I’m further along than I thought. Let me explain. A few weeks ago my friend and one of my sole followers (Hey Cor!) suggested that I look into selling my book before it’s completely written. Now, it’s been a long time since I’ve researched how to publish books but I always remembered having a finished manuscript. She urged me to look into it anyway and I did that yesterday.
What I learned: you still definitely need an agent to reach those upper echelon publishing houses, but you can approach agents with a book proposal. In a book proposal you outline your story, describe your expertise as an author, describe your intended market, include a chapter summary (hey, that’s what I’ve been working on for a while now), possible 20-30 page sample and when you believe you can have the book completed by. I know that’s a general summation so I’m just going to go ahead and recommend the 2010 Guide to Literary Agents, as well as the 2010 Writer’s Market books for more information. These books have all of this kind of info, and a google search can give you some guidelines as well (you just want to be precise in formating your work and websites can be unreliable)
This makes me happy because I’ve been working on this story for a while now and I’d like to see if I can spark interest in it. This is also exciting because I’ve been working on a chapter outline for weeks and I was doing it just for “myself.” I can see now that it may help me sell my story and that gives it a much greater purpose. And on a slightly pessimisitic side, doing this could help me see how marketable my book is. If no one bites, I can ask myself, why is that?
All that being said, I still have a lot of work to do, and I still need feedback on my work thus far, but I like the fact that I could be weeks/a couple months away from submitting my book proposal to agents, instead of several months/ possibly a year away. Why wait, you know?