Writing a book was the easy part?

After one total rewrite from third person to first person, and six more revisions based on feedback from readers (and one very, very nice editor!) I am satisfied my 80,000 plus word, cozy mystery, The Apple Pie Alibi, is worth your time and a few of your dollars in trade. It isn’t the next Sherlock Holmes novel, not even a Nero Wolfe tale, but it is a decent story with a beginning, middle, and end. The characters have arcs, the story itself has structure. and the protagonist undergoes a meaningful change by the end thanks in part to her battling her nemesis – no, not the killer, but her own ego and immaturity.

And it’s still a fun read.

So now for the hard part, meaning what happens next? Fortunately, I have some options. I could self-publish through Book Country. These folks have been awesome in providing feedback and the discussion boards are something to behold. If you are a new writer, I highly recommend checking it out. Good people.

I also have a line on an illustrator looking for work. And wouldn’t it be cool to put out a nice book with the extra creativity of an artist? I think so. If I chose the BC route, this would be up toward the top of the to-do list.

I could always submit the manuscript to the Minotaur Books/Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel competition. This has potential, and it’s free. Bonus points for the annual convention being not too far away from where I live. Huzzah, Amtrak!

Or I could bang my head against the wall a thousand times revamp my query and synopsis and go about trying to gain representation from an agent. Wait a minute. Do authors still need agents? Why, yes. Agents, while not as essential as in years past, still maintain the keys to many a gateway. And considering publishers, the bigger ones anyway, still prefer to use agents to reduce the size of the slush pile, why ignore this important avenue leading to publication and distribution? I would love to do this. Wouldn’t we all.

So here’s the gouge: I will spend the next few days thoroughly checking the entry requirements for the Minotaur/Malice Domestic contest to see if I can submit the manuscript and still shop it to agents. I believe this to be the case, but I need to see it in writing first.

Then, it’s off to QueryTracker, Writer’s Digest, and The Mystery Writers of America to investigate which agents and presses are interested in cozy mysteries and accepting inquiries.

This should make for a fun, and most likely sarcastic series of posts. What do you think?

Stay tuned, amigos.



6 thoughts on “Writing a book was the easy part?

  1. This is the exciting part, right? Bang-your-head-against-the-wall, wring-your-hands-with-impatience, go-cross-eyed-reading-guidelines kind of exciting.

    Congratulations, though, D.J.! Writing is the most fun part, but also the most important. Best of luck with finding the right little cozy niche for your cozy mystery. The title itself makes me want to read it very soon!

    • Thanks! Like I said in the post, I would love to be picked up by an agent, or heaven forbid a big publishing house. But the idea of working with an illustrator and producing the book myself has a lot of appeal. We will see. More to follow!

  2. I am totally confused about how to actually get anything published. It’s too much work and uncertainty. I do have a book my ten readers and editor found to be thumbs up interesting absorbing reading, but I don’t know what to do about it. On hold anyway because it is not totally fiction and I need to know how the story works out before I expose the model for the fictionalized version to the public.

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