I doubt whether anyone but me reads this blog, but for the record, I plan to update at least once a week, hopefully more often. I had stopped because of time constraints and priorities. My number one goal this year was to put my novel in a position to market. After countless edits, I believe it's there.
What I've (re)learned in these early days of looking to get it published is that legitimate, big-name publishing houses (Random House, Harper Collins, Viking, Warner, etc.) very rarely look at manuscripts sent directly from authors. Getting an agent, therefore, is required, and as most writers learn, it's best to be a successful writer or a celebrity before attempting to acquire literary representation. Sounds a little like "You have to be published before you can get published," doesn't it?
There are plenty of Publish On Demand and vanity press outlets eager to take a writer's money. In exchange they will provide the writer with decently bound copies of his books for friends and family. No one reviews POD books, as a rule. Promotion is pretty much left to the writer, which in a few rare cases has been quite inventive and successful. Writers so desperate to get published they go running to their nearest POD should instead absorb the wisdom of this Paula Span article in the Washington Post.
Though I'm confident I've written a good story about the Fed, it would be nice to have someone outside my circle of contacts read the manuscript. Every writer needs honest, educated feedback, and it's tough to get.