Draft finished…check. Edits complete…check. Now what?

Just over a year after starting the rough draft, my first novel manuscript is – for all intents and purposes – complete.  Chasing After Vanity, a Crime-Humor-Thriller is one small step closer to publication. I can now say that this is even more exciting than having finished the first draft, which at the time was truly the high point of my budding literary career.

Please...I'm having a moment with my first completed manuscript.

So…now what?

I’ve decided that I owe it to myself to explore the traditional publishing model first.  As funny as it sounds, I’m looking forward to the next few months of looking for an agent, getting rejected, looking some more, etc.  Then, if I’m fortunate enough to get representation, of starting the laborious process of finding a willing publisher.  I look at it almost as a rite of passage for the aspiring author.

To be completely honest, though, the upcoming ordeal is made less grave by the fact that, waiting in the wings, is the self publication option.  And it’s such an exciting option that I’ve considered jumping ahead and doing it first.  But…I need to make a plan and follow through.  Here are my next steps:

I’m lining up beta readers now.  I’m not sure how many readers I should use, so I’m going to be looking for advice from my fellow writers on that. If you have suggestions, please leave a comment below.

I’ve started researching literary agents, making a list of those that are accepting query letters for the genre I’ve written for. I’ve read a lot of the trials and travails of this process.  I’m actually looking forward to my first rejection letter.  I’m sure that’ll get old quickly, but I look at it as proof that I’m in the game…sort of a certificate of authenticity that I’m an author looking for representation.

I’ve started an outline of my query letter, and I can tell it’s going to be a challenge.  I’m lining up free resources on writing them, but I’m also considering having a professional review and help me craft it.  Any advice on this will also be greatly appreciated.

The goal is to have beta reader comments and inputs finished by the middle of June at the latest.  That’s when I intend to have my query letter finished and ready to send out. That’s the intent, anyway.  With some inspired writing and editing I may push that up a little, as I’m extremely anxious to jump in the pool.

I’ll post updates as I run headlong into these next challenges on my journey towards publication – whatever method that turns out to be. We’ll figure this beast out together.

WE Linde

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2 Responses to Draft finished…check. Edits complete…check. Now what?

  1. Jen Kirchner says:

    This is awesome news! Congratulations. I’m really excited to hear how the next part of your journey goes. You worked hard and deserve to feel good about it.

    As for beta readers, I wish I could be more help here. I don’t have a completed novel to really parse out to anyone, yet I consider myself lucky because I have my feedback/editing team trio. They edit & crit every Vote Your Adventure story before it goes out. They are altogether my harshest critics and my biggest supporters. So, with only that experience to rely on, I’ll say this: Honestly, I think it just depends on who reads it and the quality of feedback you get. Give the book to the people you’re thinking of and, if you feel like the feedback isn’t as in depth as you were hoping, then time for round 2. Really excited about your book. Congrats again and keep us posted!

    • W.E. Linde says:

      You’re awesome, thanks for the advice. I’m lining up folks that I think will be brutally honest. I’ll find out then if the story holds together!

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