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So I decided to page through the agent and publisher section of my copy of the 2015 Writer's Market with a highlighter. I'm almost sorry I did. Talk about overwhelming and discouraging! Page upon page of people and organizations with specific requirements and discriminating tastes. Even the avant garde looks daunting. There are several pages without the telltale neon yellow of possibility.
This one only wants Canadian content. This one, only wholesome Christian content. This one only Imprints, whatever that means. No unsolicited manuscripts. No fiction. No romance. Did you know there is a publisher that deals exclusively in vampires? They don't care about the word count or genre, just as long as it has vampires. No vampires, no publishing contract.
I got such a weird feeling. I had a visual of my cartoon self climbing a mountain. (Just a smallish one. No Kilimenjaro or anything.) I stood on the top, listening to loud murmuring from the ground. I yell, "HEY!! I WRITE PARANORMAL ROMANCE NOVELS!!" The noise lessens as groups of people leave. "I WRITE ANGELS, DEMONS AND GODS. PLUS REINCARNATION." It gets a little quieter. "I WRITE GRAPHIC SEX SCENES." By now, I can barely hear the voices from the Earth. "I'VE PUBLISHED TWO NOVELS, BUT I DON'T HAVE MUCH OF A PLATFORM." I'm greeted with silence. No one out there is listening to me anymore. And I'm worried.
Now I understand the allure of self-publishing. I used to think, "Why would anyone want the hassle?" Now I know. The world of literary agents and publishing houses is an unwelcoming place.
But it isn't a reason to give up. I'm an optimist after all. I'm also an armadillo, and I will persevere.