I finished revising Riva’s Journey, the fictionalized memoir of my grandmother’s life from the time she came of age in the Jewish Pale of Settlement to the time she came to feel like a real American, after the second World War. So now, I’m on Round #2 of searching for an agent to help me get my manuscript published.
As I mentioned with regard to my Science Fiction novel, A Wonderful Good Morning, searching for an agent is probably one of the most tedious endeavors I’ve ever attempted, but therein lies the route to traditional publishing. I’ve given myself a deadline of June 30th. If I don’t have a positive response by then, I will self-publish with the help of Kindle Direct Publishing, as I have done with my Bella Sarver Mystery Series. But it would certainly be nice to have the backing of a traditional publisher, with its many resources for marketing and promotion.
So one way or the other, watch for my two newest novels, out later this year.
As with most other aspects of life, there are both pros and cons to publishing your books independently. On the one hand, you have total control of your work, from start to finish. On the other hand, you have to take total control of your work, from start to finish. That means writing, editing, designing the cover, designing the content’s appearance, and–this is a big one–marketing. You can out-source some of these steps if you’re willing to pay for the services, but ultimately the trajectory of what happens to your book after you put it out there is totally up to you, the author.
I published my first novel in the Bella Sarver Mystery series, Painting Lessons, in in 2016. This was followed in subsequent years by Brush With Death, Paint a Murder, and Death on the Danube. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot about all aspects of writing and producing a novel, and I’ve been enjoying the process. It’s fun getting my sales reports from Amazon each quarter, and noting that my books have found readers around the world, including Japan. But it would be fun to see my books on the shelves of major booksellers around the country, too, and that won’t happen unless I go the traditional publisher route. So my plan for 2021 is to see if I can find an agent for the novel I’ve just completed to help me make that happen.
Researching agents is a tedious task and almost more work than actually writing the novel in the first place, but I’ve got my list ready and I’ll start querying everyone on it this coming week. We’ll see how it goes.
Happy New Year to all my readers. Stay safe and healthy. There’s help on the way.