I received the latest rejection for The Novel That Came From Chaos. [Yes, pictured above] It came back so fast that I’m pretty sure this particular publisher has hired some new editors to help with the slush. (This is judging by stories/blog entries I’ve read about others submitting to this particular publisher. This is obviously also a charitable and optimistic assumption on my part that assumes they didn’t get bored by page three.)
They also had the kindest, most specific form letter I’ve ever seen. As I read it, I was surprised to find that the kindness actually made a difference, even though it was still a form letter. Damn you, silly fragile ego. (Also, nowhere did they say, “DeNIED, BiATCH.” Which was extra nice of them.)
Two more publishers on my submissions list, and after that, I’m not sure what to do with it. I can think of two options:
A) Self-publish on someplace like Amazon or Smashwords. I absolutely get why people do this. They might have a blog/podcast/online following full of folks interested in buying their book, and self-publishing would bring a legitimate profit. Or they might just want a physical book to give or sell to family and friends. They might know awesome artists and designers who are willing to do cover and layout for cheap. They might know editors. I certainly know some awesome people who read early and late drafts of my novel, and gave me loads of invaluable crit.
But I’m not interested in going the self-publishing route, unless it would be to publish the thing chapter-by-chapter here, where it would just be The Free Novel That Came From Chaos and open to all sorts of feedback, laughter, etc. Although not THAT much, judging by my stats and my own unwillingness to market my blog properly. You know, like a professional who stays on-topic and writes thought-provoking posts and basically does not treat their blog like an off-market playplace where they showcase cute dog pics. Perhaps I need to hire all the spammers who submit their five-paragraph form comments about how their SEO skills will totally optimize my blog.
B) Start submitting to agents already. Some might say that should’ve been my first move. I do wonder if I did pick up an agent, and they helped me edit or make substantial changes, and then they submitted it around, if publishers would say, “Oh hell no, I remember this Soul Killing Slogfest when I saw it on the slush pile.”
Which hilariously assumes that I’d get an agent, and that they’d submit it to the same places, and that those places would even freaking remember it. Talk about counting your chickens. (Which I just misspelled as “hicckens.” Hicckens are another story, and notoriously difficult to keep track of and/or get rid of. They just keep multiplying, stopping short of nothing except a glass of water to the head. Another dangerous near miss and save, thanks to autocorrect!)
Anyhoo, what am I forgetting about? Any tips and suggestions for query-writing? (Other than just do it; yes, I’m all aboard the Train to Ephesus, yo.) I’m already a lurker over at Agent Query. And I just saw this today, which I shall be reading after work:
And of course, I’m working on the next one. Happily, it’s going a lot faster than TNTCFC.