When I started writing many years ago, I didn’t show my work to anyone. I barely told anyone I was writing much less that I wanted to be published. I’d had enough experience with the laughs and finger-pointing to know this was considered an unreasonable goal, a lofty pie-in-the-sky expectation. Or worse, a seriously deranged waste of time. Few people I encountered could admit out loud to reading romance. That I was disillusioned enough to think I could write it? Insert laughter here. Or any book, for that matter, made their eyes roll back far enough I thought they’d lose consciousness.
Fast forward to today. I wish I could say things had changed. Most people still consider this a “cute” hobby. The professional industry is in the midst of an evolution. Or, depending on your perspective, a revolution. While more books are being published, I think fewer authors are finding the traditional path without representation.
The great news is there are more ways to get the attention of agents these days than the standard query letter. Social media offers pitch events. Publishing houses have open submissions. Conferences offer round tables and meetings with editors and agents that can lead to requests.
Still…it’s hard to stay positive sometimes. At least with email submissions the waiting isn’t as long.