OK, I need to give us a little more credit! Although my aunt is a new author, she has been journaling almost daily for many years now, and although I am not a published author, I have dabbled some in writing and actually have a few ideas for some future projects!
I was given this story about 2 years ago now and started researching how to get a book published. I joined writing clubs, talked with friends, made new friends, read books, blogs, and articles on how to prepare a manuscript to send to publishers and/or agents - because of course this story would be published by one of the big publishing companies and we would be fighting off the paparazzi!!...and of course trying to find ways to manage all of the money!!
Well after much research and learning that even best-selling, well-known authors have a hard time getting a book published, I realized that this was not going to be the fun and easy project I had imagined! Even just the "simple" task of preparing the story as a "manuscript" to be submitted was a huge project itself. I did some editing of the story, sent it back and forth a few times to my aunt, asked a few family members to read it, and edited some more. I learned that there were many, many publishing companies but most have very specific submission requirements. That's IF they will even accept unsolicited manuscripts from unknown authors. Realizing there would be extensive research to find specific publishers or agents to submit to, whether we would go with a publisher or an agent, and how hard it all would be for someone with no prior experience to have our story even looked at, never mind published - I kind of put it all on the back burner, maybe secretly hoping that someone else would take over the project. The whole thing seemed so impossible and so I set my focuses elsewhere and the story got set on a shelf to collect dust.
Sadly, although I thought we had a nice story, I didn't think there was anything else we could do at this point. I still poked around here and there and tried to get different ideas. I eventually did submit the work to a couple of agents and got no response. I was hoping for at least some kind of feedback, but I really wasn't expecting it. I have heard stories of well-known authors submitting their work and getting no response. Of course there was the hope that someone would read it and be so excited that Disney or Random House would contact us right away for movie rights!, but in the real world that just doesn't happen. So, again, at least we had tried but I did not want to spend years sending the story over and over to different publishers and agents. Each publisher or agent usually requested a different format or submission requirements.
I had started learning about the self-publishing option, but that costs money and if we have a good story, why should we have to pay to get it published? We would have to do all the work ourselves and we wanted to just get the book out there!
Back to the shelf...