Now that I’m down to the last chapter in the first draft of Hidden Within I figured it was time to start thinking about what comes next. Okay, okay, I’ve thought about it for a while, but I figured now it was actually time to do something about it. The thing is, it’s a bit of a jungle out there these days. Nothing is for certain anymore it seems like. First of all, should I try for traditional or should I self-publish? After all the trad publishing horror stories you hear as an aspiring author it’s no longer an obvious choice. You get ripped off. You manage to sell the book only to have it neglected by a disinterested publisher, and at the same time having lost all rights to your own book forever more. You still have to do all the PR yourself, etc etc.
On the other hand – and let’s be honest here – the self-publishing world is a quagmire of books with great story potential that end up being a disappointing read because they lack the finesse and polish of a professional editor. I mean, come on, reading a poorly edited book is a total drag. For obvious reasons almost none of us, especially not we the aspiring, are detached enough from our own work to be an effective editor. Or lucky enough to know one.
So I need an editor, whichever path I choose. I did not just spend a year and a half writing a book only to release it into the world half-baked. On the bright side, I found an independent editor that seem great. On the downside I don’t believe I can pony up the 2k it’ll take to properly hire him. I’m sure he deserves the pay – every penny of it, I’m a great believer in paying people for their work – but the family deserves a vacation and the house needs a new roof. You know how that goes.
Then there’s artwork. A good book deserves a good cover. I don’t personally possess the skills to make one, nor am I overly fond of the cheap solutions that are out there. It takes a skilled artist, and skill warrants payment. Unfortunately, my house still needs a new roof.
And finally there’s knowing the right people. I don’t. But maybe an agent would. After all, that’s what they do. And a good agent might be able to help this aspiring dodge the worst pitfalls on the way too.
So like any 21st century human being would I turned to Google for help. Turns out several published authors listed the same source as the instrument of their successful agent hunt, namely Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents. It’s revised and updated for 2017, which is remarkable in itself given the size of it. You can find it here on Amazon if you’re interested.
I received my copy yesterday. Now wish me luck. All those rejections are right around the corner.