This YA novel is the first in a series. I hemmed and hawed about writing it because I have a ton of novels in my head and I always saw myself as more of a contemporary ficiton or science fiction writer, but then I realized how much fun I was having with the idea and the characters and I decided to just go for it. If you've read my writing, then you know I spend a lot of time toiling in the darker side of human nature, so working on something that has some humor and joy was a relief (don't worry, people still die).
But now that I'm nearing the end of book one in Grape's story, I'm getting nervous about what to do next. I self published Tough Girl because it's such an odd story that I didn't think a publisher would find it economically viable, but I HAD to write it. With Grape, I'm not sure what I want to do. I fear trying to find an agent because that can take years, and then once you have an agent there's no guarantee you'll get a book contract or that you'll get a contract with a major publisher. I've seen it happen several times to friends of mine. Not to mention that when I think of all the query letters I've written for plays over the years, I shudder. Grueling is the first word that springs to mind.
Another option is to go with a small press publisher. There are issues there as well. I've been looking into a few small publishers and bringing up their titles on Amazon. The majority of books I've researched have less reviews than Tough Girl and the Amazon ranking doesn't look too impressive, regardless of the publish date. I know authors have to do marketing but I figured the publisher would at least line up reviews from book bloggers, but that doesn't seem to be the case. It would be nice to have a publisher and to feel more legitimate, but is it worth it if they're not busting their tale to promote you?
In the next month or so I need to decide what path to take. Do I query constantly until I find an agent willing to take me on? Do I self publish and spend hours on marketing? Or do I try a small publisher and hope for the best? So much to think about. I am open to ALL advice.
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