Taking too Long

25 Oct

img_1069I got another rejection email this morning—nothing out of the ordinary—just another one of almost one hundred agents who have said no to my novel.  “Thank you for sending this,” she wrote, “And I apologize for the delay. Your query looked interesting, but unfortunately it is not exactly what I am looking for at the moment so I will have to pass.”

I sent that particular email in April of 2016—it was one of my first queries. Doing the math, I laughed aloud, realizing that it only took her a year and a half to answer me. I do give her credit for actually responding.

So here’s the question: When do I give up and decide that enough is enough? It’s getting a bit depressing. I’ve been querying agents for well over a year and I’m seriously thinking about self-publishing even though I’ve heard that if I do, I may quash my chances of ever getting an agent to represent me for this novel. Although there is the rumor of the occasional success story of an Indie author getting picked up by a publisher, it’s rare.

I’ve given my novel to well over a dozen people to read and everyone has told me they’ve really enjoyed it—even loved it. And no matter how fond of me they are, I can’t imagine they’re all lying to spare my feelings. It can’t be worse than some of the junk I’ve read over the years, can it?

Researching this whole self-publishing thing is thoroughly daunting. There are so many questions: which company is the best; how much money should I spend—how do I market the dang thing? Ugh. I don’t want to think about these details. It is it too much to ask that someone do it for me?

I just want to write.






8 Responses to “Taking too Long”

  1. mryloulau October 25, 2017 at 4:33 pm #

    Stick with it Stick with it Stick with it!

    I miss you.

    I moved to Santa Clara. Better job. No beach. Blah.



    • Allegro non tanto October 30, 2017 at 10:27 pm #

      Miss you, too! Hope you’re settling in well and that you’re happy!

  2. Lisa Flynn October 25, 2017 at 10:38 pm #

    First – you’re very strong to be dealing with this and persevering. Respect yourself for that!

    Have you given the manuscript to someone who maybe isn’t fond of you as a person? Like who’s agnostic/doesn’t know you well? Maybe an author you like who reads manuscripts for money (and maybe who doesn’t charge too awfully much to read and critique)?

    I am curious as I’m thinking about sending a poetry manuscript to a poet who does this. I mostly write poetry, but I would imagine this happens in prose too?

    Anyway, again, I admire your grit in the face of this. When just a couple of my poems were rejected here and there after grad school, it sent me down a years-long rabbit hole of depression and literary hermitism (is that a word?). When all I really really needed to do was not give up on myself.

    With you in solidarity, sister.

    • Allegro non tanto October 30, 2017 at 10:27 pm #

      Thank you so much for your support and solidarity! I’ve decided to forge ahead and keep at it, at least for now!

  3. debatterman October 26, 2017 at 11:49 am #

    Oh do I know how you feel re: doing the work of writing and wanting someone else to do the selling, etc. First things first: there’s no giving up–writing is like breathing to people like us. That’s not to say we don’t need a breather from time to time. I don’t have a simple answer to what made me, after all of these years, decide to go the hybrid route with SparkPress. If you’re even contemplating an alternative to the traditional route, talk to Rossandra, or me. After I made my decision, I was given a copy of Brooke Warner’s ‘Green-Light Your Book’ in which she really spells out the changing nature of the industry. (Brooke was in traditional publishing for years and is publisher of both She Writes and SparkPress). It’s worth reading.

    • Allegro non tanto October 30, 2017 at 10:30 pm #

      I will certainly reach out to you before I make any big decisions! Thank you so much for all of your input. xxoo

  4. Lynne October 27, 2017 at 3:48 pm #

    Jessica, First it’s amazing you have written a book! Every once in while remind yourself how many people say they are going to write a book but never do! Second, perhaps it’s worth spending a little money to get a critique. Marcia Meier here in town has worked with agents/publishers/ and wrote a book on the ins and outs of self-publishing. She has had several of her authors get published the normal route and others go the self-publishing route and do very well with a strong marketing plan. She’s worked with both fiction and non-fiction genres. It might be worth a consult with Marcia or someone like her for an objective opinion. Jack Canfield was 87 rejections and JK Rowling over 80 with their first books if I’m not mistaken so you are in good company. The fact that they kept going ended up serving them both really well!
    All the best,

    • Allegro non tanto October 30, 2017 at 10:29 pm #

      I just got in touch with a writer friend who gave me some really good ideas. Thank you so much for all of your suggestions and I will look into it! Hope you’re well!

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