Recently on LinkedIn I came across a blog article from a fellow “connection” of mine about “Sometimes Authors Need To Give Up” which inspired me to vent the following companion piece (which is actually more of a personal opinion) which I felt lacked in the article.
I view Novels the way many view Fashion: What was in style THEN may not be in style NOW, and vice versa. So having made that comparison, and in my opinion, no novel should be given up on no matter the case scenario, and whether you’re self-publishing or seeking a Literary Agent. As with “fashion”, fiction novel genres do tend to shift every few months or so thus allowing other genres their fifteen minutes of fame, so-to-speak, so again, the novel should not be given up on.
(Example) I myself am in pursuit of a Literary Agent for my YA Paranormal, LAST BITE! and have been in pursuit for about a year-and-a-half. And why have I not given up if I haven’t been able to gain representation or get it published, you may wonder. . .Well for starters, (1) the timing may be off, meaning zombies are now in, vampires are now out; (2) the Agent targeted is not interested in the genre at the moment, meaning seek another agent representing that genre now; (3) the query letter may have flopped in its opening summary meaning need to revise query letter; (4) the query letter in general may have found its way into (the agent) his/her “slush pile”, meaning query letters that get sifted through by an agent’s assistant and if the assistant finds something interesting to the agent they’ll bring it to the agent’s attention; (5) the query letter got overlooked, meaning submit a second query; (6) the query letter got deleted while in the “inbox’s” queue without it being opened, meaning for reasons unbeknownst to you; (7) the Agent doesn’t represent your genre, meaning shame on you for not reading his/her bio for what they are looking for and what they represent; (8) or the worse case scenario possible, the Agent finds the novel unmarketable, meaning he/she doesn’t think it will sell. So for whatever the reason, I simply cannot give up based on just one of those facts alone. And once I have exhausted all my resources to getting my novel represented and published only then will I be subjected to pen a different novel, or better yet, write in a different genre.
Now for those (including myself) trying to push that one novel through self-publishing, we have to keep in mind that we are contending for the same “best seller” or “best selling” position as with the other 3+million traditional and non-traditional authors. And no matter how many media outlets there is to Advertise, Market and Promote that one novel, it still isn’t enough to push it into a “best seller” (unless your Amanda Hocking) as with a traditionally print book, and so we are forced to either give-up the struggle or continue the fight.
Now the harsh reality about penning a novel is (1), it usually takes 2-3 months to write it; and (2), by then the subject matter may not be what anyone cares to read.