We all know how the publishing process is supposed to go. You write a fabulous book, then land your dream agent, who sells your book to a publisher. A year later–voila! You’re a published author.
Except, it doesn’t always work like that.
Sometimes that first book never finds a publisher. Sometimes the project dies along the route to publication, and you and your agent have to go back to square one–which is what happened with my first book. My deal died in the pipeline and we had to go back out on submission, which hasn’t proved as successful as the first time around.
So what do I do now? Well, I write another book. Only this time it’s not so easy.
With book one, I had no clue about “the market” and whether or not my book would fit. I just wrote the story that was buzzing around my brain and it turned out to be a pretty good one. But now–having had a brief taste of what it’s like–I’m keenly aware that my next book should be something editors will want. Oh, I still believe I have to write a story that calls to my heart, but I have lots of ideas. The trick now is to find the one that can keep its head above water in a market swamped with zombies, angels, demons, werewolves, and vampires. Yeah. No pressure there.
It also seems like I’ve got a lot of other people in my head while working on book two that I didn’t have with book one. Writing partners who are so much better than I am. An agent who is certainly going to dump me if I don’t finish this project immediately. And that imaginary editor who will reject the entire book if I make the main character’s dad a cheater instead of a chronic gambler. Instead of being motivating, it can be sometimes paralyzing.
And finally, when I first sold my book, I joined a group called The Tenners, whose books are scheduled for publication in 2010. Now I’m watching their books hit the shelves and while I’m happy for them–no, I really am!–their successes make my disappointment that much stronger. Sometimes it’s enough to make me want to throw in the towel.
I’m not telling you all this because I’m looking for a pity party–although I’d take a cupcake if you’ve got one. I’m just here to serve as a real life reminder that publishing is full of pitfalls.
So what do I do now?
I pick myself up, dust myself off, log off the Internet, and write.