The October 2014 Writer’s Digest magazine issue has now arrived in subscribers’ mailboxes. And perhaps the anxiety I feel about this issue is reflected in the hearts of many authors.
On the one hand I am pleased to have such a trusted source of information on agents interested in taking on new clients in particular genres. On the other hand I am uneasy over how many more rejections I’ll be getting to add to my already monstrous rejection pile.
Yes, I know I could stop the pain by refusing to continue submitting. Yet in my heart I believe that some of my fiction and nonfiction deserve wide distribution.
In fact, my women’s friendship novel MRS. LIEUTENANT got its share of rejections before, in the midst of self-publishing the book, MRS. LIEUTENANT was chosen as an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist. This recognition certainly supported my belief that there was an interested audience for this story. And subsequent reviews of the novel on Amazon continue to support this belief.
That said, I want much wider distribution for MRS. LIEUTENANT — including reaching the military families who had or are having similar experiences as well as the non-military families who could better appreciate the military life if they read the novel.
Thus I am submitting MRS. LIEUTENANT to agents now in the hopes of a traditional publishing deal. (I feel MRS. LIEUTENANT does for American military wives during the Vietnam War what Helen Bryan‘s popular WAR BRIDES does for British military wives during WWII.)
Submitting self-published books?
After reading the information in Writer’s Digest, via Twitter I asked Jessica Strawser (@JessicaStrawser) — editor of Writer’s Digest magazine — if it would be possible for next year’s issue to include in the agent bios which agents will consider self-published books.
She replied that I might be able to get insight on this question now by asking Chuck Sambuchino (@ChuckSambuchino), author of the agent feature in this year’s magazine as well as editor of the annual GUIDE TO LITERARY AGENTS and CHILDREN’S WRITER’S & ILLUSTRATOR’S MARKET plus author of CREATE YOUR WRITER PLATFORM and GET AN AGENT.
His tweeted reply: “If an agent does not specify they are NOT, then assume they are open, to some degree. Query & hope for best.”
Thus I trudge on, believing that somewhere beyond the next horizon I will find the agent who is interested in the particular book project that I have pitched to him or her.
After all, what else can an author do?
© 2014 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller) is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks, including TOP TIPS FOR HOW TO PUBLISH AND MARKET YOUR BOOK IN THE AGE OF AMAZON and the romantic suspense spy thriller CIA FALL GUY, as well as newly written books not yet published. She can be reached at email@example.com