I'd learned that you must have a social media account with at least 2,000 followers and a well-established email list before you could have a chance at being traditionally published.
Now I learn that's true if you're writing non-fiction, not fiction. To be published in fiction, you just need to write it, have it professionally edited (Sorry, friends/family don't count even if their job is being an editor), write a query letter, and pray.
If I had known this sooner, I could've saved my boyfriend and myself about three thousand dollars.
Chalk it up to learning pains.
Lucia Sugafield, still kicking myself in the rear.