I'm in the process up winding up the plot on my seventh novel, which is in the detective/mystery genre.
It's not surprising that we are running up against the old quandary, the question of whether or not to submit it to a publisher.
Major publishers often require an agent, and I don't have an agent. One publisher in particular, specifically mentions in their submision guidelines, 'no self-published authors need apply,' and that seems pretty clear to me. I'm not going to adopt a pen-name and submit anyway, because that would be dishonest.
If I did submit the book to a major publisher, bear in mind this is a first draft at this point, and of course they are looking for 'completed projects.' The trouble here is that I might not hear back from them for eight months to a year, and of course I would be fiddling with my book during that time. How could I possibly claim that it is 'complete?' I can't, can I? It's a first draft, and subbing now just to save time could so easily backfire.
Also, while many authors make simultaneous submissions all over the place in hopes of getting at least one hit fairly quickly, I tend to figure out who I would like to publish my book and then submit it to them. Then I just sit and wait. (Or fiddle with the book.)
Let's assume that in six months I get a response, and then they want to see the whole manuscript. That's fine, but it will be at least a year before my new book hits the bookstore shelves, and another six months before I see any revenue from the sales of my book.
I would hate like hell to have to wait anything up to two and a half years for a rejection slip, although others have waited longer. Assuming the first six publishers reject you, you could go three to five years without any joy, and that's clearly a waste of time. Also, after fifteen years on disability here in Ontario, I live one step from homelessness at all times. Where in the heck would you sent a rejection slip, or more optimistically, how would you contact me if you were interested?
The problem is we aren't getting any younger. While I have 'the rest of my life ahead of me,' there is no way to tell just exactly how long that is going to be, which is always an important consideration.
As yet, there is no decision, but if anyone wants me to submit my book, you had better be talking a hefty advance, or I just don't want to mess with you. Life is too short for that sort of nonsense.
It's too much aggravation, and to go and get ripped off or lose my rights in some bankruptcy kerfuffle just isn't going to happen.
Note: 'Redemption: an Inspector Gilles Maintenon mystery' is now available from Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel Books, Sony, Baker-Taylor, Createspace, Indigo/Chapters, and other fine online bookstores.
Here it is on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006G583XE
Here it is at Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/redemption-louis-bertrand-shalako/1108022269
The book has been getting some good reviews, and some other, reasonably good reviews.
A brief note: I have been offered four contracts by vanity publishers. Once I realized who they were, I jsut walked away.
I have no regrets about that. It was the right thing to do, and a sound business decision. I can't advise other writers what to do. Everyone has different goals and expectations for their work.