My novel is done.
Not done in the sense that it’s perfect, or that it won’t go through further revisions before it’s published. It’s done in the sense that it is now time for me to stop thinking about writing it, and start thinking about publishing it.
To this end, I have been going to the library when not procrastinating over some other thing that needs doing. At the library, I have been taking notes on the 2014 Guide to Literary Agents (Chuck Sambuchino). When I have exhausted that resource, I shall move on to Writer’s Market 2014 (Robert Lee Brewer). I also took a class last Friday at Richard Hugo House entitled “13 Steps to Finding an Agent or Publisher.“ It was taught by Alice B. Acheson, who worked as an editor and a publicist in the publishing world for many years. In the coming days, I have handouts and notes to go through from that class, and there are several things I need to email her about, including names of people who professionally edit manuscripts and an author questionnaire. She also gave me two other things to check out at the library: Publishers Weekly and Literary Marketplace. On the web, she encouraged us to register a domain name, which I’ve thought about doing for a while now. I mean, look at James Patterson. His webpage is a publicist’s dream. In addition, she gave us additional websites to look at, and encouraged us to visit an independent bookstore at least twice a month to see who is publishing in our genre.
That doesn’t mean that I won’t be doing any writing during this time. One of the best pieces of advice that I saw in 2014 Guide to Literary Agents was by a newly published author, who said not to get so caught up in sending out query letters that you forget to write your next novel. To that end, I have been working on a short story — part of a collection that I hope to put together, once I write the other stories. :-) These stories will allow me to hone parts of my craft that I will need to improve before I start writing my next novel. And yes, I still have blog entries to write, and diary entries to catch up on, but don’t be surprised if I write fewer entries next year.
So, that is where my novel stands. The feedback is in, the corrections have been processed. Now let the query writing begin.
Wish me luck.