Some authors (and no matter what some say, as long as you write and continue to do so, you are an author) are afraid to send in their prized manuscript, the one they've slaved over to make every line perfect. I'll admit, at one point, I was one of those authors. But then a friend convinced me to give it a try. And even though I've now got enough rejections to paper my walls, it was worth it.
So you've got an amazing manuscript, but you don't want to send it to an agent or editor at a publishing house. Why not?
Is it different?
Don't worry about that. There are some publishing houses that thrive on the different instead of the commercial.
Are you embarrassed over what you've written? Or afraid someone else will be if they knew it was you?
I have a very simple solution for you. Submit it under a pen name. The editor will still know your name, but you'll be stating that you're "writing as" so and so. Some authors (especially those writing erotic romance) will publish under a name that isn't their own. Don't worry about trying to operate under two separate identities. Over time, you'll grow accustomed to your second name. You'll grow into it. And there's nothing wrong with writing under a pen name—for one, you'll never have to change it if you get married or divorced.
What else is stopping you from sending out your manuscript? Are you afraid you aren't good enough?
News flash: you won't know if your manuscript is good enough for a particular publishing house until you try. And I should remind you that even if you do happen to get a rejection, it isn't necessarily because your story wasn't good enough. That's doubly true for print publishers. Sometimes, it just doesn't fit with their program or it sounds too similar to something else they're publishing.
But the only person who can tell you that your manuscript "isn't good enough" is you. Everything can be fixed with enough work. If you truly think that your story isn't good enough, you should find out why you think that way and fix it! If you can't find anything to fix (and neither can your critique partners or beta readers), it's time to send that story out. That is, if you have dreams of being a published author.
I'll be honest, I once didn't. At one time, it was enough for me to write stories that I loved to read and tuck them away in a drawer—or hand them over to close friends and family members. But if you think your story deserves to be shared with more than just a handful of people (and most writers, at some point, do), maybe you should try sending out that prized manuscript. If you're a paranormal romance writer, chances are you're a paranormal romance reader, too. So research who your favorite authors have published with. Start there. Or view my useful links page at the side. You'll find plenty of places to submit to. All you need to do is choose the one your manuscript will fit with the best.
Then you need to develop the courage to send it out.
Join me next week as I talk about ghosts!