The Trials of Publishing Your Book

        Getting published is fun; you feel like all of your hard work, effort, and (temporary) self-loathing have all paid off. It’s a vindication that your writing isn’t just crap to be hidden inside folder OLD MUSIC FILES inside that VACATION PICTURES folder on your desktop. It is worth publishing! But the process of getting published is something you have to prepare for.
First thing you do is find agents, because you can’t submit your work to an agency without having an agent that works there. But you’ll find that almost all of those agents have secretaries that do the footwork for them because they’re constantly incredibly busy.
         So you get a few auto-sent rejection emails. Then you get a few personalized ones that tell you ‘you’re not a good fit for us’ or ‘this work isn’t quite our style’ and you keep your chin up. You knew a few would say no. But then those three become ten, and those ten become twenty, and you start to wonder ‘am I seriously still trying to get this crap published?’
         The next eventual step is obvious: some will like your work. You get an email that sounds hopeful – they want to see five chapters of your novel! So you send it to them, with a thank you note in the email about them going out of their way. You get another auto-reply that says they’ll get back to you in six weeks or so. Now for six weeks, every moment is filled with the question of whether or not they actually read it, or if they’re going to pick it up. This is almost worse than the immediate no response, because you actually have true hope that you’re getting published.
          Eventually, an agent sees something in your work, and by now you’ve not even gotten hopeful. You send them what they need and you forget you sent it, then they say they want to talk purchasing your manuscript. You’ve done it! You made it! You’re going to be published!!!! It’s a weird process, full of questions that you haven’t thought the answers to, so you feel dumb as you're sitting there talking to the people who want to make you the next Stephen King (or whatever genre you write in).
          Once you’ve signed your contract, sold your work, and set up the royalties portion, the editing begins. Again, your heart will sink because their job is to find all of those minute details that to you made sense – because after all it’s your world, you know what you meant – and tell you that it makes none at all. They find the plot holes, the scenes that aren’t needed, and the scenes you should’ve written. It kind of makes you feel like you didn’t write a good story – BUT YOU DID!! Editors are the unsung heroes of the publishing world. Their job is to take your piece of rough, dirty coal and shine it, and turn it into this gorgeous princess-cut diamond that’ll sparkle on a bookshelf one day!
           All in all, if you want to get published, prepare yourself for rejection. It happens to every good author! But also be prepared for that feeling of ‘when will the other shoe fall’ because that still hasn’t worn off for me. I’m so happy that my dream has come true that I feel something small will happen next, but I still wouldn’t trade the whole emotional process for anything. It was worth every minute of worry and stress.