Author's Journey

Kayla’s Author Journey: March 28th, 2021

Hi friends! So, for those of you that missed the previous post, I’ve started my journey to becoming a published author. Well, I actually started years ago as I’ve had small stuff published in small, relatively indiscriminate magazines and such, but that’s beside the point. I’ve always wanted to be a published novelist, and that’s the journey I hope I’m officially beginning by shipping my soft-boiled mystery novel to multiple agents.

Here’s the thing I’ve realized, the publishing world seems to be needlessly enigmatic. I had to do a lot of research to figure out the publishing path that seemed best for me, and after I figured out that I did, in fact, want to go the traditional route, I had to figure out how to do that.

The first time I tried to get a novel published, it was a pretty spectacular failure. It was a Science Fiction novel, and not a single agent would even read the manuscript. I later realized that this was likely because my query letter was a mess, but by then, I’d already decided to write in a genre I’d read more. It helped that I had this crazy detective character scrambling around in my brain that I just had to unleash into the wide world.

My point is, I made a lot of mistakes before, and it took a lot of research before I got to place where I feel like I’m on the right track.

At this point in my journey, I’ve queried about 10 agents. I’ve gotten two outright rejections (apparently they aren’t looking for soft-boiled mysteries right now), two manuscript requests, and since it’s only been a week since I sent out queries, I’m not sweating the lack of responses.

The point is, I feel that two manuscript requests is a pretty big step. It tells me that my query letter is interesting enough that two top-tier agents want to read more. Now, I may get rejection emails from everyone tomorrow, but I’m trying to remain hopefully optimistic.

I’m also going to try and be transparent about this process because I know there are people out there who are totally stumped by the publishing process just as I was. For that reason, I’m going to try to give updates about my journey here on this blog. In my next post about my journey, I’ll share my actual query letter, plus some resources I’ve found helpful.

Wish me luck, friends! And feel free to throw out some advice if you have some!

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