Agents and Indies and Self-publishing oh-my!

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As I patiently move through line edits and more rounds of read-throughs of Wine Bottles and Broomsticks and begin seriously plotting the second book in the Rick Basket series, rather a lot of my mental energy is being wasted on the question ‘what comes next?’ I mean, after final revisions and copy-editing and things. I’ve thought I’d been to this point before, but not really. This time though, I really am. If all goes well I’ll be sitting with a full draft in a few weeks.

Obviously, I really want to get this thing published, you know, like a regular book – but HOW?

It seems like every writer out there has a completely different and thoroughly justifiable position on this.

The most promising initial path I’ve got for this project and where I want to take it is to try and connect with an agent. Of course, I’m completely unknown, don’t have any proven track record of selling books or meeting deadlines. Not only that, I’ve got to find a person I can trust and works in good faith and also won’t deadbeat me. It’s scary and, I suspect, very hard.

Another path, the sort of knee-jerk path, it seems, is to just start firing the manuscript off to various publishing houses. I have serious doubts I’d even manage to get read, let alone get signed. To make it worse, if I do manage to get a contract, I’m likely as not to screw it up and kill the project before it really gets off the ground. It’s my biggest fear in taking the next step here, actually. I like writing these characters and I want to keep doing that. It would really suck for me if I got derailed because of my own stupidity.

The last approach is self-publishing – a highly popular and sometimes successful way to go. The problem is that I don’t have much time and I certainly don’t have a lot of cash, so while I could self-publish, the amount of advertising I could do is pretty minimal. This, actually, doesn’t help either. It’ll be out there, sure, but I won’t be able to tell people who actually want to hear it’s out there that it is. Plus, and this is an ego thing, I won’t be able to walk into Barnes and Noble or the local indie store and find it on the shelf.

So, here I sit, heartburn chewing up my insides staring cross-eyed at a manuscript trying to viciously eliminate passive voice and unnecessary dialogue tags while stretching my plot-holes into compelling story that gets me over the 80K mark (77.6K at last count). Sigh – Any agents out there want to take a look? No? Well, had to ask.


photo credit: The Printing Press via photopin (license)

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Taking a different direction

I made the decision to pull Wine Bottles & Broomsticks off of channillo.com today. In large part, the decision was based around packaging and marketing the book as a whole rather than one chapter at a time (I’m going to pack this up as a novel and put it out there that way) When I first started writing it, the story was just supposed to be a fun little jaunt into unfamiliar territory. As these things sometimes go, I fell in love with the characters and the concept and I’m neck deep in finishing it as a novel and drafting a second one. I’m going to put it out in this format. I’ve got a strategy for getting there, but it’s far too early to say how that’s all going to play out. In any case, the book will be available at some point. I don’t know when, but I have the means to carry it off regardless.

I have no particular beefs about channillo.com. Like any publication, you’ve got to really work hard at advertising and selling yourself. Something I didn’t do after the first few chapters. This is not so much because I’m lazy as because I started to feel that this change in direction was inevitable and I didn’t want to invest too much in a platform I was going to abandon anyhow. Had this been any other story, I’d likely have stayed with channillo, for a whole variety of reasons, but for now, I had to bow out. Perhaps someday, I’ll spin up another series to kick out there, but for now, it’s single minded focus on selling Wine Bottles and Broomsticks as a novel.

Progress Report – Wine Bottles & Broomsticks

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I haven’t made nearly as much progress as I’d have liked after the first full draft was completed. My goal was to have it revised by last week, but that just didn’t happen. Work, side projects and working-out have gotten in the way. This weekend wasn’t any different. Yesterday I spent two hours at the gym, then we did a family day – movies & dinner. After a gentle prod from the twitterverse, I got kicked into high gear again and sat down to continue revising. So far, I’ve written 3 new chapters and extended another one by about a thousand words. Today’s goal, after laundry, shopping, and cooking is to work those three chapters in and finish revising and first-round editing the final third of the book.

Considering that the last book I tried to write took about 10 years to finish and I haven’t even thought about hitting it again for revisions, this is excellent progress for me. For those interested, I am planning a second book and there is a lot of material in this one that will feed into the second. For the second, I’ve got a basic outline, a few scenes have been sketched and there’s a theme I’m working around. So, all-in-all, not much to show, yet, but I’m working on it.

When I get this one buttoned up for a 2nd full draft, you’ll hear me crowing all about it. So, back to it…