It used to be that finding an agent was the way to get your book published. Some publishers were prepared to accept unsolicited manuscripts but many weren't. I can't remember how many letters and first chapters I sent out full of hope only to get a rejection by return of post, or months later or over a year later in two cases. Did I ever get close? No, not really. Most letters I had were form rejections no matter how 'sympathetically or supportively' they were worded.
Then came the advent of digital publishing and the world changed. I redefined the genre I was prepared to write and was able to submit direct to publishers. Getting an agent lost its importance.
I still toyed with the dream for a while but I've long since given up on that and in fact, it's been overtaken by a new Holy Grail - the problem of getting reviews.
My publishers have a list of sites they submit to, but no certainty of getting your book reviewed. I can send to some sites on my own and I have done - and I'm shocked how many don't even bother to answer - even to say - no thanks. It seems many review sites have become reincarnations of the agents I used to approach.
It's a hard world out there. Word of mouth is the best way to get your book into people's lives and reviews drive that process. I'm told reviews on Amazon count the most which is more than a pity for me. My best seller Strangers - has 88 reviews on Amazon - massively more than any other of my books, but thousands of reviews on Goodreads. Ah, if only I could fix that. But I can't. All I can do is keep contacting review sites to ask for reviews. But I'm one of so many now, I'm probably buried in a different sort of slush pile. Things really haven't changed.
If anyone has any advice, please share it!!!
And because I like the cover of my book coming out in November - here it is!!!