…by return post!
Yes, the first agent has rejected Agoraphobics Anonymous already. I posted it on Thursday, they must have received it Friday and the manuscript was winging its merry way back to me not even 24 hours later.
Actually, it’s the second rejection. The first rejection happened on Friday. I’d emailed a query to another agent, as requested in the big red book otherwise known as The Writers’ & Artists’ Yearbook. She saved me the price of two stamps and envelopes at least.
Agents just aren’t taking people on these days. In a world rapidly converting to e-books and self-publishing, agents and publishing houses are slamming their doors on new talent. They want to see someone self-publishing and selling a hundred thousand copies all by themself. That way, they know there’s a market for the books if they take them on.
This isn’t just me being bitter, this debate is raging on Authonomy as I type this, thanks to a blog post from Haper Collins.
So why don’t I self-publish my work? Because everyone else is…and the market is awash with the dire results. Living, as I do, on benefits, I can’t afford to buy “real” books very often. When I want something new, I browse the top 100 free books for my Kindle. I get some reasonable stuff but, mostly, I get badly proofed, badly written, commercial tatt. However much I love to read, several of them get deleted before I’ve reached the end of chapter 3…I just can’t continue.
I don’t want my work to disappear into the internet ether in that way. I don’t want to be “just” another wannabe author, churning out my work and selling it for 99p (or free for a week in order to drum up publicity and “sales”). I know I’m not exactly the next Jodi Picoult, but my writing has a purpose. I want to educate people about mental health; I want to support those suffering and show them it IS possible to get through life. I don’t believe self-publishing is the way forward…unless I suddenly get REALLY good at self-promotion (unlikely, given the nature of my BPD!).