Plans change. Most often, they change because a previous thought or idea can be influenced by new information.
I recently listened to a Q&A with a literary agent and there were some preconceived ideas I had about the process for publishing for myself that were shattered. This has opened my eyes and my mind to make some changes. I’ve sat with it for a few weeks now and I’m willing to say I’ve been approaching my goal the wrong way.
While not going into the deeper specifics, I’ll simply say that I had previously planned to self-publish the first novella of the Ravanguard series and use that as a means for attracting an agent. In my mind, this was a great idea that showed initiative and forethought. While I think this is partly true, I think after some processing and reflection, my approach was also in due part based in fear that my writing would not be good enough to attract an agent based on the writing of book 1.
This is the kind of fear every writer deals with. My wife is gracious enough to help convince me that it’s a fear that I do not and should not worry about. I agree. I believe in my writing and the story I have to tell. I’ve simply suffered a flat tire in the journey but thankfully, the spare is on and I’m on track again.
So, my plan has shifted. I will not pursue self-publishing “Dim the Veil”. It still serves as a companion to the series and is canon and will likely be published in the future but book 1 of the Ravanguard series, “So Speaks the Gallows”, is the top priority from her on out. This is the vehicle for the series and I mean to see it as the selling point for gaining an agent.
Currently, I have been moving through book 1 with a friend, who has graciously offered his time, to fine comb through the book. Seeing as how this book is over 450 pages, it has been a long process. However, I’ve decided to refocus my revision efforts based on the feedback and discussions and I will make this final polish before searching for an agent.
Finding an agent is a process in itself. It requires patience. I will likely receive rejection letters but I do believe the right agent is out there for me and it will be a person I can partner with for the future. They don’t make money unless they successfully sell the book to a publisher. I learned a great deal through the Q&A session I listened to and will likely listen to it a few more times just to make sure I’m fit with the knowledge needed to move forward.
My wife has actually encouraged me to look for an agent for a few years now and I fought it in an attempt to convince her my plan was the right way to go. It’s never fun to eat crow but everything is better with BBQ sauce (hickory and sweet, not spicy). It’s an adjustment and those are never easy to realign to but I believe now that this is the route I need to take.
While I am revising book 1, I will also be preparing my query letters for agents and making sure those are top notch as well. It’s an art in itself. There are some rules that stretch across the board but a lot of agents have some differences in how they want to be queried. The list of agents is growing and I have hope that he or she who decides to invest in me is in that list.
Call to Action: Despite these changes, I will continue on as I have been. The next newsletter is still set for an August release. Sign up if you haven’t. Definitely expect a bigger update on book 1 and searching for an agent at that time. I’m going to limit how much I discuss it here on the blog (if I can).