My Least Favorite Word

Yesterday I had to face facts. My work-in-progress was done. I had written it. I had rewritten it. I had rewritten it in third person. And then I had gone over it again with a fine tooth comb. If there’s a single typo in the whole thing, it’s a miracle.

So then I had to make a decision. I’m a pretty good hand at self-publishing now. I know how to make some covers myself and I know who to call for others. I could publish this story (which I’m really excited about) and have it out there for public consumption by the end of the year, including marketing. Or I could submit.

God, how I hate that word. Submit. Submit to the inevitable. Submit to the machine. Submit to your fate.

Submit to a publisher.

I’m not saying publishers are bad. In truth, the two or three I’ve been fortunate enough to work with have been awesome, actually. It’s fantastic having a professional editor go over my book and point out its weaknesses. I thrive on deadlines. I love what an editor can wring out of me that I didn’t even know was there. Like a washcloth you thought was dry until you really put the pressure on.

Still, I haven’t submitted to a publisher in more than a year, and yesterday, as my cursor hovered over the “Submit” button, I knew I was submitting to something else. Loss of freedom. I love this story. I could do a good job putting it out on my own. I could have a real hand in designing the cover. And since it’s the first of three books, if it’s accepted, I’m submitting those other two as well.

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But I know a publisher can offer this book much more visibility than I can do on my own. Not to mention that ever elusive validation that we as writers are always looking for. I mean, sure, I love the story. But if a publisher likes it enough to put their resources behind it, well, that’s validation.

So, I submitted. To my fate, to the inevitable, to whatever the future holds. And if this publisher doesn’t like it, I’ll make a decision then about what to do with my story. Another publisher? Self-publishing? Trunk novel?

7 Comments

Filed under editors, publishers, self-publishing, traditional publishing, validation, work-in-progress, Writing

7 responses to “My Least Favorite Word

  1. Boy do I know that feeling. Best of luck and let me know what happens!

    • Will do, Donna! I’m still not sure I did the right thing, and of course, I can’t be sure anybody else will want to take a chance on a three-book series. What will be will be, I suppose. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Good luck and let us all know how it goes.

  3. Sounds like a plan. Submit to publishers first for the reasons you mentioned, better marketing, better visibility, hopefully translating into better sales. You can reevaluate in a year and self publish if the traditional route doesn’t work out. Good luck!

  4. Celia Ansley

    I have been looking forward to a new book from you and will be happy to see it no matter how you choose to have it published. You have sound reasons for going the publisher route so that seems like a good option, particularly if you are not happy with it you can then do it yourself.