As I said, it’s recycling month. This was original posted on Jon Gibb’s LiveJournal a few months ago.
Publishing, a chose your own adventure tale.
You are about to embark upon a bold adventure. The outcome depends on the choices you make along the way. The ending is unwritten, the tale yet untold. Are you brave enough to take the first steps? If so proceed to page 1.
You find yourself in front of a computer. The screen is blank except for the open word processor document. The possibilities are endless. Will you take up the challenge and write a novel.
-If yes go to page 15.
-If no go to page 3.
You decide you will write a novel, some day, when you have time. Maybe you’ll do NaNoWriMo one of these years. You keep telling yourself this. The end.
You take the hard path. The novel in turn pours from your fingertips like soft-grained sand through a time glass, and sometimes sticks like tar, but you persevere and eventually your words are written. You are pleased but now you must decide if you wish to self-publish or go the traditional route.
-If you self-publish go to page 29.
-If you decide to take the traditional path go to page 100.
Self-publishing is all the rage. It doesn’t carry the stigmata it did even two years ago, but it’s still looked down upon by traditionally published authors. Still, you feel you have an amazing novel and hey, if J.A. Konrath can do it, so can you. Now you must edit.
-No, it’s perfect already. Go to page 4.
-Yes, I’m my own worst editor, I must have beta readers! Go to page 40.
You find a great monster. It eats your face. DOOM!
After months of polishing, formatting hell, cover art by brilliant friends, and more editing, you have a manuscript on Amazon.
-You sit back and wait for it to sell. Go to page 4.
-You spend hours promoting your work. Go to page 50.
You’ve written the masterpiece of fiction, but you must have an agent.
-It’s perfect, I don’t need to edit it before I start submitting it to agents. They’ll see its genius. Go to page 4.
-Yes, I must have beta readers! Go to page 41.
Beta readers have edited your masterpiece. You’ve edited your masterpiece. Now it’s time to find an agent.
-You do lots of research on each agent, how to write query letters, how to format, etc. Go to page 58.
-I don’t need to do research. They all want the same thing anyway, I’ll just CC a Dear Agent letter to all of them. Go to page 4.
You’ve written a good book, and edited it well. You’ve made connections on Twitter and Facebook and have found book reviewers and done blog tours. You’re on the road to success, as long as you keep with it.
Your brilliant query letter gets many form rejections.
-You try to learn from your rejections and rewrite your query letter and send it out again. Go to page 60.
-You give up. They aren’t good enough to recognize your genius anyway. Go to page 4.
(You’ll notice the story is now stuck in a loop. Repeat this loop about a hundred times if you’re the average person. Once you’ve repeated 100 times proceed to page 75)
-You keep sending out queries. Go to page 58.
-You decide to self-publish. Go to page 29.
You finally land an agent.
-You buckle down, work with the agent and edit, edit edit. (But wait, I thought I did all that. No, really, you have to do it again, and again.) Go to page 50.
-Now it’s all in the agent’s hands. Go to page 4.