Choosing a publisher

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A safe harbor

In Norway most writers send their manuscripts directly to a publisher, waits 6-12 weeks for a reply, and if the reply is negative, sends it out again to the next on the list. This has been my strategy as well.

A lot of the publishing houses have a profile and focus that does not fit with my manuscript. Some of the houses would be a good fit but publish only a few books a year. Other again publish a broader specter of genres. Some seem to publish only imported books that have done great in other countries. Others publish some great, some good and some not so good books.

I have sent my manuscript to publishing houses that fit all of the above. But not without asking myself what is smart. Should I try to get published no matter what? Should I be really picky?

There seems to be valid arguments for both. A lot of established writers admit that they are happy no one was willing to publish their first work. Other say that you have to believe that others will enjoy reading what you enjoyed writing, to never give up, to take the chance.

I think it is important to feel comfortable with your own work. It will never be perfect. But if you are comfortable with others seeing it, maybe even take some joy out of it, why not give it a try? If you publish a semi-good book now, chances are that very few will notice either way. If you get experience that allows you to write a better book next time, it might be worth it.

There are several ways to fail, I may publish my book too early, or publish the wrong book, or choose the wrong publishing house. But I am not sure I am willing to risk never getting published because I am too afraid of regretting it later.

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