For those of you who aren’t keeping a close eye on my calendar, it might come as a shock to you that I’ve been submitting queries to agents and publishers for a year now. The process has been eye-opening to say the least. I sent out queries in groups of five to ten about six week apart. So far I’ve sent out 42 queries. Of those 42 I received 27 rejections. Then there were the 16 that didn’t bother to respond at all. Sounds pretty dismal doesn’t it? But don’t dismay.
I’ll never forget the first rejection I received. It was a form letter, of course, that simply said something like, “sorry, it’s not for us.” I was defeated. I cried. Then I pulled myself together and took the next batch of rejections with a grain of salt. My favorite was, “I just didn’t love it enough.” What I took away from that was, “but you loved it a little.”
So with each six week mark on my calendar I continued to send out another batch. I reviewed the submission guidelines carefully, I chose the agent or publishing contact carefully, making sure I picked the absolute perfect individual for my books. I even chose paper, envelopes and stamps that I thought would put me on the top of the pile. When it came to digital submissions, I kept it simple but always managed to slip in something perfectly specific to the addressee.
When I started the query process I just thought it was about finding an agent that liked my work. What I didn’t anticipate was how the economic downturn would affect the process. Less agents are taking on new authors and even fewer publishers are signing new works. That doesn’t mean that all great work is being turned away. But it does mean that if it isn’t a perfect fit, it’s not considered. And finding that perfect fit is challenging.
So after some serious thought and numerous discussions with my friends and supporters, I’ve decided to self-publish Call Me Emily. I’ll publish through a division of Amazon.com and Call Me Emily will be available by early summer. What lead me to this decision isn’t the lack of response from the traditional publishing routes but a desire to make Call Me Emily available to so many of you that have asked to read it and also to those of you who don’t know about it yet but will be touched by the story. It’s simply time.
So stay tuned for the release details.