I have learned so much since finishing my first attempt at a novel and the first big lesson learned was when I realised that writing the book was the easy part.

Trying to get your labour of love, AKA your novel, published by one of the big five trade publishers in the US and UK, Penguin Random House, Hachette, Macmillan, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster, is like trying to climb Mount Everest without rope and tackle.  

Most importantly, you can’t get to any of them anyway without an agent.  And, if you can’t get yourself an agent, you are pretty much stuffed on the traditional publishing front.

Anybody who has supported me and read my blog over the last year, or so, will remember how I’ve struggled with writing the synopsis. I must have had over 1000 attempts.  When I felt I had finally got the synopsis right, a bland chronological precis of what happens from beginning to the end, I happily sent it off.  One agent responded within 24 hours and said she couldn’t see the hook in the synopsis, so one assumes she never read any of the chapters.  But, that comment was very valuable feedback, because, if your story’s hook is not obvious in the Synopsis, you are never going to find yourself an agent.

Without an agent, your labour of love isn’t going anywhere and, with each rejection, you are engulfed by an overwhelming urge to self-publish. A few of your friends, as well as people you have never met, have read it and given you favourable feedback, but if your MS isn’t attracting an agent, then maybe you should think twice as to whether your labour of love is worthy of self-publication.

Over a million authors self-published during 2017, so there is plenty of competition out there.  But, before you chuck your manuscript in the bin, be buoyed up by this…

Stephen King’s first big novel, Carrie, was rejected 30 times.

He tossed it in the wastebasket but his wife fished it out. 

I am impatient, true to my birth sign, Aries, but my dotage years are too close for comfort, so I need to get on and resolve my dilemma. Cultivating patience and continue to try and find an agent to work with, or give way to my impatience and join the ever-swelling ranks of the self-published?