What to do with the previous novel?

My last novel, “Prince of Leaf and Stone” is sitting on the shelf and I’m off writing the next although the last one still beckons. I like the story and reader feedback is positive although it is just friends and family so far. It’s been out for a few rejections but nowhere near enough rejections to count as really being shopped around. I did pitch it a writer’s conference and sent in the full. The response was “love the premise” and something about in this market, it wasn’t right to represent it. That might mean she thought it would take too much revision/handholding or it might mean as a stand-alone novel it didn’t offer enough return on time. From her questions during the pitch, I tend to think it was the latter but maybe it’s both.

So what do with it? Sending it to 50 agents without some better idea of its quality doesn’t really appeal. So I’m going try to find some dedicated readers on critters.org and see what they think. If the feedback is reasonably encouraging, I’ll probably revise it after the first draft of my current project is complete. It would be good to wait longer before draft 2 anyway. Then, I may run it through Kirkus Indie reviews. If I get a good review, I can use it to help hook an agent or market for self-pub. Or may just send it out on its own.

Just some musing… happy to hear any comments or thoughts.



5 thoughts on “What to do with the previous novel?

  1. Have you considered hiring an editor to edit for story (not line editing or copy editing)? You might be able to snag one for cheap. Maybe.

    I’m on critters and will watch out for your story, but its just my opinion and I have no clue. However, you might get lucky and get an experienced author.

  2. I’d recommend spending some time in a book store or library and browsing the shelves. Borrow a few books that are less than a year old and read them to see what’s selling NOW (as opposed to what came out when you were a kid). Try to see where “Princess” fits in its length, content and tone.

    Then find a natural break point in your current WIP and read “Princess” through carefully. Ask yourself honestly if your prose is as good or better as the published books. If so, you can query publishers who seem like a good fit, based on the books currently in the stores. If not, set aside time for another revision, perhaps after you’ve finished the book currently in progress.

    Most important, don’t rush to self-publish or to give up on “Princess.” Make careful, considered decisions in the interest of building a long-term career.

    1. Thanks, Deby! Good advice. I have compared it to the prose in the genre. The story itself is a bit unusual for what I’ve come across, which can be good or bad. I’ll start with some critters critique; the feedback there for my first chapter of my current project has been useful (in detail and just as important, in overview). Depending on how that goes I’ll figure out a next step :). I’m definitely not keen to self-publish without at least some unbiased, professional feedback.

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