I have changed my mind a lot about how I want to publish my MLM werewolf romance manuscript, which I renamed FULL MOON RISING. At first I was set on self-publishing. I like the idea of being a maverick, I am a control freak, I get impatient and I take criticism and rejection too personally.
But as I was learning more about indie publishing, I realized I wasn’t a zealot about it like so many self publishers seem to be. I also wanted to do it right. I know I can just get writer friends to beta read, use my editing background to edit myself, and find a cover for $50 and do it cheaply and quickly, but I want to do it right – and that’s expensive. You can easily spend $1k-3k to do it right. Then you have to treat it like a business and constantly hustle, and have a significant output to make any inroads. I’m not sure I have the emotional capacity for hustling, either, even though I like marketing.
I looked into the traditional market for MLM romances and I realized I had a shot when I saw just how many women write gay romances. It helps bolster my credibility that I’m queer, too. I think my concept has broader marketability beyond a niche audience, too, because of the deeper themes of the story explored in such an intimate way. Queer fiction is trendy right now – just look at the success of Heartstopper and Red, White and Royal Blue. People want queer rep, not just queer baiting. Publishers are finally heeding the call, even though a lot of it is problematically performative.
So I have decided to try a hybrid approach. If I self publish I won’t be giving up; it won’t be a Plan B. It’s just another option I have on the table that excites me. But since it doesn’t cost anything to query and submit to publishers, I figured I might as well give it six months and see how it goes. I was initially afraid of querying because the process takes so long (one of the publishers I submitted to takes 6-8 weeks to respond! And then on top of the time it takes to get an agent…) and I am in a fragile emotional state currently so I didn’t think I could handle the rejections.
But I tried a few Twitter pitch events and it made me think I could try it. It’s just like applying for jobs, or dating. Plus, rejections and having a community of people around your work, instead of just sycophants who will tell you how great you are, really does help you become better at the craft. I’m thinking of taking a writing class this summer, too.
I wrote a synopsis and a query letter and queried a publisher, and since they allowed simultaneous submissions I also queried my first agent. I did not get an immediate rejection, so while I was waiting around I decided to work on a new WIP so I wouldn’t drive myself crazy with checking my email inbox every 10 seconds.
I thought I was sick of paranormal romance and needed to turn to the cathartic blood, gore and dread of horror, but I came up with another paranormal romance idea so I decided to go with the flow of my muse. My new WIP is called SEEING GHOSTS and it is a WLW slow burn enemies-to-lovers romance between a demon hunter who thinks a local paranormal investigator is a fraud.
Currently at the baby stage of the manuscript where any words down feels like a major victory. I’ll need to do lots of research into paranormal investigation because unlike lawyers, reporters and cops, my knowledge of that field comes from TV, not from my personal life. Thinking of the fun of shadowing local paranormal investigators on a ghost hunt, though.
I’m at 612 words in the new manuscript. My goal for the coming week is to get 5,000 words in and get back into the practice of writing every day.
That’s about a wrap. Until next time!
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