This semester has been slow when it comes to assignments, but it’s now starting to pick up with two assignments I had this weekend: an essay in French about the importance of French world literature and a book proposal with a cover letter for my novel.
For a non-native speaker, I was appalled to find that it was far easier to write that French essay than it was to write my book proposal.
Granted this could be because I care a lot more about my book proposal than some assignment for French class, but I believe it’s really because it’s the start of my reality check for this career path.
Work that has to be written for my novel but isn’t actually a part of the story in my novel terrifies me. It’s because often times that means it’s to sell my novel, and I know close to nothing about marketing.
I don’t actually know how to sell my novel. If it were up to me, I’d just say it’s an adventure story that will help you escape reality while helping you understand reality, but that’s literally every fantasy book out there.
I think that’s why I haven’t actually talked much about my novel. I don’t think I’ve even shared the working title for it, let alone anything about its characters or the world.
This is why I hope to go with the traditional route. I want someone who can be my guide, who understands the industry and the genre, but also understands my vision. I am not attached to my working title, and I’ve never had a specific idea as to what I want my cover to look like.
I’ve always set all that marketing stuff aside for my agent and my publisher. I know I have to work on marketing. That’s something both traditional and self-published authors have to do, but I prefer to have someone who understands the world of publishing and who can push me in the right direction.
What it all boils down to, I think, is that I am scared about the query quest mainly because I’ve never thought about marketing my book. My thoughts have always been on writing it.
So, I’m glad this class is pushing me to accept the reality. If I want to be published, I’ve got to sell my book.
With that said, I’m very much dreading the moment when I see my proposal and cover letter completely drenched in red ink.