A writer’s journey (part eleven) – one more (editing) time with feeling

When I last updated, it was a little over a year ago, and I had gotten some editor’s feedback. So, here’s a quick update on all the editing that has happened.

First and foremost, I had to split my book into two.

Probably the saddest thing about it. I had never wanted to sell a duology, because I still see the story as one story. It’s just too long

If your book is over a certain word count, literary agents won’t even look at it, and my book was just at that word count. After a few professionals recommended splitting it up, I did. 

It took a while to find where to split it up though. But I eventually settled on a spot that was about three-fourths through the story. Which means for the second book, I had room to expand and strengthen the plot. Most edits I got during part ten were actually for that second half, so that worked out. However, I wasn’t 100% comfortable with where I picked the story to end.

So, I ended up getting a beta to read through book one to see how it all worked out. We’ve been trading chapters about once a week all year. Right now, she’s about three-fourths through my second book, and I’m helping with her book two. 

Once she gave the approval though, and I tightened up some areas, I worked on my query package some more. I got feedback, participated in some Twitter pitch contests, and started querying.

Querying can take months or years, depending on how good you are at lottery chances. I started querying at the end of last year, but I had to go on pause quickly because publishing closes for the holidays. But now, I’m back to querying.

Since querying is so sporadic with luck, I’ve decided to keep you all in the loop. Hopefully, this will help someone else with their querying journey.

  • Agents sent in total: 12
  • Agents who have sent a forum rejection: 5
  • Agents who have sent a more personalized rejection: 2
  • Agents who have not replied: 5

Which is not much. I send about a query or two a week. Since most agents don’t give feedback at all anymore, many writers have stopped sending queries in batches. 

I do feel good about where I am now. Probably because I have a group of writer friends now on Discord to cheer me on and to remind me that it’s not a race.

The traditional publishing industry is not in a good place at the moment though. Publishing houses are losing people left and right, some workers are about to get off a months-long strike, literary agents can discriminate against writers and get away with it since there’s no accountability besides whisper networks, and tons more. So, who knows how long it might take?

I am keeping my options open. If querying doesn’t work out, I might self-publish.

Want to continue along my journey?
Part one — research
Part two — writer’s platform
Part three — time management
Part four — editing all the time
Part five — small publications
Part six — editing jobs
Part seven — dead stop
PART eight — blogging, more research, and twitter
PART NINE — Getting published in a journal
PART TEN — getting an editor’s feedback

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