This latest monthlong absence from the blog had to do, again, with my book, Various Positions, which I’m glad to say is currently done, and sitting in the mailboxes of a few agents—it is off my desk, thank God, and but the reason it so completely took over my life these past few weeks is because, given that most agents ask that you allow two to six weeks before checking up about your query status, I went ahead and started shopping the book around when I still had to do revisions on the last 200 pages—and thus experienced a long helical twist of terror and delight when an agent got back to me in 24 hours requesting the full manuscript.
An unbroken succession of ten- and twelve-hour days ensued but I got the full book to her a week later.
That was two weeks ago.
I’ve gotten three rejections so far and two requests for more pages. Three red lights and two green. I’m pleased with the book and proud of the achievement but I’m keeping my hopes in check about whether it’ll catch an agent’s eye. I’ll keep querying as rejections roll in but frankly the question that’s haunting me is whether to publish it independently when/if they all pass on it. The taboo’s pretty much erased from indie publishing but I’ve noticed, when filling out submission forms on some agency websites, that they want to know if you’ve self-published a book before and, if you have, they want an idea of how it sold. So maybe self-publishing would only dig my chances of success into an even deeper hole when it comes time to shop the next book around.
Anyway: point is I’m back from the break and relieved that the book is done but I feel at the same time riven with dread at the idea that it’ll fail to get representation (even though I’m doing a pretty solid impression of someone who’s unfussed) and I’m wondering how it’ll hit me, emotionally, or how it’ll fuck with my writing, my headspace.
But in the meantime! Here we are. Hello again. Thanks for popping in. I’ll be posting a lot over the next few days. I took the last week to just write and edit and format blog posts, script a couple podcast episodes.
Whatever’s going on with the book, it’s happening somewhere else.
For the time being, I’m right here.
Congratulations one the book (so far).
I have no experience with publishing, but I shop quite a bit for Audiobooks on Amazon and they seem to do quite a lot of promotion for self-published material there. To the extent in fact that you have to be very specific in order not to be swamped in self-published stuff. I guess Amazon earns better money when there are no publishers to pay…
Thank you so much for the congrats! It was a rough road, and the book’s future is uncertain, but I’m definitely treating its completion as cause for celebration. And yeah, not only does Amazon earn more money when there are no publishers in the way–publishers earn more money if they just publish through Amazon, if they forsake printed copies for digital, because then there’s no middle-man. They don’t have to pay the printer or the bookstore: they fork over a small commission to Amazon and pocket the rest. Writers get a bigger cut of residuals too. But, stubborn as I am, I’ll always champion the traditional route.