to be detail oriented with much patience and time. Then after weeks or months go by, the inevitable rejection letters start trickling in, one after the other, but you must remain steadfast in your belief that you wrote a good book, that you have a voice that should be heard. When first starting on this road, I made the decision only to query agents directly after being told that one must find an agent first to represent you, that publishers won’t even give your materials a second look, and will toss your baby right into the infamous “slush pile”. I did get some nibbles from a few New York agents, but unfortunately those didn’t pan out. I’ve now learned differently and accepted that the market is fickle, based on changing criteria and what is “hot”, what’s in demand in any given year.

 

So I stepped up to the plate and decided to self publish my first novel, see how it all plays out. Meanwhile, my editor referred me to a publicist out of Sarasota, who read my first two books (both still in manuscript form) and decided to accept me as a client. I was more than thrilled, but soon realized it was “déjà vu all over again”; the beginning of another long road I must travel. As I begin to attend book events and signings scheduled through my publicist, it is like I am truly starting again from square one, now having to prove that I can write because I’m self-published, because I’m a local writer, because I’m an unknown novelist, etc, etc, etc. But never stop looking for those bright spots and just keep on truckin’, because I believe in the end (wherever that is) it will all be worth it. 


 

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