Saturday, 18 February 2017

To be, or not to be (published) that is the question....

I was very excited to hear from the publisher with a request for my full manuscript. However, I have decided after all, not to submit.  And why was that, I hear you enquire….
Well, let me explain.
Never underestimate the power of a bit of research. And I’m kicking myself a bit, after all you would think I would have learned my lesson really wouldn’t you? So maybe I’m a little bit sceptical, or paranoid, or nervous ..(or all three!) but it seemed to me, after all that I have been through so far on my writing / publishing journey, to have been so very quick and easy to have my manuscript requested by the first company.
Exciting, but doubts crept in. Who and what was the company I had submitted to? I had researched, but in hindsight (and aren’t we all clever there…) it was surface research. I had been on their website, seen their publicity….and all may well be above board.
The reviews.
Why did this only occur to me later? Not too late, I might add, but still. I read the reviews. Now it seems that this particular company offer 2 publishing packages. One is a traditional publishing package, in which the company pays the bills and the writer receives royalties. The other package, however, is classed as vanity publishing, in which the virtues of said book are extolled, but because of the risks, especially with unknown authors, etc etc, then a substantial contribution towards the cost of publishing is required. Running into thousands of pounds. I had previously  seen something about this, but had expected that if this were to be the case, I would be informed at an early stage. The request for my manuscript came with no such advice.

Now I can be naive, but not completely stupid. I know that any such reviews can be written by disgruntled customers and clients, so to take this with a pinch of salt. I am capable of deciding for myself….aren’t I? So why not send off the manuscript and see what they say?

 It was the fact that so many reviewers had experienced exactly the same process, with the same letters going out, asking for financial contributions. One even said that they don’t even read your work, just butter you up then start asking for money. And at this point I started second guessing myself. Did this mean that everyone would only be made this offer? Was I now doubting the quality of my work and concerned that it would not be chosen for traditional publishing? Should I send it anyway? Should I start all over again?

The whole thing is quite exhausting!

So anyway. As I said, I decided against it...such is the power of the Internet and reviewing that it did, in fact, influence my decision. Not because I doubt my work, but quite the opposite. I deserve better, so I am not even going to enter that particular arena. I’ve sent it all instead to a big London agent. I’m pretty terrified, to be honest, but at least I feel I will have an honest answer. And if it’s not right for them, I will move on to the next one. 

Meanwhile I continue to be optimistic. I feel a bit like kids,  climbing...they always reach the top, but my climb is taking considerably longer, and the top is nowhere in sight right now.

Still, you never know.........

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