Welp, that didn’t go how I thought it would. I heard back from 4 of the 5 publishing pros on Reedsy that I contacted yesterday, and the quotes I received ranged from $60 to $500.

What?

They all got the same project summary from me, requesting a query letter review, but only one of them didn’t change the project scope in their proposal, and I’m frustrated.

One of them started proofreading my writing sample in their reply. While I appreciate the extra labor and the helpful intent, that’s a completely separate process.

Thanks, but no.

One of them told me, “I normally charge $325, but for you $225” and I felt like I was buying art off a poorly-lit boat from some character named Redd (or purchasing a used car from some dude with a combover wearing a leisure suit if you don’t play Animal Crossing).

And I’m sorry. What is happening right now?

And another was like, “I’ll write the query myself, and you can use it or not.” (That was the one that cost $500 because it required reading my entire manuscript.)

What? No.

No no no no no.

Suddenly there are four new carts in front of one poor, befuddled horse.

I’ll think about what to do, but I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. I was hoping to pay for help simplifying the query process, and now it’s exponentially more complicated to me. Do. Not. Want.

Should I query agents without feedback on my pitch first? Do I not know how to do this, or do I lack confidence? Both? Publishing could be rewarding, but it’s sounding pretty costly to me in terms of energy expenditures.

Even if I managed to find a self-publishing company I trusted (y’all know I have battle scars there), I don’t really want to manage the process.

Sometimes it’s easier not to have goals.

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