Just a bit about my journey to Scarsdale
So, I'm sure that many of you are familiar with Twitter pitch events. If you aren't, basically unagented authors pitch their manuscripts and agents have the opportunity to read them and like the ones they're interested in. I had participated in a few with Bonds of Blood and Magic but nothing really solid came from it. In October 2019 (I think) I participated in #dvpit and I got a like from Scarsdale publishing. I honestly hadn't considered submitting directly to a small press. The focus is getting an agent, you know? But, I checked them out and I figured I might as well go for it. So, I sent in a query and in November they requested the full manuscript. This is another example of how long publishing can take (not complaining, it's just how it is). A week before my birthday in April, they emailed asking if I'd like to turn it into a whole series and I was like YES, OF COURSE, ANYTHING THAT YOU'D LIKE lol. I signed a contract with them in May and we're going through the editing process now. I'm learning a lot about writing but editing also hurts my heart haha.
So, if you can, think about submitting to smaller publishers. Working with professional editors is really awesome and you'll gain a lot of valuable experience. It will be good for your writing in the long term.