As a writer trying to get her work published, a major step is determining your book's category.
Is it Young Adult?
Is it a Thriller?
Is it Fantasy/Paranormal?
Is it Women's Fiction?
Is it Romance? If so, what subgenre?
The advice is to go ahead and pick the category that most closely fits your work.
Okay, so I decided that since there is a love story in Playing At Love, I will push it into the Contemporary Romance category. I scoured the internet for similar works and the agents that represent them. After months (MONTHS) of pursuing the traditional method of publishing by sending out query letters that I hoped distilled the engaging essence of the book (pushing the Contemporary Romance angle) and getting just a little hope without any payoff, I decided to self-publish.
The decision meant disappointment that I wouldn't get the validation that having an agent and (hopefully) a "Big 5" publishing house would represent. It also meant I wouldn't have the marketing support that route would offer.
Daunting, to say the least. But it was also freeing, as I could - perhaps to my detriment - now describe Playing At Love in the terms that I feel better encapsulate the story lines. Because, it is not a straight category Contemporary Romance. And though the main characters are part of a rock band, it is not a Rock Star Romance (a subgenre). It's not technically Women's Fiction (or Chick-lit) since the main character is a man (and it's not necessarily light and comedic).
Playing At Love has always been hard for me to categorize. Maybe because I'm too close to it. It's ultimately about relationships - both love relationship and friendships. It's about the ways in which we hurt and heal each other. It's about what it takes to move on in life. But yet, it's also got glamorous rock band and fashion model settings which is just plain fun as the characters jet around the world and have grand experiences.
So, now my novel is available as a printed book on Amazon and as an e-book there, too, as well as on several other platforms (Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo). Yay! It's thrilling to have it completed and available. At the same time, it's incredibly difficult to get it noticed.
For now, all I can do is continue to work on the next in the series, Tangled Up In You. I will hope that my efforts here and there at self-marketing do something to lift it from the pile of so many other aspiring authors. But the odds are long. At least I can say that I have written the book I wanted to write and that I know what it is not as much as what it is. And I love it.