So all my characters were re-worked, re-named and re-invented. And when I was done, I came in at a little over 85,000 words. I was then left with the question: What now?
Nearly everything I had read on the internet said that to get a book published today was virtually impossible. I read a staggering statistic that literary agents get 60,000 queries (proposals) per year. Do the math people. With no contacts and nothing significant going for myself—unless I changed my name to Kardashian—I came to the conclusion that my only option was to Self-Publish.
And for anyone thinking, ‘Oh just Self-Publish’, it’s not that simple. Just go to Smashwords.com and look at the upload instructions. I also knew very little about publishing and knew I would need to pay someone a lot of money to do all the things I knew I couldn’t do. After all the research, I calculated my all-in figure to get my book published the way I wanted was going to come in around $7,000.
I looked at it like I was starting a business. People start businesses. People make investments. I was ready to sign up for a consultation with a Self-Publisher who had top ratings and good reviews, when again through random links I came across Scribendi.com. I perused their menu and came across a very interesting service: “Manuscript Critique”. Basically for money, someone would read my ENTIRE manuscript and tell me what they think. This was something I knew I had to do, to justify spending that amount of money.
Friends and family had read the novel. A shout out to Uncle Jack, Mom, my sister in law, her sister, my boss and several other friends who so graciously took the time to read “Forty Times Platinum” and all its iterations.
But I needed a professional unbiased opinion. Editors and agents are biased. At the end of the day, my book is a product. And it’s all about whether it could sell. Everyone is in their own world, their own bubble with details and circumstances that they have to maneuver around. So why is a book a no for someone and a yes for someone else? Because different people have different circumstances.
And yes, if you are PAYING someone for their opinion, maybe they don’t want to trash you. But in the questionnaire for the critique service Scribendi asked: How honest do you want us to be? I think I answered, “Bring it on!” The fee was based on the word count, so it cost me about $600. If I was going to spend $7000 with a Self Publisher, $600 to decide if I should even bother was peanuts.
Plus I was going to get an answer. When you ‘query’ agents or publishers, you send one page and more than likely you will never get an answer. So here was my chance for a ‘professional’ who was unbiased (no skin in the game) to give me their opinion on the WHOLE novel.
And after a nerve racking two week wait, I returned home from my usual Friday night date night with my husband to find my critique waiting for me. I admit to having a few cosmos in me, but I opened the review anyway. The description of service said I could expect a one to two page critique.
My critique was five pages long.
To be continued