It was bound to happen, sooner or later. That time when the writer hat(s) comes off, and is replaced by marketing headgear of some sort.
I wore lots of fun, functional hats while writing in the world of Emma and crew: bobble hat, baseball cap, hoodie (is that considered a hat?), crash helmet, and a deerstalker, to name a few. They were useful, fun, and I could switch them up as often as I wanted, or needed to.
Now, it’s time for the business end of things. So, do I search for a fedora, a trilby, or a homburg? If only it were that easy. Buy a hat and the rest takes care of itself.
This next phase is overwhelming. I’m not even sure where to start. I’ve attended enough conferences and workshops to be abundantly confused. I take copious notes, but I’m still unsure. The world of publishing has changed, and continues to. Daily, it would seem. It’s like the world of publishing is a shapeshifter.
Agent? No agent? Some publishers don’t care. Others won’t give you the time of day unless you have one. Query letter or query email? Electronic submission or hard copy? The more research I do, the more results I find, and the more overwhelmed I get. I don’t want to make a mistake, or come off looking like a hack. I only have one chance to make a good, first impression.
It’s not enough to be able to write an awesome, marketable story these days. The blood, sweat, and tears expended in getting there is a reward in itself, but how to put my story in the hands of eager readers eludes me.
In a perfect world, I’d hand the finished manuscript to my marketer/publicist/agent – the one wearing the business hat, and I’d return to my office and do what I do best – writing. I can always dream, right?