A few days ago I finished the second re-write of my third novel, The River Keeper. Now for the final read through. I love this part. To be able to simply read the story without fixing plot holes and grammar. On August 22, 2011 the first words were written. It took me one year and eight months to write and edit this novel. How do these famous authors spit out three and four new books a year?
I know these people are rich and have house cleaners and nanny’s to pick their kids up from private schools. I’ve even heard that they have ghostwriters who help them out. Now let me assure you that I am not jealous of these writers. I know the pressure on them must be excruciating. Every novel is expected to be better than the last one, and they have to turn them out like puppies in a puppy mill.
I figured out many years ago that I’d better be careful what I pray for. Of course I’d love for one of my novels to make it to the New York Times Bestseller list. Or, get an Amazon ranking less than 100, but with fame comes chaos. Sort of like the more stuff you have the more you have to keep up.
The question I have to ask myself at this point in my writing career is: Do I stay with my small press, or shop this new novel out to literary agents? It’s hard to know what to do. With six years of being a full time author under my belt I must say I’ve learned a thing or two. Number one, unless an agent gets my work in front of the eyes of a big time publisher like Simon and Schuster or Random House, I’m never going to turn a profit doing this.
Is that the way it’s supposed to be? I can see myself now. Walking down the streets of my hometown of Elkin, North Carolina, population 4,003, paparazzi following my every move, snapping photo after photo. My private life pasted on the cover of all the well-known tabloids. I would have to make sure I put makeup on before I visit the local grocery store and God forbid they catch me picking my nose or see my belly fat.
Yes, this fame and fortune business could be a thorn in my side, instead of a blessing. I do believe that the good Lord knows where I need to be a whole lot better than I do. All things happen for a reason. But with all that being said, I really would like to have some advice. Should I just keep on doing what I’m doing and not try to make it to the big times? Or, do I bite the bullet and try to move it on up, you know sort of like the Jefferson’s?
Please tell me your experience with agents. Do you have any suggestions? I’ve heard an agent can be harder to find than a publisher. And, from reading other people’s blogs and posts I know that some agents can be wolves in sheep clothing. What’s a girl to do?