So, you’ve sent out some chapters and a synopsis of your manuscript to hundreds of agents and find that they either don’t reply or just write, ‘it’s not for them’. Does this make you feel depressed or angry? Many people give up at this stage, but others trawl through the internet and discover that there are some publishers who actually ask you to send them your manuscripts! So, you send your precious words to them and they love them! Joy of joys! I’m going to be a published author, you think. Then you read the letter again and at the bottom, they mention the word ‘money’. You discover they want a lot of money to publish your manuscript, but they haven’t mentioned this fact on their website. These people are vanity publishers who have taken for ever to send you that letter. You’ve been on tender-hooks for months waiting for an answer. That’s the psychology they use to reel vulnerable people in. These underhand tactics are explored graphically on the site Writers Beware. It’s well worth reading.
Please don’t use these predators!
They prey on people who are desperate for their first book to be published. And it is easy to understand why such predators exist. Writing a novel is an incredibly time-consuming, often frustrating journey that might take you more than a year, or if you write like Flaubert, it could take much longer. [He spent more than six years writing and rewriting “Madame Bovary”, and he wrote for twelve hours a day!]
‘But if my manuscript isn’t published,’ I can hear you say, ‘all those thousands of words are wasted.’ But I don’t believe they are. Your first book is like an apprenticeship. You’ve learned how hard it is to write well.
You’ve also shown immense commitment and tenacity in finishing your first novel and that is a great achievement.