Recently, a well-known fantasy author gave me some encouraging feedback on FATE, and suggested that if I’m not getting the kind of responses I’m looking for from agents, I should query the publishers directly.
Maybe it seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve been so wrapped up in getting an agent, I think I may have lost sight in the true goal – to sell my book. He pointed out that in the science fiction and fantasy genres, it is not uncommon for writers to sell their books to publishers without agents. I know this is true (I read about the deals in Locus every month), but I really thought that if I couldn’t interest an agent, I had no chance with a publisher. And I’m reluctant to self-publish, because if it doesn’t sell, it could hurt my chances for a traditional publishing contract down the road. With all the agent rejections FATE has accumulated, I figured it just wasn’t good enough. I told him about my daily mantra: good writing speaks for itself.
He agreed. Then he told me not to give up on FATE.
So this week, I added a new opening scene, and rewrote the synopsis (again). Using Publishers Marketplace, I identified the publishers most likely to be interested in FATE, and identified the editors within each publishing house who edit books which are most like mine (Urban Fantasy). It’s a short list, made shorter because some of these publishers don’t accept un-agented manuscripts. Each publisher has their own submission guidelines, and the turnaround time for each publisher can be six months or more. I have to say, putting together a FATE submission package for a publisher feels good. I like putting my words to work, and knowing that my manuscript is sitting in an editor’s slush pile is a lot better than having it sit in my drawer.
Persistence. I can do that.