I have finally submitted my full-length poetry manuscript to Jacar Press. I was very impressed with Sandy Longhorn's The Girlhood Book of Prairie Myths, both the poems themselves and the book as a physical artifact. The submission fee of $15 is very reasonable, and the press also considers the non-winners for possible publication.
I rarely submit to a press that charges a fee unless I get a book in return, but for $15, I'll do it. If the fee was $30, I would likely not submit.
I am not the first person to observe that if I counted up all the submission fees and postage I've ever spent, I could have self-published. I could start a press of my own and publish a few other books too. The technology makes it easy.
What's not easy: having a full-time job and teaching online classes as a part-time job and having writing assignments for the Living Lutheran site and still having time to self-publish. I'd like a press to make some of those decisions: what paper to use and how to format the text and making sure it all looks right on the page. I am willing to do a lot of the promotion, but the actual production is the tough part for me to undertake.
After all, I've had my manuscript ready to go (I had to create an anonymous copy and a copy with a variety of information included) for several weeks, but finding time to actually complete the submission didn't happen until this morning. The time crunch that is my life makes me decide, at this point, not to self-publish. I just don't have the time for that sustained focus that self-publishing would take.
It won't always be this way, but it is now. Happily, a writing life can still be constructed with the bits of time I have. I wrote a poem this morning. I submitted a manuscript. Yesterday, I had lunch with my writer friend, and we brought short stories we had written.
She's a friend who works at the same place that I do, which makes it a bit easier to connect and exchange fiction. I have other writing friends, and coordinating schedules to find time for lunch is tougher.
I am hoping the time will soon be coming when we coordinate time to do readings and sell books. Should I be so lucky as to have a new book, I will clear time for those efforts.
But for now, I will keep making these small efforts in a similar direction, each day, trusting the trajectory I have chosen.