Back in the early 1990’s, I tried (for a little over a year) to find a publisher for my middle-grade book, The Peanut Butter Effect. The process was far more difficult than it is today – I had to print out my book, send it to publishers, and wait for responses. I collected scores of postcards saying something along the lines of “We’re not interested” (which really meant, “You suck!”). It was demoralizing and depressing. And it was about 20 years before I tried it again.
During the first three years after Queen Anne School closed (2011-2014), I tried to find an agent. In the 21st century, this is mainly done electronically – the various literary agencies all have submission forms online, and I probably submitted my various projects to several hundred of them over those three years. Most of my submissions generated the same “We’re not interested” responses, but this time via email (which is much quicker, but also much more in your face – opening my gmail account every morning was an exercise in humility!). I did get a few positive responses, and a few of the agents I contacted did end up reading a complete manuscript – but in the end, it was either the “We’re not interested” email, or no email at all.
Yesterday, I sent out emails to potential reviewers, hoping to find a few who would read and review a free copy of my book. And this morning I got my first rejection email – “I’m not interested in reviewing Finding Erin Campbell.” Yikes! Short and sweet and like a punch in the gut!
So I’m still in the same position I was back in 2011 – trying to find someone to take a chance on an unproven author who now carries the stigma of “self-published.” It’s not fun!
I will now take a deep breath . . .
. . . and think positively again! It's all a process, right? And Rome wasn't built in a day (ha!). Stay tuned for further developments.