How I got published Part 2.
Rejected by an agent but at least with a full manuscript, I tried the traditional route of contacting agents. I lost count of how many I submitted my novel to, but the ones that replied said thanks but no.
With my confidence seriously dented, I returned to Authonomy. The idea behind the site was to find great new work. It did it by giving writers the chance to read and rate other authors' work. Highly rated books rose up a chart and if it reached the top 5 slot, it was offered a review by a Harper Collins editor.
I soon realised it was a game that needed to be played. To get up the chart you had to get a lot of reviews, and to do that, you had to ask other writers. Some were happy to do it, others requested a review in return. I read and reviewed more work than I care to remember, but eventually my book started to get into double digits.
Finally, after months of work, I made it to the top 5. The first few chapters of my novel digitally disappeared to Harper Collins and then I waited. It took a few more months to get a response, but when it came, it was a very exciting request for the full manuscript. I sent it off and waited again.
When the reply came, it contained these magical words...
The editor said it would be submitted to the next meeting to be considered for publication, but I didn't hang about. I wrote to a handful of agents and a small publisher. I included the Hemingway comment and asked if they thought I should find an agent. Five out of five requested a full manuscript within the day. Three out of five requested a meeting. Two agents and a small publisher wanted to take me on.
I chose the agent I liked the most. Her name was also Diana and she said she liked my story very much. She started talking to publishers about it, and for a while, things looked promising.