Finished Writing My First Novel…Now What?

I have never thought really of myself as a writer, but I am someone who likes to write. Recently, I even went so far as to quit my job, move home, and spend a year finishing off my 300,000 word manuscript. So, yeah, maybe I am a writer. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there.

Now that I am ready to get my book out there, I have to become a marketer, a publicist, a sales person; and that was on top of already becoming a proof-reader and an editor. It can all be somewhat overwhelming.

I have absolutely no idea about how to get my book to an agent/publisher. And, to be honest, I don’t even know if that’s the route that I want to take; especially when self-publishing is such an easy option. But, these are the things that I need to think about. And they are things that I wasn’t necessarily prepared for when I started this whole thing.

So, where do I begin?

Well, here. I figured that I’d start a blog to write about my quest to figure out what to do with my book.

I don’t know what I’m hoping to accomplish by this – whether I want people’s opinions, whether I hope to reach a larger network, or whether I just want a place to vent about what I’m expecting to be a difficult process. The reality is that I probably want a little bit of each. But, whatever the case may be, I’m going to write down what I think and leave it at that.

What follows? I don’t know. I suppose I’ll just have to see where this takes me. Or, I should say “us”. After all, you’re reading this, so you’re on my journey, too. And, before I begin, I want to thank you for that.

Now, here we go…

10 thoughts on “Finished Writing My First Novel…Now What?

  1. Zen July 8, 2012 / 3:15 pm

    Good luck! I know it seems daunting at first, but the more you work at it, the less you’ll have to do eventually. I first attempted the traditional publishing route and sent out queries, but after getting rejected a few times, I went for self-publishing. It’s proving to be a nice experience so far!

    Oh, and congrats on finishing your novel. =D

    • m_mcmanamon July 8, 2012 / 8:49 pm

      Thanks so much. I really appreciate it. Yes, it definitely feels daunting. But, like you say, I’ll just have to keep at it. And I’ll be sure to keep self-publishing in mind. Thanks, again. And good luck with your book, too. πŸ™‚

  2. Michelle Proulx July 8, 2012 / 5:50 pm

    A blog is definitely a good first step πŸ™‚ That’s why I’m on WordPress – to make friends and learn from other writers. If you’re serious about finding an agent, you could grab a copy of the 2012 Guide to Literary Agents ( I used an older version of that guide to try and find an agent – I didn’t succeed, but maybe you will!

    • m_mcmanamon July 8, 2012 / 8:51 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll look into it. And make sure that you keep trying. πŸ™‚

  3. phewit July 8, 2012 / 6:57 pm

    looking forward to taking this journey with you…

  4. Mary Houston July 8, 2012 / 8:19 pm

    Great start to your blog, you have me hooked!


    • m_mcmanamon July 8, 2012 / 8:52 pm

      Thanks, Mary. I’m sure it’s going to be exciting. Now, I need to think about what to write next. Haha. πŸ˜€

  5. Bonnie July 11, 2012 / 1:36 pm

    Hello Michael,
    Mary and Owen have introduced me to your blog.

    “Bravo!” on your prolific writing. “Now what?” is a good question. I did at least 8 drafts, and have come to understand that writing is also about re-writing. The result was a reduction in the manuscript by over a third. The process was painful. Essentially I “killed off” any character or plot line that did not move the story forward. At some point I will check out these excerpts and see if they have a life anywhere else, but my sense is that they do not. Their purpose was to get me in writing flow, and to help me reach the finish line.

    After my “last” draft (does anyone ever really finish editing?) the next challenging piece was to reduce the manuscript to a one page synopsis. That took forever. And then the next challenge was to write a cover letter for agents/publishers that would interest them sufficiently to read the synopsis. Ouch!

    Buy the Writer’s Market.
    Make a list of agents/publishers that would be suitable for your manuscript.
    Write your synopsis and cover letter.
    Steel your heart and and prepare to send out 200 query letters. (I sent in batches of 5).
    Save the rejection notes.
    Send out more query letters
    And persevere!
    Bonne chance et bon courage…

    • Michael McManamon July 12, 2012 / 2:47 am

      Hi Bonnie, thanks so much for that. I’ll be sure to keep those tips in mind. And, you’re right, I’ll definitely have to keep at it. Query letters. Synopses. Editing. Etc. I’m sure it’s going to be a long process. But, I guess it’s part of the whole thing. I’ll also look at the Writer’s Market and make a list of agents/publishers. And I’ll let you know how it all works out. Congratulations on your own book, too. πŸ˜€

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