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Emerging Author Triathlon: Querying

Updated: Jan 11

I believe there are readers for every book. I just have to find you.

November 1, 2020 I began to query publishing agents listed in two current edition writer's guides: Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publisher's Editors and Literary Agents and Novel and Short Story Writer's Market Guide. For six months I queried and waited patiently for responses, swinging savagely between hope and disappointment.

While waiting, I built my online platform: this website, an Instagram and Facebook account, and YouTube channel. I created social media posts and videos, read indie author books and wrote book reviews. Recently, a collaboration with my old college friend became the Ali & Dee Facebook page, where we post weekly videos called Skin, Stories, and Sas. We share talk and reflections on skin, books, and good times. I also read two very helpful marketing books: The Context Marketing Revolution by Mathew Sweezey and The Age of Influence by Neal Schaffer.

From the form rejection emails I received, I quickly learned that book publishing is a very subjective business. The agent writer relationship I guessed, is like a good marriage. It's all about the match. I understand there are writers who have queried agents for up to five years before signing a contract, but that much waiting does not suit me. After eighty-four queries, twenty-three rejection emails, three requests for partial manuscripts, and being ghosted most of the time in spite of follow ups, I knew it was time for me to change course. My patience and friendliness had run dry.

I'm an odd ball, perhaps, a nonconformist, maybe, and I wondered is my book a reflection of the same. I asked myself what the worst thing was that could happen if my book was deemed unsuitable to agents that I queried. And my answer was simply, I self publish, which is exactly what I plan to do now. After all, I did promised myself and my social media followers, OF SCHOOL AND WOMEN would be coming 2021. I'm a DIY'er and in control now and it feels good to have reached this milestone in my writing, marketing and publishing triathlon.

I'm reminded now of a quote from my book:

"Going to school and earning a degree, Marie, is like picking on a glacier. Every day, you get up, grab your pick and hack at the ice and one day you know you'll look down, and there won't be any picking left, and the glacier will be gone." Lynette

​The above words say it all. If you're going to school or trying to publish a book, it's all about persisting, believing, and working everyday. I believe there are readers for every book. I just have to find you. ☮

Welcome to my Blog. I'm grateful that you decided to visit.

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D.S. Marquis
D.S. Marquis
Aug 02, 2021

Thanks, Paula, for your commentary. Another thing we must keep in mind is to slow down, have patience, and remember that writing, marketing, and publishing is a lifestyle, a cross country run and not a sprint. There are readers for every book! Believe! See you soon on IG! D.S. Marquis, Author OF SCHOOL AND WOMEN


Paula Cheung
Paula Cheung
Jun 01, 2021

<3<3 I agree with you, Dee. It is a very subjective business.

You have created such amazing social channels, built a community, connected with like-minded people! It's something I've learned too. We just have to stay consistent and keep connecting. And it doesn't have to be you finding THEM. Guess what, they will find YOU!

I'll recommend you some self-publishing platforms.

-Paula x

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