It ain't easy, but as you write, if you truly want to be published, it becomes a passion that you just can't get over. While most people don't have it so rough as me, I write this to encourage you, my faithful followers, to not give up, not matter how difficult it seems. I mean, if I can do this, you can too.
I was fortunate, after several years of working on it, to finally find a critique group on line that helped me greatly. Over those years, I couldn't decide on a title. I started with "Mark and Genie's story," went on with "The Bridge Beckons," even tried "Bridgetown High," but tossed them all. Did I say, tossed them all? Even "Bridgetown High?" Yup. But as I kept trying different titles, "Bridgetown High" kept resonating with me. I asked my critique group their opinion and they liked it too. Well, I told myself, I'll go with it, knowing a publisher would change it any way.
So, began the arduous task of sending out query letters to agents. I tried to send out at least 5 queries a week, but rarely did that many. Years passed -- only got rejections. I don't have an actual count, probably sent out more than 200, maybe more than 300 query letters. Most agents never responded. Those that did, just said things like, "Not for me."
I considered self publishing it, but that idea scared me. Maybe it won't scare you, but I knew I didn't have the money for professional editing, cover design, and time to market it.
Then a high school friend of mine read some of my Facebook musings and gave me a referral to a published friend of hers, Theresa Messenger (don't know if I spelled that right or not). I contacted her and found out she is published through Limitless Publishing and agreed to let me use her name in contacting her publisher about my book. It was a long shot at best, but you know the adage, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."
They accepted it!!! And they kept my title!
I was shocked. A real publisher accepted it. They even did the necessary editing and made up the cover design. So, after signing the contracts, they even did a lot of the first blush marketing for me. That was great. I still have to do a lot, if not most, of the marketing, but I'm learning how and that's becoming a big help.
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