Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesBooks & Authors · 2 months ago

What should I do with my novel?

I have a novel that could be a stand alone though i finished the series with 4 total and its really the best work I've ever done. I've been tweeking it and working on it for about 7 years now and I have queried to multiple agents as well as several publishers who take unsolicited manuscripts. I've had a ton of rejections and I'm a bit disheartened and continue to work on it. I self published as a teen and though I don't regret it(it was a great accomplishment for 16) I got a lot of ridicule from the online community(here and then it spread around)that I was hoping to avoid. Is it worth waiting and trying again in a few years and working on other projects or should I try a different self publisher that is not a pay to publish?


To ask this question, I used voice to text. So for those of you who can't get over its imperfection, this is literally nothing like the quality of writing I would put into a heavily edited piece of writing.

6 Answers

  • Amber
    Lv 5
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is why I say to kids and anyone whose work isn't up to scratch not to publish. A bad rep can follow you around and if you hid behind a pen name, someone will eventually find out and it's not very honest. Best to own your mistake and hopefully people will be able to see the improvements. 

    As for this current story, you don't have to abandon it altogether, it may just be poor timing. So, get it out to beta readers and as many as possible. This could be other writers or readers, but try to get it to a few people with plenty of experience. Build yourself some connections. Find someone who has published before and might be prepared to answer questions you have and steer you in the right direction. In mean time either find an editor for your work or learn to do it yourself properly. That's includes improving your grammar and punctuation. Also, try writing something new. If you have several books that are worthy it can heighten your chances. A friend of mine had three novels. One she'd put her heart and soul into and another which was just something to do to take a break. The agent liked her writing, just not the story of her "best work". He wrote that to her in a private letter, so she sent him her second book and he took that. If she'd not had that second book ready to send she'd have missed her chance. Don't put all you're eggs in one basket. 

  • 2 months ago

    If you want people to take you seriously as a writer - yes, even here - you have to present your best writing to us. Don't post a sub-standard text then say "Oh this isn't typical of me". We judge ONLY by what we see. If you can't be bothered to make the effort to present even this question as well as you can, I don't see why we should be bothered to give you a helpful answer.

    Luckily for you not everyone here is as snarky and grudging as I am. But you can be sure there are people just like me out there in the publishing world, and they'll want to see every single word polished and re-polished a dozen times.

  • Speed
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Edit: Now that I know this isn't typical of your writing quality, that leaves you needing to determine what it is about your manuscript that's causing rejections without feedback. If you're not getting so much as an R&R (revise and resubmit), there's something not marketable about it. So I can only recommend a writing group of people who read and write in the same genre as your novel, and/or beta readers with similar qualifications.

    Only a reader with manuscript in hand can tell you why it fails to engage the reader sufficiently.


    I did a one-pass line edit to show you why you are being rejected, not to be a jerk, but I decided not to post it. (I'll hang onto it for a day or two, so if you want to see it, say so.) Yes, you no doubt just dashed off your question without trying to make it perfect, but it contains a *lot* of errors.

    Here’s how the publishing business works. Publishers and agents who accept unsolicited manuscripts read pages. When they see an outright mistake, their editor antennae spring up looking for more. If they find one or two more in rapid succession, that’s it. You’re rejected. They didn’t read far enough to know whether you have fascinating characters in a compelling plot.

    If this question is typical of manuscript quality, they may not have finished page one. Ouch, huh?

    So what should you do with your novel that’s your best work yet? Not pay to publish, for sure. A vanity press is always a mistake.

    What you do—what you, personally, *need* to do—is set it aside while you up your game by learning to write better, to self-edit, to master grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, word usage, all of it. (I’m appalled that your school failed to teach you this, but never mind that. Let’s focus on now.)

    You can take writing classes at a community college. You can buy a grammar book and go through it slowly, literally learning everything in it. (If you choose that, I have recommendations.) You can join serious critique and writing sites and get feedback from people who know their stuff. You can seek a local in-person writing group when COVID lets up.

    What I strongly advise against is presuming that this novel as it’s now written has a shot. It's clear some of the rules of commas, for instance, are unknown to you, and the absent or wrong ones are going to get you another rejection.

  • 2 months ago

    If I were you I'd keep a hold of it for winter-time as it could come in useful in the dark times that are coming to help heat your place of residence.

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  • 2 months ago

    Have you had beta-readers on you manuscript? Maybe it can be improved further?

    5 standard rejections doesn't mean anything, neither does 10 or even 15, but if you're getting more than that without a single personal rejection, then it could be a quality issue. 

    I would not let it sit for a few years and then let it make the rounds again. If it doesn't have a taker now, then chances are it won't have a taker then, and most agents and traditional publishers frown at being sent an unaltered piece that they have already rejected.

    Otherwise, yes, you could self-publish, but don't use a vanity publisher. Amazon's KDP is a good place to start.

    If you have a poor manuscript published that got some attention for all the wrong reasons, you might want to consider using a pen name.

  • 2 months ago

    Get a ISBN # and register it and go to and get a few copies made for $5 each......from there you can self publish and get some one to proof read it could get it edited but nothing is free .....

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