My Next Stop On The Road to Publication

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Analytics show that most of the people reading my blog posts are registered users of the site. Therefore, most people reading this will know that I have been trying to get my first novel published for a while now. For the past few years I have relentlessly pursued the goal of getting traditionally published, where I try to get an agent, who then tries to get my book published a major publisher (Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster etc.). I rejected self-publishing because I knew the struggle I would have as another nobody trying to get recognition for his work. With traditional publishing, there is still a very small change of huge sales, or even profit, but it always seemed like a worthwhile struggle. I think I held onto the possibility that I would be the 1 author in a million that becomes a bestseller, even if that meant years of struggles trying to get an agent.

Now, I’ve exhausted the list of agents that represent science fiction in the US and Canada. A new one might pop up every few weeks, but I’ve been rejected by the bulk of them. I have dozens of copies of the same generic rejection letters. I even spent over $1000 to attend a writer’s conference in New York last summer. I was in no position to spend this money frivolously, but I understood that the value of some experiences can exceed a price tag. I was excited about the opportunity to network with other writers and learn from published ones. I was also excited about the opportunity to pitch my book to agents in person. I got 4 offers to send queries, and I finally felt hopeful again. I edited my story, sent it off with high hopes, and got 4 generic rejection letters again. They weren’t form letters at least, but they still lacked any insight on how to improve: “Thanks for the opportunity…not right for me.” The opportunity to pitch to agents, the “pitch slam” was an extra $200. I don’t want to come across as entitled, but if people pay extra for the opportunity to pitch their letter to you, instead of just sending an email, then I think they are entitled to some constructive criticism that can actually help their writing. It doesn’t have to be an essay but even a sentence saying “starts too slow”, “opening is cliched” etc. can be a big help to an aspiring author. I guess the agents figure getting to pitch to them in person was more than enough reward.

 

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Me after my 4th rejection

I haven’t tried to take an easy route with getting published. I originally finished Elseworld in 2008 and after my initial attempts to get an agent failed, I went back to the book and rewrote it. Every time I got an idea of how to make the book better I did whatever I deemed necessary, eliminating characters, subplots, changing the ending, adding more character development etc. I finished this current version of Elseworld last year, and was confident that I finally cracked the code to getting published. I felt more confident about it than I ever had, which made me confident I could get an agent. Maybe I sound delusional but I always hear that self-confidence (to a certain extent) is necessary to succeed. I edited my query letter (a short pitch that is emailed to agents), changing it to resemble the pitch I gave at the Writer’s Conference. Although the book was rejected, I at least knew that my description of it could pique someone’s interest.

Armed with an improved book and query letter, I took on the task of getting an agent. The same pitch that worked on four agents, failed with a horde of them yet again. Two of the agents who were intrigued by my work at the “pitch slam” were two who previously rejected email pitches. I guess being face-to-face made an agent less likely to say no. Unfortunately, this meant that my email pitches (the standard method) were dead in the water again. More form rejection letters and more questions of what it was going to take to get an agent. I interned with one, and she agreed to take a look at my work. The agency didn’t represent science fiction though, so that plan died in the water too.

It’s been months since my last email query, and I completed another book in the meantime. My original plan was to forget about Elseworld for now and try to get this book published instead. At this point, it still requires editing before I will be comfortable submitting any queries. One option is to complete editing by the end of November, in order to get a polished version of the manuscript and start submitting queries. It can take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months for an agent to respond with a form rejection letter, or perhaps a request to see more material. If I go with this plan, another year could pass, and I could be in the same position by the end of it.

My other option, is to bite the bullet and attempt to self-publish. I am not interested in independent self-publishing, where I print the book myself and hire artists for the book cover. There are plenty of platforms that supposedly offer decent readership and the chance for more exposure. Of course, blogging is one, but that hasn’t exactly paid big dividends yet. Medium is another, also little impact so far. Wattpad was recommended to me by a friend, who is considering using it himself, and it may be another avenue I pursue.

wattpad-4

 

 

Like any tool, I am cautious of using it. I already shared my brief experience with Inklitt, which is nothing but  a scam. After looking into Watpadd it does appear to be a legitimate platform, where readers can post their work online, typically chapter by chapter. From what I have researched it also has its faults. Its main readership are female teens and young adults, who gravitate most to romance, teen fiction and fanfiction. Genre fiction, like science-fiction is also pretty popular but gets overshadowed by the latter genres. From what I hear, a lot of the writing is horrible, so my work could be overshadowed by a wannabe E.L. James. I’m not saying I’m Ernest Hemingway but that is a disheartening concept. Yet it may still be one of my best options.

Originally I was considering putting Elseworld on Wattpad but I think I’ll put The Visitor on there instead.  As I’ve mentioned before, The Visitor‘s length would make it more difficult to publish traditionally anyway. Taking inspiration from a friend, I might upload The Visitor under a pen name and then continue trying to publish Elseworld traditionally. If The Visitor manages to get enough traction with Wattpad, and attract publisher attention (like it has for some people) then I could use that to better market Elseworld. That is the next goal. Success is obviously not guaranteed but I’ve got to make a plan to move forward.

My Next Steps for Getting Published

Hello everyone,

As I stated in my last post, a rough draft of my novella is now completed. I want to take time away from it for at least a week before I go back and start editing it thoroughly. I am then aiming to have a polished version ready by December so that I can begin submitting queries for it. It is more difficult to find agents that accept novellas but I will try to go through agents first and if I do not have any luck with that I may try to submit parts of the novella into short story contests.

Another idea I have been considering is creating short stories that I can submit to contests. Being able to win one, or at least be a finalist could help to gain some exposure and get me closer to officially being published. It will be easier to get a book published if I have some other credits to my name. I am currently reading Stephen King’s short story collection, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, and it has motivated me to pursue writing short stories as well.

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I am still awaiting some responses about Elseworld and if I still fail to get an agent there I may need to seriously consider rewriting it. I can always post the full story to the blog, in pieces, like Andy Weir did for The Martian and hope it catches on. However, the odds of that happening are very slim, especially since my average blog post currently gets less than ten views. The whole point of posting the story is to hope that my audience continues to grow with it, but it’s a huge gamble. If I end up posting most of the story on my website then many publishers won’t touch it at that point, since it is arguable self-published. Meanwhile I could potentially miss out on a chance to get published, in return for having very few people read my blog posts.

 

Update on My Second Book

Hello everyone,

I have previously discussed the conundrum of completing my second book, The Visitor. I have finished telling the story I want to tell, but the word count (54,000 words) falls short of an acceptable length for a novel. Most publishers want 60,000 – 100,000 words, and at least 80,000 for science-fiction. Very few publishers accept submissions directly, you normally need to go through a literary agent, who then helps you get a publisher. I could try to submit The Visitor to agents as a novella, but many agents do not represent novellas. Additionally, many publishers don’t accept novellas.  Keeping The Visitor as a novella would only make the difficult task of getting an agent even more difficult.

I am still trying to get Elseworld published but I worry that I have nearly exhausted the list of literary agents in America and Canada that accept science-fiction. I have rewritten and edited the book numerous times and can honestly say that I am happy with the book the way it is now. I’m not arrogant enough to think it’s perfect or that an agent or editor wouldn’t have a lot of suggestions, but at this point I am not sure of what else to do to make the concept and the story more appealing for agents. One agent advised that she thinks, editors will think, that the story starts too slow. Perhaps it is my ego but I truly liked the way the story started off and I worked hard to make it far more captivating than the previous opening I had.

Apparently, I still have a long way to go. I found the agent’s feedback very insightful since it also revealed how important marketability is for a book. The agent didn’t say that she thought it started too slow, she was worried about what an editor (at a publishing house) would think. Even if she liked the opening, she can’t represent a book unless she is sure it will sell. After all, reputable agents only get paid off commissions from book sales, so they need to spend money marketing a book and have faith that their years of effort will pay off. Yes, I said years. The timeline between getting an agent, and seeing your book published, can range anywhere from 18 months to 5 years. This is a statistic quoted by numerous writing industry professionals at a Writer’s Digest Conference I attended last year, and the professionals emphasized that new authors can expect it to take closer to 5 years.

When I was more naïve, I thought I would have my book published by the time I was 18, then I aimed for 22. Now I am turning 25 later this month and realize I might not be published by the time I’m 30. Maybe I need to re-write Elseworld  again before I can progress. Maybe I need to add 30,000 more words to The Visitor. Maybe I will do all that and still be an aspiring writer when I’m 50. There were plenty of people at the Writer’s Digest Conference older than my parents; still aiming to get a literary agent and publish their debut novel. That is a possibility but it is not inevitable. All I can do is believe in myself and keep working at my dream.

An Excerpt from The Visitor

Hello everyone,

I’ve been getting more rest to fight off a cold but I wanted to make sure I stay somewhat productive. Below is an excerpt from my second book, The Visitor, a story of inter-dimensional travel.

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Another cycle was complete. The teleporter successfully sent Adam from the lab to his home two months ago, and the tank came through the portal three days ago. Adam submitted every bodily fluid for testing and military doctors checked his vitals every night when the military came by for their closing sweep of the lab. For the moment, the teleportation didn’t appear to have any ill effects. Adam didn’t physically feel any different.

Mentally, he felt lighter and clearer than ever. He felt like a sprinter getting gold at the Olympics after years of trials and practice. Adam was never a good athlete, but it was the best metaphor. He was on his way to forging a legendary career, his name would never be forgotten by the scientific community, or the public. He would be a national hero.

“See you in three weeks Abel,” Dr. Rowan said as he extended his hand.

Adam froze for a few seconds, this was the first time Dr. Rowan offered a handshake. Adam doubted it was out of respect or courtesy, otherwise it would have come a long time ago. Dr. Rowan knew he would benefit from the work Adam did as a physicist and as a guinea pig. Dr. Rowan was simply the popular girl, showing some semblance of affection when Adam made himself useful. As much as Adam wanted to ignore the gesture, he knew it would be immature. He’d faced enough immaturity from the seniors around him.

“See you then, thanks for everything.” Abel said as he took the hand in his.

The other physicists followed, until Abel was left with Dr. Calvin as usual.

Cages of white rats normally flanked the left side of the lab, but the military removed them once human testing began. Adam had become accustomed to their scuffling in their cages, and the lab felt eerily silent without it. The only sound now was the air conditioning humming silently. All the tables were wiped down, and the teleporter was resting on one of them, waiting to be collected by the military. So much smaller than any bomb or missile, yet still more effective as a deterrent. It wasn’t just a weapon of war, it was a tool that would reshape the social and political landscape.

“Ready to go,” Dr. Calvin said as he hefted his bag.

“Yes, guess I could just teleport back home again.” Adam said.

“If anything, you should teleport me home. My body doesn’t cope with the long drives as well as it used to.”

“I’d have to keep your car then, how would you get back to work?”
“Good point,” Dr. Calvin said.

“I know they’ve tested you as well as they can but I always worry there could be some longer term effects of using the teleporter.” Dr. Calvin said.

“It’s been a few months for the rats now, still nothing there. Let’s hope my body doesn’t fall apart a few years from now.” Abel said.

“I’ll pray for you, metaphorically speaking.” Dr. Calvin said.

“Appreciated.” Adam said.

“On a serious note, I have some errands to run in the city. I was thinking of saving them for tomorrow since I’m dropping you back, but if you’re fine with taking the teleporter back I could take care of them today.” Dr. Calvin said.

“Sounds good to me.” Adam said.

He grabbed the teleporter off the desk and headed down the stairs to the testing area.

“I’ll call you once you’re through to make sure everything’s alright. If you don’t answer I’m going to send an ambulance to your house. I don’t mind driving you either.” Dr. Calvin said.

“I’ll be fine. It’ll be nice to get home early,” Adam said.

“Alright.”
Dr. Calvin took a few seconds to double check the coordinates before pushing the trigger. Adam took the time to savour the air conditioning, knowing that he would be entering a stifling home once he exited the portal. His eyes were closed when the portal opened, but he could see the white light filter through his closed eyelids, attacking the darkness as it made itself at home.

Adam opened his eyes to face his mentor, knowing that he wouldn’t see him again for a few months. Dr. Calvin was going to be tied up with speaking engagements once the project was officially announced in a few days. Adam didn’t have many engagements with news organizations, but he would be travelling to military bases to instruct the military on the use of the portal. Dr. Calvin assured him that this was standard, the youngest member of a group often received the least media attention. Dr. Rowan and the others might try to downplay Adam’s work but Dr. Calvin would be there, speaking with reporters, to assure the world that Adam made a valuable contribution to the project. Christmas break would be here soon and Adam could ring in the New Year as a world-renowned physicist. Things were finally falling into place.

“See you Dr. Calvin.” Adam said.

“Go home and relax Abel, you deserve it.” Dr. Calvin said. His smile revealed an unrivalled level of happiness.

Adam felt himself smile for the first time as well, and the smile was still on his face as he stepped through the portal. His smile vanished as he landed on the other side. There was no change in temperature this time. As Adam entered the hallway of his home, he could feel the air conditioning hitting his face and arms. Adam knew he always kept it off. Evelyn must have turned it on at some point, even though he had told her they couldn’t afford it. It was yet another thing they’d have to fight about.

Adam didn’t want to let the AC ruin his mood though, not after what he accomplished. He rushed towards the end of the hallway, making his way for the main unit to shut of the AC. As he glanced to his left he noticed that every piece of furniture in the living room was different. The worn black couch in his home was replaced by a brown one; the glass table in front of it was now marble. The television that normally sat on a table was now mounted on the wall, and appeared to be at least ten inches bigger. More importantly, the living room floor was covered in carpet, instead of wood.

Turning to his right, Adam saw the kitchen for the first time. The dining table was also covered in a plain white cloth, like the one in his home. The similarity ended there. The stainless steel fridge was an upgrade from Adam’s, and so was the marble countertop. Either Evelyn managed to get all of this changed today, or Adam wasn’t in the right house. Dr. Calvin must have made a mistake with the coordinates. Fortunately, no one was home.

It didn’t seem like Dr. Calvin called him yet. Adam’s hand shot down to his pocket and pulled out his phone. No missed calls. It had been at least one minute so far, Dr. Calvin said he’d call as soon as Abel got through. Adam was considering waiting for a call for a few minutes, when he heard footsteps from the floor above him. The steps were muffled at first but soon became more noticeable as they hit the creaking wood of a staircase. The staircase sounded the same as Adam’s, and if this home had the same layout, the staircase, was in front of the living room. Once someone reached the bottom of it, they would see him As Adam’s head swiveled to the stairs, he caught a glimpse of a family photo hanging above the television. Four black faces were staring back at him.

“David, is that you?” A woman’s voice said. It wasn’t Evelyn’s.

Adam didn’t need any further prodding. He dashed back to the portal, and reemerged in the lab. He nearly slipped on the lab’s metal floor, seeing Dr. Calvin standing on the upper level with the phone in his hand. Dr. Calvin saw him and abruptly hung up.

“Close the portal, now.” Adam said.

“I wasn’t joking when I said I’d call an ambulance. Why didn’t you pick up?” Dr. Calvin said as he reached for the portal.

“I never got a call from you.” Adam said. Adam didn’t consider himself athletic but fear and adrenaline allowed him to bound up the steps. Dr. Calvin pressed the teleporter’s trigger as Adam reached the main level and Adam looked back to see the portal disappear.

“Look.”

Dr. Calvin looked at the phone’s display, obviously surprised to see that Adam was telling the truth.

“You’re number is 905-876-2999 right?”

“Yeah, you sure that’s what you called?”

“Positive, I tried three times. Are you getting bad signal at your house?”

“Got a call there his morning. Reception’s fine at my house, but I’m worried that I wasn’t in my house just now.”

“I made sure they were the right coordinates. I guarantee it.” Dr. Calvin presented the teleporter to Abel, and it was his turn to be surprised.

The coordinates were displayed on one of the teleporter’s surfaces, on a small screen directly above the keypad. The numbers were right. Adam was in the right coordinates for his house.

“What happened?” Dr. Calvin said.

“The furniture was different. The tv was different, and there was a family photo in the house that wasn’t my family. That wasn’t my house.”

“Could it have been a neighbours? Maybe the teleporter malfunctioned and sent you somewhere close by? We’ve had this issue before, I thought we fixed it but,”

“No. I’m not best friends with them, but I’ve seen them before. Neither of them are black and that family photo showed a black family.”

“Someone down the street?” Dr. Calvin said.

“How long since we’ve had that issue?” Adam said.

“Nearly a year,” Dr. Calvin said.

“Right, since then, we have teleported people a few feet away and even from other continents. We’ve spent entire days testing it. Every time, people end up exactly where we want them to. What are the changes that the teleporter has malfunctioned now?” Adam said.

“Low, but nothing is 100% predictable.” Dr. Calvin said.

Adam wanted to believe that the teleporter didn’t send him to different coordinates. The teleporter was hours away from being collected by the military for use. The military would be trained on how to use the teleporters and they would be the ones taking the time to carefully survey each world, enlisting the services of a field of scientists like botanists and geologists to study every world’s climate. The government already considered the project a success and announcing a setback now could lead to the governmental council becoming an enemy, not an ally.

If the teleporter was working, then that would alleviate one worry, but also lead to an even bigger question. If the teleporter did send Adam to the right coordinates for his home, why did he end up in someone else’s house? There was one possibility, but Adam had a hard time accepting it. Yet it was the only one that made sense. It made even more sense as he considered one detail that he ignored until this point. A calendar was hanging on the fridge, but the fridge originally took all of Adam’s attention.

The calendar had a variety of notes attached to it, but Adam couldn’t read them from where he was standing. What he could read was the date, displayed in bold black lettering: 2010. Adam realized that the calendar could be an old one, but it didn’t make sense to have a six year old calendar displayed, with dates marked all over it. If the coordinates were right, then there was only one explanation for where Adam just travelled to.

“Adam? What are you thinking?” Dr. Calvin said.

“I’m thinking we just made another breakthrough.” Adam said.

#

My Second Book

Hello everyone,

Swelling with Jamaican and Canadian pride after seeing Usain Bolt and Andre De Grasse both medal in the 100m final. Now let’s see if Bolt can get gold in the 200m and 4X100m relay.

I have been spending more time watching the olympics, but I try not to let it distract me from the work I need to do. One thing I have been putting off for a while is continuing my second book, The Visitor. I wrote the first few pages years ago, but never went further with it until I returned to it earlier this year. My original goal was to finish it by July, but I faltered there and I then set another goal to finish it by September and I am aiming to get it done.

I stalled on a certain part of the story, where I didn’t know how to proceed any further. I already wrote the ending, and needed to fill in the pieces to get there. After brainstorming I finally got an idea of how to continue and have been working on linking another thread of my fictional world. My biggest worry at this point is that the new ideas I have won’t take me to 80,000 words, which is the minimum that many agents and publishers will accept for a science fiction novel. If The Visitor ends up being less than 60,000 words once complete, then it will be a novella. Many publishers don’t accept novellas, especially not from debut authors. Getting published is hard enough as it is and I do not want to make it harder for myself. Especially since the plan was to try and get this second work published, seeing if I had better luck with the hunt for the 2nd one and could then try to publish Elseworld afterwards.

I am still trying to get Elseworld published as well but I am sure that I have nearly exhausted the list of agents that accept science fiction in Canada and the US. I could try other countries but foreign agents do typically take more commissions for foreign sales. Additionally, New York is a large publishing hub, which is why it is ideal to have an agent located in New York or close to it. As I learned from interning with a literary agency, the publishing and marketing process still involves a lot of physical mail; Increased distance can make things more time consuming and difficult.

It appears that my best bet for publication is to complete The Visitor. Once I fill in the remaining gaps in my story, there is the question of how long the book will be. Then there is also the question of whether or not I should add extra passages just for the sake of padding it to 80,000 words.

If I can complete it by September, I can then spend time editing it before I send out my first query. Even though agents can take weeks to respond about a query, I still want to make sure the manuscript is near perfect before I begin the process. I would hate to lose a chance at publication because I submitted a sloppy manuscript.

Who knows how all this will turn out, but I have to keep working and dreaming.

Quick Update

Hello everyone,

I’m currently writing another piece for comicommand, which will hopefully be posted tonight or tomorrow on the site. I’ll then have it posted here after.

I have been posting more fiction to the wmoviegrapevine instagram. I started off posting short excerpts from some of my older poems, but then drifted towards non-fiction more since I started using daily life as more of an inspiration for my blog pieces and my instagram posts. I started returning to posting fiction pieces more often on wmoviegrapevine over the past week and have found that there has been greater engagement with this pieces: more likes and followers. I am nearly at 100 now, and was able to amass 20 new ones in a relatively short time.

Posting fiction pieces more also means that I have nearly exhausted the material from my poetry pieces. For that reason I want to start writing fiction pieces for the site more. I can then use these fiction pieces for the instagram posts and continue to build an audience. I think that this will also help me as I continue writing The Visitor again.

As I mentioned in my last update, I was caught up in vanity metrics for a while. I was paying attention to followers and likes, losing track of the main purpose of the account: getting more followers to the site. I have now installed Google Analytics but wish I had done it earlier. Now I can’t see if anything I’ve done with my social media since the beginning has helped to increase site traffic. All I can do now is monitor the traffic from this point on.

 

 

Def Jam Poetry- My First Great Inspiration

Yesterday, I reposted a small excerpt from Gemini’s “Penny For Your Thoughts” on my writing instagram, @wmoviegrapevine. Since I am currently occupied trying to get an academic journal article published, I have been doing less writing for my second novel. However, I am also at a roadblock for my second novel, in terms of where to continue with the story. I have about 50,000 words at the moment but need another 30,000 for the novel to be an acceptable length for science-fiction. As I tried to brainstorm and dig myself out of this rut, my mind drifted back to what motivated me to write initially. I have been writing fiction since I was ten (not saying it was good, or is good), but I started taking writing much more seriously during Grade 12 in my writer’s craft class.

By this time I had finished a rough draft of my first novel, Elseworld, but had it sitting for years: not editing, or trying to get it published. My teacher shared def jam poetry with us and I began working on Elseworld again the next day.

 

This is the first piece I can remember seeing, and many more came after that. We were seeing people share brilliant work in front of an audience, but not for any real fame or glamour. Their lyrics aren’t in a song playing on 106& Park. They did it for the love of the craft. This is one of the most important lessons I keep coming back to. Sometimes it is discouraging to keep writing. After years of trying I have no published work and for all I know, 0 people read my average blog post. However, I realize I have to keep writing for myself. To maintain and sharpen my skills. To keep creative juices flowing and maybe even to show a prospective publisher that I am not just another person who wants to be a writer but doesn’t want to put the work in.

That was my attitude when I convinced my mom to buy me a guitar when I was in grade eight. I started listening to rock music religiously that year, Franz Ferdinand, Muse, Kaiser Chiefs etc. I wanted to be like the people on my ipod (2005, I’m getting old). Once I got the guitar I had no patience to learn slowly. I thought I’d pick it up and be playing solos in a few weeks. Frankly, I was a stupid kid seeking glory without hard work. Now, I have picked up the guitar again and still struggle to practice sometimes. Lessons are probably one of the only things pushing me to practice at the moment, since I want to show improvement when I go in week after week. Of course, my mom does not want me to sell the guitar, and I feel like that would be a betrayal at this point. I made my bed and I must now lie in it, pushing myself to tackle a chore.

I may be struggling to finish my second book now, but I know I’ll never struggle like I have with the guitar. Writing can be a lot to manage at times, but I do love the thrill of creating my characters, my world and pulling the strings. I do hope that I can one day make a living doing this, and I will work towards that goal. If not, I’ll keep doing it anyway. I might be the person in the retirement home telling nurses about his dreams, but I know I will never regret the pursuit of my dream.

I am one step closer to getting published…

400,000 books published in 2007,

A small percentage of those made a profit, an even smaller percentage became best-sellers,

This is what one of the speakers at the Writer’s Digest Conference tells me, and about 100 other people seated in front of her,

She is there to educate us, to support us,

But part of giving guidance is helping us manage expectations,

There are millions of people trying to get published every year,

Motivated by support from their family and friends, and by the success of those who became before them,

We all believe that it is our destiny to share our story with the world, and become a best-seller,

Yet that can’t happen for everyone trying to get published,

The sad truth is that some people will be destined to keep writing only as a hobby,

Or to try the self-publishing route, where they will assume the role of agent, editor and marketer,

I am hoping that I can become one of the people who gets to see his greatest goal achieved,

I now have agents interested in seeing my work, which I want to edit thoroughly before I send to them,

Even if they do ask for the full manuscript, then they may still not want to represent me,

Even if they choose to represent me, it will be difficult getting a publisher,

Even if I get a publisher, there is no guarantee book stores will want to stock it,

Even with all the aforementioned guarantees, there is never any guarantee of a book selling well,

Although there is a myth of agents taking care of all the marketing and promotion, the truth is that I will need to be very involved in the process in order for my book to have any chance of success,

Despite all the potential obstacles, I am grateful enough to realize that I am taking a step in the right direction by sending my work to these agents,

I can honestly say that while I know a lot of work is ahead, I am looking forward to it.