Vengeance Will Come was the title of my first fantasy adventure novel.
Back in September 2017 the first 3 chapters of the manuscript began the journey from Australia to a US publisher. The potential wait, as advertised, was up to 6 months. On the publisher’s website they stated if you hadn’t heard back within 6 months, re-submit as it may have been lost.
I say the manuscript began the journey, because I don’t know where it’s journey ended. Sadly, after waiting months I had heard nothing. I don’t know what happened to the manuscript. It could be sitting in the bottom of a postal bin a kilometre from my house for all I know. It might be gathering dust in the publisher’s basement or dropped into the ocean by a drunk deckhand on the mail ship. My preferred option is that it was intercepted by a mail-reading fiend who has enjoyed it so much they are keeping it close, like a certain Precious ring.
I just don’t know. Learn from my experience: pay whatever it costs to get a delivery confirmation. If you’re going to wait for months it’s worth paying to know it actually arrived at it’s intended destination.
The way I look at it, I have several options:
- Re-send it to the same publisher, and wait another 6 months
- Send it to another publisher
- Indie publish it through Kindle Direct
- Banish it to the “draft drawer” (never again to see the light of day)
- Imprison it in the “draft drawer” (one day, it might escape either as-is, or be re-written).
- Release it for free
Making the decision isn’t easy, and honestly I feel like a weather vane in rough weather. And I don’t like being indecisive.
Traditional Publisher. Part of the reason why I wanted to go the traditional publishing route was for vindication and gate-keeping. I don’t want to add to the torrent of books available unless the quality of my book is reasonable. I wanted the support of professionals to advise me on how to improve the book.
I wrote the book, expecting it to be the part of a series, but now I am less sure that I will write the sequels. Although the book is definitely a beginning of the story, I believe it’s also enjoyable on its own merits stand-alone. However, if I sold to a publisher I’d expect to be locked into finishing the series in short order… and I’m not sure I’d want that.
The “Draft Drawer”. It could go there, but then the hundreds (probably, thousands) of hours I spent on it feel completely wasted. And the premise of spending longer on it (later) for a re-write isn’t appealing, especially given my uncertainty over the series and objective quality.
Kindle Direct or release for free. These are the last two options. If I were to release to Kindle, I’d be doing it for a nominal sale cost ($0.99). As all authors do, I doubt the quality of my work. I suspect it has ‘first-book problems’ and I wouldn’t want to overcharge for it. For the price of $1 I think readers should be more forgiving. I’d be going through Amazon for the chance of reaching a broader audience, not for the small amount of revenue it would generate.
If I released it for free, I have no sense of guilt about questions of quality, and it feels like less work to do it… but then would anyone actually read it???