Where to from here for an unpublished author?

More than three different versions of the same story. At least eight drafts (possibly more, I completely lost track). A couple of characters written out entirely, while others stepped in to fill a bigger role. 12 months of putting words onto a page to create an entire novel out of nothing more than an idea in my mind.
Here I am now, an unpublished writer with bundle of papers and an ambitious dream of finding someone to turn it into a book.
I hope to be published traditionally, don’t we all? I have a list of publishing houses I am researching individually to find the one that best fits my book. Then it’s off to the slush pile, where all hopefully manuscripts go in search of a soul who sees their potential. The “Slush Pile” is what publishers call the collection of unsolicited manuscripts they receive.
The best use of time while your manuscript is being considered is to work on your author platform. Important for making connections and finding readers. It’s time to stop focusing on me and focus on you!
I think the most important thing to remember at this stage in producing a manuscript is to remember your options. There are so many ways to get your story to readers in 2016. Every reject is just a step closer to finding the right place for you book, and there is one. That’s what I’m telling myself in the lead up, hopeful that my ego can take it and I’ll still be as confident in a few months.
While publishing traditionally has always been an ambition of mine, I would consider self-publishing as another option. If you truly believe in your writing and that your novel is one that needs to be read, you will be willing to do what it takes to make your dream a reality.
So, from here it takes patience, an unwavering belief in yourself and remembering that all published authors began somewhere. I’m not giving up yet.

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