For those that don't know or missed it, Rema book one is now complete and online to read!
Since finishing, I have been quietly working with my dear agent to improve the book and test the waters for submission with a publisher. After generously reading the entire thing, the book was sadly rejected by an editor I greatly respect and would like to work with one day, however this is a blessing in disguise for many reasons (thank you editor!).
Mostly, no matter how hard self publishing is, I am in control of my own schedule. Getting traditionally published means hard deadlines, and hard deadlines mean my two small kids going to daycare/preschool, which is expensive. Realistically speaking, whatever money I would make publishing as a debut author will be less than what it costs for childcare for two kids. We would lose money. While going through the motions of submission and editing, this reality completely slipped my mind until I had to look at it clearly. I am taking this rejection as a sign that the book is not ready, and neither am I.
However, this does not mean I am giving up on Rema, especially after only one rejection. My plan is to take it one step at a time. I will continue self publishing as a hobby until the children are in school -- approximately 2.5 years from now. I will release Rema as an ebook, serialize book 2 online when it is ready, and whatever funds I make from ebook sales will go towards a professional edit to improve the manuscript even more. Rema is the only story I care about right now, and it still consumes my creative mind. I am taking this opportunity to finish it while I can.
I know it seems obvious in retrospect that this book was not ready, but I had to at least try, just once. It is still a dream to reach as wide an audience as possible with Rema, because I think there are many people out there who would enjoy it and benefit from the struggles the characters endure, as I have. However, if in the end it only has a home online, I am okay with that too. I have learned so much from writing this book already, and I will have had the opportunity to share it with the readers that have stuck with Rema over the years. Those readers (you know who you are!) have made it all worthwhile. I can't wait to do it again with book 2!
So thank you friends, readers, and family for all your support over the years. I will post again when the ebook is ready and available, something I feel has been a long time coming.