The jury seems conflicted on this. I put my heart and soul into my novel, carried my characters in the pockets of my brain for years. As my manuscript sits in a file, I miss them. I wrote the novel online– on a diary site, and asked for it to be removed. I revised it on another, and asked that it be removed. I tried submitting to traditional pulishers, but most don't want simultaneous submissions. It is just as hard to get an agent, and I don't know how much control I want to give up anyway.
I am seriously considering hiring a cover artist, an editor, and possible marketing assistance. I am not expecting to be the next JK Rowling, but I'd like to be heard, introduce more people to the ones I've created. Set my characters free to prove themselves, show that I believe in them before anyone else does.
My novel is about 65,000 words – was not elligible for first chapters, because my first chapter was 25 pages. Breaking it up was not an option due to the structure. With a couple exceptions the book follows alternatingly the points of view of a nine year old girl, Jennie and her twenty-six year old aunt who has assumed guardianship after the girl is orphaned. The aunt, Lucy, has to return to the small Minnesota town and the farm she grew up on to retrive her niece and take her back to Minneapolis. Jennie's mother had been very conservative and paranoid about city life, and Jennie is marked with this attitude. Lucy has to balance her desire to respect her sister's values without neglecting the more open-minded values she has come to obtain since escaping from home at the age of sixteen. She also must face unresolved issues with her ex-boyfriend and constant childhood presense Denny, who has gotten very close to Jennie.
I know people have self-pulished with varied levels of success. Any suggestions, advice before I proceed?