About six months ago I started the somewhat painful process of shopping my first two novels around. Perhaps naively I just picked up a copy of the W&A Yearbook, looked up a bunch of agents who say they handle literary novels (which at the time I felt fit my work) and started submitting to them. But as I've read more and thought more, and particularly as I got a flurry of rejections, I've started feeling like I'm doing the wrong thing. You see, my work is pretty weird. I still think it's pretty good (beta readers and critiques wanted!) but I strongly doubt it's what any of these mainstream agents who handle a lot of mainstream books and the odd literary/critic focused books are likely to take on. I write character focused books revolving around weird, dark areas of human nature; certainly not everyone's cup of tea. Even putting my books in a genre is tough. There's romance in them but they certainly aren't romances. One revolves around religious people but it's absolutely not a religious book. They're just kinda sad books with grey morality and hard choices; good people struggling to handle what life throws at them, doing bad things and living with the results. Finding the right place to take them is not easy. I've tried playing up to the romance and religion to try and get a foot in the door but it has to be clear to whoever reads the samples that those elements aren't central and the books couldn't really be marketed that way. So, I ask you, fine people of the internet, where would you take weird, difficult books? To foresee a likely answer; yes I could just self-publish, no I'd rather not. Honestly I'd rather hand my work out for free than spend my free time marketing myself. Obviously it'd be nice to make money from writing but I'd rather make none and have all my free time for writing than make a little bit of money and give up a chunk of that time for marketing.