Yup, it's begun. As of today, I have already sent three query letters or full novel submissions. Now we get to wait and see how long it takes for the rejection cycle to begin.
I've been asked why the hell I'm interested in getting published by a publishing company when I can obviously make more money and have more control over my work if I handle it myself. In other words, why do I need a publisher?
This is a very good question. The answer goes something like this.
- I can't afford a professional editor. A good publishing company, one I want to publish my books with, has an editorial staff that should be able to help in polishing the manuscript. While there are freelancers available for this chore, they typically cost cash that I simply don't have. I want to put out the best possible product and that requires some professional help.
- Layout. I need help with laying out the book properly. While I may put Tattoo and the Fiends collection out as a book via Createspace or some other POD service, Closet Treats deserves a chance to be professionally edited and packaged. Again, I can't afford a professional artist or professional layout services. I know plenty of people capable of the artwork and layout, but again, I believe Closet Treats deserves the best.
- Price. I hope that my books will be priced at a fair amount for fiendlings to purchase. Although I'm still looking at the cost of a POD like Createspace, POD books are typically much more expensive than books in the bookstore.
- Distribution. Createspace claims to work through certain book distributors that will get your novel into bookstores. Although I believe bookstores are a dying model, Barnes and Noble and other brick and mortar stores stil provide a significant presence for authors. In addition to having your book on the shelves, it makes it much easier for a self-funded signing tour or other such PR efforts.
- Bona Fides. I believe we will ultimately bypass the publishing gate-keepers. Those who consider new media as nothing more than a vanity distribution mechanism for authors who aren't good enough to "make it" in the traditional markets are foolish at best, myopic at worst. Have no doubt– the market is changing and changing quickly. But until this happens, having an actual "respected" publishing company at your back is the only way to qualify for certain awards or reaching the NYT.
These are the main reasons I have for pursuing relations with a publisher for Closet Treats rather than doing it myself. But rest assured, if I don't find a publisher in the future, Closet Treats will definitely be destined for a different route. Stay tuned. Maybe I'll have some good luck. And I hope that if it happens, you fiendlings will be ready with your wallets open, and smiles on your fanged faces.