Monday, October 24, 2011

Publishing Process


My husband and I went to a wedding this past weekend. It was a three hour drive both ways, which always equals thinking time for me. It’s difficult to turn my brain off sometimes and when I have hours of inactivity and relative quiet, I usually just let it flow.

On the way home, I was thinking about my writing, which isn’t unusual. It’s very common for me to go into a meditative state while sitting in the passenger seat, lost in a different time and place while I live along with my characters. The odd part was, on this drive, I wasn’t thinking storyline. I was thinking process. Not the process of writing, either, but the publishing process.

I have, in one way or another, been trying to get published since I was sixteen. I was okay back then, probably just slightly impressive for a sixteen year old. I had won a writing contest and come to the attention of an agent. After a phone interview I thought I was very mature and knowledgeable about, I signed with them and shipped off my check (well, my mom’s check). It turns out this particular agent didn’t usually work with fantasy, but they dutifully sent me my update letter every time I asked for it.

I cancelled with them eventually, this time for an agency that turned out to be a scam. It was at that point I decided to try getting published on my own. I had a new book that was much better than the one I had written all those years ago and I was sure it would get me published.

Another handful of years later, and I’m still working on it, yet another book to try and sell. I’m currently waiting to hear from one publisher, wondering what to do if it doesn’t work out. Self-publishing? Try to find another agent, this time making sure I’m getting an appropriate one, or try to send my book off on my own again? At this point in time, those questions are on hold, though. They weren’t, truth be told, even the questions I was thinking about on my drive.

After all my different attempts, it has occurred to me that I don’t know very much at all about the publishing process. I mean, I know about as much as is outlined in Wikipedia, anyway. That can’t be all there is, though, can there? Shouldn’t I know more? Shouldn’t I have a better handle on the business I’m trying to break into?

How do I figure it out?

I’m going to try Google+. I’m asking here, and I’ll ask there. There’s a writer’s circle project going on. I want to circle some writers and ask them what they know, if they know any good books, etc. The goal is to get there this week, the weekend being my deadline if the weekly humdrum keeps getting in the way. I want to go to a bookstore, too, and see if I can find any books that might help. I’m hoping I’ll get my answers shortly, one way or another. Hopefully it’s not learning as I go - that path just takes so long sometimes - but I will be learning.