So I Wrote A Book...Now What?
A few weeks ago I finished writing the first draft of my very first novel! 90,000+ words, 300 pages, and 13 months after I set out to chase this dream, I can finally say that I did it...well, partially. While all of the scenes and story line are complete, I've still got a lot of polishing to do before I'll be ready to start seeking an agent.
Many of you have asked "what's next" or my favorite, "when do I get to read your book?" (Can I just say that y'all are so encouraging and I love how you've celebrated along with me?!). So I wanted to fill you in on what's happening.
Over the next few months I'll be working on edits- trimming scenes, polishing transitions, filling in plot-holes and making sure everything is consistent from cover to back. I told a friend of mine to think of writing a book in terms of building a house...right now the house is built, windows installed, roof is on, but I still need to clean up the sawdust and paint the walls before it's ready to sell. I've set myself a deadline and hope to be finished with all revisions by the end of May/beginning of June. Then I can start querying agents. What's that mean, you ask?
Querying agents means I reach out to literary agents, often through e-mail or at writing conferences, and I pitch them my book idea. Long story short, if they love the manuscript and think they can sell what you're writing then hopefully they'll offer representation. Agents then pitch your book to the publishing houses.
In today's over-saturated market most publishers won't even look at a manuscript unless it's presented to them by an agent. On the flip side, agents should know what specific publishing houses are interested in and be able to pitch your book accordingly. Continuing with the house theme, think of a literary agent much like a real-estate agent. They know what a buyer is looking for and will try to match them up with a "house" that meets all their needs.
It can take a while to hear back from agents during the querying process (agents can receive a couple thousand queries a year), and in the meantime I've got several new book ideas percolating (this is my favorite part of the writing process- taking one small thought or idea and seeing the possibilities of where it could go! I'm a dreamer at heart). Once I decide which idea to pursue I'll start the writing process all over again while waiting to hear back about my first manuscript. So the cycle continues.
Huge shout-out to everyone who has supported and encouraged me so far on this journey! There were so many times I thought I would never finish, times when I doubted my calling to write, and even my writing ability, but the Lord is gracious and provided the perfect encouragement right when I needed it most. Often from one of you, sweet readers! Thank you!
I'll be sure to let y'all know when I start the querying process. Until then, you can catch all of my little updates by subscribing to the blog at the bottom of the page, or following along on Instagram and Facebook.