Nothing brings a smile to my face quite like a box from UPS on my porch.
Today's delivery? My copy of the 2010 Christian Writers' Market Guide by Sally Stuart. (I must interject, this woman gets some kind of medal for tackling this book every year.) I pushed the supple cover open to begin my treasure hunt through the pages within. My goal: to track down likely publisher/agent candidates to whom to send my manuscript for The Sword of the Patron.
To be fair, I am not entirely settled upon whether I will start sending the book to the four winds before Jeff Gerke of Marcher Lord Press has actually rejected it through the traditional submission channels. Since he has only had it involved in Marcher Lord Select, he hasn't actually weighed in on it. But I do need to do my due diligence on other publishing options, after all.
What I'm learning so far, however, is that the publishing options for a Christian fantasy novel aren't exactly numerous. The publishers that do take them on often don't take unsolicited submissions or at least unagented submissions. The agents that want speculative fiction are few and far between...and they crop up between a forest of agents that write on their websites "interested in all genres EXCEPT: Sci-Fi/Fantasy."
I suppose the bright side to all this is that I won't be overwhelmed with options when it comes to sending out my materials. The negative? I won't have a big trove of choices when sending out my materials. But discouragement will gain no foothold here at the beginning of my journey, as much as it tries to sink it's little grappling hook into my soul and cling to me. After all, I'm only in the "h's" or so of the agent listings, so I'm sure I'll be able to put a little star next to a few more names before I finish that chapter of the book.
Let the journey begin.