My memory’s been pretty horrible lately, so I really can’t remember how much I’ve talked about what’s been going on with my novel (Project E). In case I forgot to explain anything at all:
I submitted Project E directly to an indie publisher in January, and I expect to hear back from them in May (maybe this month if I’m super lucky). Hopefully before I graduate and leave campus. I’ll be honest; the waiting game has been pretty brutal. Especially since I basically failed my initial goal of getting Project E at least under contract for publishing during my last year of law school, so that I’d have something to keep me excited during the final slog to graduation (though, in hindsight, it was probably unrealistic, given that I had no connections and was going into the publishing process cold).
Sometimes I waffle about whether it was the “right” decision to submit Project E to an indie publisher instead of query more agents. After all, I want to eventually have a career as an author, and traditional publishing is still the best way to do that (I don’t write quickly enough to make a living from self-publishing/indie publishing). But I also think it’s not a bad thing to publish Project E specifically in the LGBTQ fiction niche—I’d get to bring racial diversity and an asexual romance where sex isn’t required to that genre, which are both things that genre is currently sorely lacking.
…Though, on the flip side, one of the problems with submitting Project E to the niche queer fiction (specifically M/M romance) audience that I worry about is that there is an expectation among that audience that there will be sex scenes, to put it kindly. I’m not kidding; I see over and over again in Goodreads reviews “[low rating] because there wasn’t sex/the sex was off-screen” or, conversely, “there was just enough steam to keep me happy” (implying that the book would’ve been rated lower or considered unsatisfactory if there was no sex).
Basically, I want Project E to be published, but I also hope it’ll be well-received, or at least not criticized for shallow reasons such as “didn’t have any sex, 1/5 stars.”
And while I’m still waiting, it’s way too easy to get sucked into the negative downward spirals of wondering “What if I’m not good enough?” Especially since I wasn’t able to find an agent. “What if people hate my premise?” “What if the no sex really is a deal-breaker?” “What if it’s too dark for people?”
Sigh. Fingers crossed…