Just because I wrote a book, does not mean it will get published. Do What? Exactly! For those of you outside the writing world, let me fill you in on some basic steps of how to get a book out and into the hands of the world.
First sit down and write, then finish the monster you created, followed by finding an agent, editor, and publishing house, and lastly promote, promote, promote!
Sounds easy enough, right? Sorry in advance if my smile turns sour and an evil chuckle explodes from my throat. So… No. Not so much!
To further my novel’s career, I was on one of my many internet searches, and I came a crossed Brenda Drakes’, author of soon to be released Library Jumpers, website. She was having a contest called Pitch Wars. Entries would be pining for a spot to be chosen by a mentor for a chance to be…well mentored. Getting their novel combed over by those who have traveled this road ahead of them. Then a group of agents would read over the winners’ manuscripts.
If I got into Pitch Wars, in non-writing world terms, I’d have a much better shot at publication. Cha-Ching. I kept reading.
To qualify you had to be unpublished…unfortunately check. Manuscript must be finished, check. And you had to turn in a query letter address to four out of forty-seven available mentors along with the first five pages of your novel. Then on and only on December 2nd, you’d send in your entry. Alright, sweet!
Finding out all this information at eleven at night is not recommended! I was all pumped up on what ifs. I had to keep going. I spent way too much time looking up all the mentors and their given information. Full of yawns and tired eyes, I had finally narrowed it down. I had my four choices for who I wanted to mentor me.
The next day, I set my sites on perfecting my query, a letter stating information about me and my book. As best as I knew how anyway. Reaching the proper amount of sucking-up and professionalism turned out to be quite an undertaking.
Finally the day came; my little engine was busy chugging up the hill. I think I can. I think I can. I set off my entries. This made my heart flutter as a smile hit my face. This was pretty cool…this could be it! A mentor could love me and my book. We’d go off skipping hand and hand as we go over my manuscript. Then an agent would fall head over heels with my work, and my book would live happily ever after in the published world. Everything was in perfect order, until my little engine and my ‘I think I cans,’ reached the top of the hill. I looked down and there around me where thousands of other engines. Literally, there were over one thousand and seven hundred entries.
Yes, how did you know? My tiny bubble of hope popped. I actually laughed as I sat there on top of my hill looking around at the others. There was no turning back now; you can’t just take back an entry claiming you were crazy for even thinking you might have a shot. I realized the valley below me was going to come whether I loosen my gears or not. I mean, there’s gravity and everything. What must go up must, well you know. December 11th would come whether my name was on the list of chosen mentees or not.
After catching myself stalking tweeter for #pitchwars updates, and opening my email a bazillion times to see if one of my wanted mentors had requested more information from me. The thought of not being chosen rang strong and clear. I swallowed down the thought that it could be years before my written novel enters the world, if at all. Seriously, it’s just a tiny bit discouraging. Then my practical self-overrode my crazy alter ego, and I realized this road of writing was never guaranteed an easy or quick way to success. Huh, much like everything else in life.
Today, I’m still hoping for a coveted spot in Pitch Wars. However, if my name isn’t chosen then I’ll dust off my engine and put on a smile. After all isn’t it about the climb? Well, at least there is a song claiming such a thing. So to make me feel better, let’s pretend it is so.
One day I’ll see you on the other side of publication. Don’t worry you’ll know it when it happens. I’ll be the one holding a book up against my chest, with the cheesiest grin EVER! Until then, I’ve got more stories to write, and more agents to query. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can!
For more information on Pitch Wars, Brenda Drake’s new book, and other writing information check out http://www.brenda-drake.com/
with love and prayers,