The literary agents like the writing but don't think it's a big blockbuster of a novel, so it's time to take the next step.
I picked out two independent publishers who handle the sort of genre that might define my old, dusty manuscript. The first three chapters of that beloved relic are on their way.
Here I go into a new level of waiting. The small presses are swamped with manuscripts from unagented authors, and it can be anywhere from six months to a year before I'd hear back.
A bit of a slog, when you compare it to the three weeks I'm willing to wait on a literary agent with an e-query, but what's to be done? If I don't try a small press, I might as well tuck the novel back under the bed to collect more dust.
There is, of course, the completely independent route of self-publishing, but I don't have the time or the skill to do my own marketing.
At the rate of four submissions per year, I might manage to occupy my mind while I keep writing the next manuscript that's sure to be published because it's got to be better than the one before it.
This writing and submitting business is an absolute addiction.