In order to submit my book for publication, I cannot apply directly to any 'reputable' publisher. This has to be done through an agent who will do the submission on my behalf.
In order to submit my book to an agent, I have to market it correctly in the first place so that the agent will even take the time to read it to then consider if it is worthwhile submitting to a publisher.
In order to submit the book to a marketing agent since I'm a marketing idiot, it will need to first go through a final editing stage before they will consider marketing it to an agent, for the agent to consider submitting it to a publisher who may still not find it suitable for their publishing requirements.
In order for an editor to consider editing the book, I will first need to find an editor familiar with the particular genre of the book (Yes, I've had editors who do not understand the genre and they have made a right Royal mess of the editing). If they are familiar with the genre and are prepared to go through the editing process, the book will then need to be thoroughly reread by me to ensure that, in the editing process, the editor has not changed the context or meaning of any part of the story. This is tricky as editors are as jealous of their editing as writers are of their original work.
All of this needs to take place in a strict order so that:
- if the editor does his/her job and the book can be submitted to the marketing agent;
- the marketing agent actually reads the work and is prepared to market it to agents;
- the agents actually read the submission and are prepared to present it to publishers; and
- the publishers actually read the book
There are a few things I do really well and a tonne I do badly - marketing and selling are two of the things I do really, really badly so I know that I will have a few challenges getting my book published. As I said, selling and marketing are not strong points and even if I improve them 1,000%, I will still only be mediocre to bad in them so self-publishing is out of the question.
What to do? What to do? I guess the only avenue to follow is to keep knocking on doors and to try, try and try again. Publishing is not really about the contents of the book, it's about the links in the commercial chain and how the book/story can be of value to the publisher, the agent, you and the literary community as a whole. This is simply the way of things. All in all, I firmly believe that an agent will be best for me.
As I said, herein lie a few interesting observations.