I want better for myself. I think we all do. I want to hold myself to a higher standard. I have been torn for weeks finishing up this YA book I’m writing. I’ve never been happy with a YA I’ve finished before. This one is queer. It has a trans main character and a bisexual main character. I put a lot of my own experiences into this book, but I love it. I’ve thought really hard about self-publishing it. Self-publishing is what I’m used to. I am good at self-publishing. I have a system. But I had to ask myself, is this the best I could do for this book. I want all my books to do well, clearly, most authors do, but I also want as many queer kids to have the opportunity to see this book as possible. I want kids to recognize themselves in books like I didn’t get the chance to as a kid. Library access is huge for kids who grew up like I did as well. Self-publishing YA limits those things. It limits me being able to donate copies to youth centers as well. It limits so much.
Expecting more from yourself is hard. It’s scary. Going through the rejection process of looking for an agent or editor takes a lot of mental fortitude. Harry Potter was rejected over and over. And Stephen King talks about his years of rejections before he got his first book published. Even if a book is a great book, not everyone will think it’s great, on top of that there is less of a market for queer books, and I’m sure they are accepted less often. We’ve seen an uptick in queer books since Love Simon did so well, but it’s still a book about cis gay guys, which on the queer spectrum is the most accepted. There are people in the LGBTQA community who still hate on the T. I know this is the way the world works, but I want better for the world.
I’m going to work hard at making this book the best it can be and then working on getting it published. This, of course, doesn’t mean I can’t self publish it at some point but it may take a little longer to get your hands on this book depending on which direction I end up going with it.
If anyone has any advice or publisher/editors/agents looking for queer books let me know. I’m starting to build a list of people to send this book to.
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