I’ve begun following a lot of discussions and blogs by and for new authors. I’m new myself and don’t have a wealth of experience to draw from, but I do have what I believe is a valuable piece of advice: If you have been searching for an agent, don’t let your eagerness and excitement at such a prospect get the best of you. That excitement should not lead you into jumping at the first agent that dangles a contract. Make sure the agent is a good fit, for you and your work. Give the agent the same level of scrutiny that he/she is going to give your manuscript. Once you’ve done this, don’t ignore any warning signs that indicate a particular agent may not be the best for your book. I learned the hard way that all agents and all publishers are not created equal.
If circumstances had not developed the way they did, I would not have learned so much over the past six weeks. The emotional roller-coaster I was on from the beginning of summer into the fall is now climbing steadily. I expect there will be a few more dips ahead, but I don’t regret one bit the decisions I made. I could have spent months and years submitting my manuscript to traditional publishers. It may never end up on the bookshelf of big retailer.
Instead, my book will be in my hands, and the hands of readers, in only a few more weeks. I may not strike it rich by self-publishing, but it will be fulfilling and rewarding all the same.