Ready or Not – Print Edition: Still delayed

Ready or Not (concept only)For those who prefer a nice physical, bound book to hold in their hands … I’m sorry but I’m still working on that for Ready or Not.

Theoretically this should be ridiculously easy and all, but Createspace is what I go through for the print because it’s the highest quality Print On Demand publishing service after Lightning Source, which I’d prefer to use but lack the Photoshop skills necessary to get the cover and page layout right in a single go and thus would get obscenely expensive.  Problem is, though, that Createspace apparently hates me.  It’ll lay the pages out pretty neatly while I’m experimenting along the way still writing the book and such; then I upload the final document file which, in theory, ought to be perfect since I’ve been testing along the way … … … random badness happens.  In this case it keeps setting the pages several inches too high up and to the right.

So far I’ve found all the things not causing that.  I pray it’ll only be another few days to a week before it’s up, but it could be as many as two or three more weeks.

I’d go with a publisher and save myself these headaches, but I’d be simply trading them in for different headaches.  At least this way I keep full control and don’t have to worry about some artist getting strange ideas about what my covers should look like (for those who think an author has control of her cover art through most publishers, all I can say is, “that is adorably naïve, honey.”), higher royalties, an editor I know well and trust not to decide to rewrite the book for me (yes, it happens), and control over release date (sort of).

Indie Author Land interview

header_2So today if you visit Indie Author Land you’ll find an interview of yours truly.  Though, in frank honesty, there’s nothing in that interview that the regulars here don’t already know, those newer folks can drop by there and learn a little about my book and myself.

Everyone should go there and check out the site for all the other people they’ve interviewed.  A lot of talent and amazing people out there who’ve elected to eschew the traditional publishing model and this is another avenue for finding them and learning that their work exists so that we might purchase and appreciate it.

So, go forth, enjoy.  Read.  Just don’t forget, whatever you find there and decide to buy, rate them.  From wherever you buy their book leave a rating, maybe even a review, but certainly a rating.  Even if you don’t get it on Amazon try to leave a rating there — it has profound impact on their visibility there.

UPADTE: as of right now the interview isn’t up, but neither is anything else dated 24 June.  Either they’re just this side of the international date line, or they haven’t discovered the wonders of scheduled posting (I see that their site is powered by WordPress, same as mine).  Either way, I shall recheck the site periodically and link back as soon as there’s a link to provide.

UPDATE:  Well, it’s definitely the 24th for the bloggers over at Indie Author Land — there’ve a paranormal story dated today posted now.  Not to mention the fact that I believe it is now today everywhere except the few places creeping up on tomorrow.  I’ll be contacting them shortly to find out if there has been a reschedule or other problem that I was either not contacted about, or that got eaten by my email’s spam filter.

UPDATE:  Or I could go to the site to contact them — sincerely I did believe something had gone wrong or simply been rescheduled without my knowing — and saw my lovely cover sitting there!  So, the link:  http://www.indieauthorland.com/archives/4247

Finally on Kobo

150x40_koboAny Kobo users out there?

Love or Lust can now be found there!

Editing is going well

Love or Lust is going according to schedule.  I’m actually a little upset about this; I’d hoped I was being pessimistic when I decided on the schedule I gave myself.  Still, could be worse.

I will be updating the sample tomorrow or Wednesday — I hope.  I certainly will have it updated sometime before 4 July.

The pricing for the eBook still isn’t completely decided.  I’m considering us$4.99 (and comparable pricing across other currencies in other countries), us$3.99, or us$1.99.   I’m also seriously considering making it 99¢ for the first couple of weeks or so.

Either way I will do random discount codes, including free vouchers, for the eBook in blog posts during the month of July for the various eBook stores that give such options.

Release date selected

Love or Lust coverAfter carefully considering my rate of proofreading, the rate I ought to be proofreading, and the amount of work it will take to make the book ready for publication I have decided that the release date for Love or Lust will be 29 June 2013.

I will be making the final uploads on the evening/afternoon of the 28th so it’s possible that some sources (e.g. Smashwords) might have it sooner — and, sadly, a few (e.g. iBooks) might show it a bit later than that.  It can’t be helped, but Amazon, Nook, Kobo, CreateSpace, etc. should all take about 12 – 24 hours to actually make the book available, so we’ll call it the next day.

Keep a careful watch on the blog — the folks reading regularly may get a discount/free copy from one or more of the sources in the form of coupon codes or redemption vouchers.  It might just randomly be at the end of, or in the comments of a post one day.  Just a little gift from me to you.

I will probably, at some point in the year, do both a sale or two or an outright giveaway.  These will be announced as their own post.  I also intend to create a Goodreads give away (in fact I should have done that yesterday, but I kind of forgot about it).

I’m also looking around for reviewers.  Feel free, please, to recommend your favourite ones in the comments below, or here.  I was going to tackle a place I’ve discovered called The Indie View which looks fairly promising.  I don’t believe they actually do reviews, rather they’re more of a portal to fine reviewers more easily in much the same way as QueryTracker acts to help one find an agent or publisher.

I’m so excited I feel ill.  I wonder — did Arthur C Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, or any other prolific author feel like this on every book?  I assume, naturally, we all feel like this on our earliest works, but after 25?  50?  100?  I guess I shall have to try to attain such a lofty back catalogue to find out.

Difficult decisions, difficult thoughts

You’re no doubt tired of hearing about this; I know I’m tired of thinking about it.

I’ve reached a final decision regarding Now & Forever‘s publication: I’m going to just put it out myself.

This really wasn’t an easy decision. By making it I am shutting myself out, completely, from certain sales channels – and things like the Scholastic Book Fair is not something to be set aside lightly if one is trying to write YA fiction. I’m also shutting myself out of some marketing channels – just TRY to find a reviewer willing to touch something self-published.

Still, YA romance readers are unlikely to be reading literary review blogs and mags, so no huge loss. The scholastic thing … well, no guarantee I could convince my publisher or agent to make the fight to carry my book there (unless it’s changed a lot since my days in school, I can’t imagine them happily taking a lesbian romance with a cheery smile).

Publishers don’t put forth enough promotion effort to be worth continued headache looking for an agent who then would have to find a publisher and … with some luck, hopefully by being out sooner I will make up for the loss of being on a Barnes & Noble shelf – the only part that really stings in this decision. Well, that and the prospect of an advance – given how my truck’s been behaving of late, that cash in hand would have been nice … though slow to arrive, I suppose.

As a result expect Love or Lust by the end of this month. When? I’ll get you a better estimate as soon as I can. It could stand one more scan for typos. Some rather silly ones slipped through the cracks somehow.

There’ll be a print edition via CreateSpace. I don’t know, yet, if I’ll bother with the expanded distribution at first or not. Feedback on how much people would rather order it from somewhere other than the CreateSpace store and Amazon will help with that – meaning, if you have an opinion, now is a great time to voice it.

There’ll be eBooks for: NOOK, Kindle, iBooks, and Kobo. There’ll also be copies available through Smashwords and a place called DriveThru Fiction. If you have a different preferred source of eBooks now is a great time to name it. These are all the ones I’m familiar with is the reason for their inclusion, I’ve no qualms adding to the list.

Pricing I’m still thinking about. The print edition pretty much has to be us$10, given the length of the book. The eBook, though? Well, I think most retailers make the minimum 99¢. I’ve contemplated this price – certainly keeps it in my budget. There’s much debate over how seriously people take books at that price point. Thus I’m considering as high as us$5.99.

Feedback helps. If you have an opinion on pricing, say. I’m listening. Don’t want to say publicly in the comments? Contact me.

The sample chapters are, and ever will be available. So, give them a look. Given that this is a YA series, feedback on stores and pricing from parents or teens is doubly hoped for.

Some advice from an agent

Recently I decided to present my mental chaos to a professional.  Agent, not psychiatrist, I mean.  From Query Tacker I found Ms Jordy Albert of The Booker Albert Literary Agency.  As she kindly presented some very helpful answers I decided I would share them with you all.

First, a little about the agent.

Jordy Albert is a Literary Agent and co-founder of The Booker Albert Literary Agency. She holds a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University, and a M.A. from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. She has worked with Marisa Corvisiero during her time at the L. Perkins Agency and the Corvisiero Literary Agency. Jordy also works as a freelance editor/PR Director. She enjoys studying languages (French/Japanese), spends time teaching herself how to knit, is a HUGE fan of Doctor Who, and loves dogs.

She is looking for stories that capture her attention from beginning to end; stories that have heart, and characters that are hard to forget. She loves intelligent characters with a great sense of humor. She would love to see fresh, well-developed plots featuring travel with unique, exotic settings, competitions, or time travel. Jordy is specifically looking for:

* Middle Grade: contemporary, fantasy, action/adventure, or historical.
* YA: sci-fi, dystopian/post-apocalyptic, contemporary, historical–Though I am open to looking at other sub-genres, I’m looking for YA that has a very strong romantic element.
* NEW ADULT CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
* Romance (contemporary and historical).
** I am open to YA LGBT, and would love to see a YA or NA romance set during WWII (and/or the 1920s) with a time travel element.

Please do not send:

* short stories
* non-fiction
* poetry
* mystery/thrillers, or suspense.

E-mail Jordy at [email protected]
Befriend Jordy on Facebook
Follow Jordy on Twitter

And now the Q&A:

Ms Albert,

I’m an author with a dilemma and would appreciate your professional take on a matter if I may have a moment to trouble you for it, please.

I’ve begun a four book series.  Two books are written, one could be published tomorrow if I chose to self-publish it.  This one, though, is presenting my dilemma.  I know nothing about the YA/Teen market (and haven’t a clue what this “New Adult” mentioned on your agency’s site even is), I know nothing about the market for romantic-comedies.  Or, more to the point, I’ve researched it enough to know:  I’m really confused.

New Adult is a relatively new genre, but it has gained momentum in the last year. In fact, a number of self-published New Adult titles have gone on to do amazingly well. New Adult falls in the age range 18-25 (college age or just out of college).

On one hand I’ve found a lot of things saying there’s nothing a traditional publisher + agent can offer me that isn’t perfectly counterable with a plus of being self-published.  On the other I’ve learnt that this may not be true.  I’d appreciate the voice of experience to untangle this nonsense.

Examples:

“You get no more or better promotion from a publisher — they just stick an ad in the trade mags which are only seen by bookstore book buyers”.  A counter to that I’ve seen is that one shouldn’t underestimate the power of being on a physical bookstore shelf; something that CreateSpace can’t offer, as their sizes are non-standard and there’s nothing to influence the store’s buyer to pick it over Penguin or Tor’s latest offerings.  The counter to that, being that word of mouth is the most important thing, just get some people talking, sit back and wait.  Then there’re arguments that a good agent is also a good publicist and would get your book talked about by … Ellen, Oprah, or whomever.  I assume that’s true to some extent, but can imagine the person saying it was being overly optimistic.

Publishers have resources that an individual might not have, such as contacts as newspaper, magazines, etc….publishers also have years of experience. While the publisher does help market a title, how well the book sells or does not sell doesn’t rest solely with the publisher. It’s important to market yourself: do a blog tour, do book signings, review another authors’ work and see if they’d be willing to return the favor, have a cover reveal, etc. 

“You’ll never get a movie deal as a self-published author, no matter how well you sell.”  Now this one I did hear from someone in the publishing industry as a reason to take an agent.  Supposedly, a traditionally published book with 2000 copies sold is actually going to have less trouble selling movie rights than a self-published book on any best sellers list you care to name.

I would sort of agree, and not just about a movie deal. There are foreign rights, audio, tv, merchandise, etc. Agents will be able to negotiate to make sure you get the deal that’s in your best interests.

My own comment on this is, and was in my reply back to her:  most major self-publishing options do include foreign publication.  This is not the same as translation and what have you.  Just, take Apple iBooks for an example:  put your book up there, click a few things, and you’re in 52 countries.

“The publishers are just trying to rip you off — you’ll have to sue to see your royalty cheques.”  Now, admittedly, this was from an author who had to do just that, and then had to sue (then fire) his agent for lying about how much the royalties had been and embezzling some of that.

While I can’t say this has never happened, I think it is really rare. 

While it’s true — she has a vested interest in saying this isn’t true or is rare, but think on it this way:  she could say it’s very common — for the publishers — and that it’s a good reason to have the agent who can keep on them about it.  Either she’s none too clever or this is a perfectly legit answer.  I’m inclined to feel it’s the latter, especially since she acknowledges that it does happen.  Still, we must all make our own opinions.

And one specific to my own newest title(s):  “They’ll never accept a book over 100k words, let alone any kind of series.  You may as well DIY”  I’ve seen little to counter this, actually.  I mean, obviously, someone takes series or Twilight and Harry Potter wouldn’t be with major publishing houses.  And, unless I’m mistaken, Ms Meyers’ book 1 is quite a ways over 100k words.  Still, it does seem to be exceedingly rare.

This is somewhat true. There are exceptions to the rule, as your examples demonstrate. But an agent/editor is unlikely to look at a full manuscript if the word count is over 100k, especially if it a debut author. I’m not saying they won’t, but it would be unlikely.

Looking around you in a given work day … well … what would you say to any or all of those points?  What other critical arguments in favour of one model or another would you care to chime in on?

For a new author, I would definitely recommend trying to secure an agent. Agents will help guide your career, and steer you in the right direction. Also, while I think self-publishing is a wonderful option for an author, I think that it can saturate the market with books that might not be edited, polished, or all that well-written.

Ah, editing.  She’s right, really.  If you do not have a good friend who can edit — and I mean well — and you can’t afford the rather high prices to hire your own professional editor (one who, please remember, is only looking for you to pay them that once — they don’t have any incentive to care if your book does well as the publisher’s professional editor (theoretically) does) then I second her recommendation:  get an agent and/or publisher!  There’re books out there which could be so wonderful, but are unreadable for all the grammar, orthographic, and layout problems!

One point of my own:  I noticed you specifically are looking for YA LGBT stories.  The very few agencies or publishers I ever found looking for those directly — sans your own agency — all seemed to be the very … I tend to put it as the “We’ll get you in every gay pride store in America!” but are no more likely to get me on a B&N shelf than CreateSpace kind of crowd.  Is there any special difficulty, any special … anything … that one ought to look for or consider if their story is LGBT themed that a more old fashioned boy-meets-girl writer would never have to?

I’m open to stories that feature LGBT themes…it might be more difficult to find the novel a home, but it seems like it’s a little more common in the market today.

is there any resource you might recommend for “how to write a query letter”?  I mean, logic and knowing what the word Query means told me most of what a query letter is (thank you Georgia public schools for the fabulous and indispensable education).

From the Query to the Call by Elana Johnson. You can download a copy at http://elanajohnson.blogspot.com/p/books.html …Also Querytracker.com. It lets you search agents and keep track of your queries.

Which brings me to my final decision:  I’m going to continue gathering and examining a list of potential agents.  In the mean time I’ve contacted some options that might make for a resounding voice to start the word of mouth with a bit of a shout.  If I secure that, then I will self-publish.  If I don’t … I believe I will try some more agents.  I just can’t bring myself to give up.  I’m stubborn that way.  I rather sincerely thought I could just give the agent thing a go and then move on if it didn’t pan out, but it’s become something of a challenge.  I’m a sucker for challenges, especially ones I’m sure I can win if I can out-stubborn the problem (Why yes, I do have cats and have had them all my life! How could you tell? ;))

A decision, of sorts, and not reached lightly

After much thought, and thanks to some very thought provoking conversation — both in the commentary, as well as among friends — I’ve reached a decision, kind of.

I am going to look carefully at the agents I’ve discovered through http://querytracker.com.  I owe myself the investigation of those agencies, at least, as well as owing any of you excited about seeing these books out — simply put, I’d rather you had more ways to get them, unless I get an overwhelming response that you’d rather have them now from one e-store than a year from now in 1000 stores physical and online alike.

I’m being highly selective.  I’m carefully considering the agent‘s “what I accept” list juxtaposed to her list of titles and clients to be sure that what they think they mean is what I think they mean.  Also, there’s the inescapable fact that all too many agents seem to say “oh, it’s most important that it’s a great story!” but their client list indicates they’re looking long and hard for “the next best way to cash in on the latest hit trends”.  I don’t believe any of the agents I queried before are as bad as that, or bad at all, but such agents exist and I intend to skip them over.  I’m also being selective on another front:  I’m going to try to see how well known, how well selling their client list is.  I’m not looking for an all-star cast, who’s who of the NY Times Best Sellers list, but if she’s got 50 titles under her belt and they’re every one of them the picture of obscurity … I can do obscurity tomorrow and keep the 15% commission for myself!

If I find a promising agent, I shall query further.

I reached this decision after much agonising and arguing with myself and others.  I was finally won over on this ground:  I want this book to be accessible.  If I can reach more hand, more eyes, and more minds with an agent and a publisher, then I should like to have an agent and publisher.  If I could convince myself, or if I could hear a compelling argument from another, regarding that visibility from self-published I’m certainly open to it and would self publish the story June first.  I will say I don’t believe it matters if I’m on a Barnes & Noble shelf or exclusively with Amazon, iBooks only or in every ebook seller offered as part of Smashwords‘ premium catalogue.  I mean, the whole word of mouth matter.  Suffice to say, with an agent and a publisher I’ve got more mouths saying more words on my behalf and any words I can pass on my own.

I do and don’t want to do this.  Frankly I hate writing query letters.  It’s tedious, it’s also terribly difficult — I’ve no self-esteem where they’re concerned.  I also hate waiting; I’ve got a story, and I’m anxious to share it.  I still may self-publish.  For one, I may decide against querying any more agents, if that’s the case … I’m giving myself until 31 May to have queried even 1 agent.  If I have, then the publish date will move to either 1 September, or the “hear back by” date of the last agent submitted a query — whichever is longest.  I’m going to give them time to make up their minds before I make up mine.

I’m sorry.  I know if I said:  if it’s not picked up by 20 May it’ll be published 1 June.  Still, there also hasn’t been any voices crying out in disappointment and sorry “No!  Jaye, please, stop this horrible internal contention and give us the rest of your story!”  I suppose that means I’m not really disappointing anyone but myself by changing my mind.

In the mean time, I want to try something different for Ready or Not.  I’d like to select some … in fanfiction they’re often called “Beta-readers” but I seem to recall there’s a niftier and classier term for it that most fiction writers use, but it escapes me right now.  I’d like to select 3 people to be my guinea pigs for book 2.  Given that the series is written such that one book flows to the next to some degree a selected reader will get a free ebook copy of Love or Lust to give them some reference and establishment.

How to be selected?  Nominate yourself.  The means to do this?

  1. Comment on this post
  2. Go here and send me
    1. Your name
    2. Your email
    3. Your file preference — ePUB, MOBI, PDF
    4. Your three favourite scenes/lines/parts of the sample chapters and what it is you liked about it (if it just tickled you or some other thing that boils to — I don’t know, I just do — fine, you just do.  Say so).
    5. Why?  Just answer whatever you think I mean by asking it.
  3. Wait until 11am EDT the 2nd of June for me to announce the ones selected.

So much for agents?

George Takei on the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Pr...

George Takei on the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Pride 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is thursday of the final week of waiting for agent responses. Sadly, as I recall, all the remaining agents are the sort not to guarantee a response one way or the other — only promise a reply if they’ll take the novel. Tomorrow I suppose I begin sorting everything out to self-publish Now & Forever.

My earlier post was a none-too-sublte attempt to garner some feedback to decide if I should keep searching for agents — I did recently find about an hundred more. So I’m asking outright for advice and opinions.

For those of you reading who aren’t authors and, therefore, (potentially) unaware of the grand dilemma here, please allow me a moment to elaborate. Those who already know exactly why this is a rough decision, feel free to skip down to the comments and throw in your voice on the matter.

For the uninitiated here are the pros and cons of publishing presented in juxtaposition between self and traditional publishing.

  • Self published I can have the book out tomorrow (though it won’t actually be until June, because I’m a perfectionist and want to tidy up a few things first, and will spend a lot of time agonising over the position of the pages in the print version). Traditionally published, it’s liable to be, at least, another year before the first book comes out — and regardless when I finish the other 3, assume at least a year between them
  • Self published I get 60-70% royalties, as opposed in the traditional model of approximately 2-5%, minus the agent’s 15% from that 2-5%. BUT There’re these lovely things called an advance where the publisher (with a little prodding from an agent) decides that the royalties for the first printing of the book ought to equal X and so cuts a cheque (though, these days more like 3, one on contract signing, one later on, and another even later than that) for that amount. Agent gets 15% of it, and I walk to the bank with something that’ll buy some groceries.
  • Self published has no true advertisement but word of mouth. I would, very literally, be relying on those who read or stumble on this blog, those who stumble upon and (praying to God) read the book to tell their friends and family about it. Yes, yes, Project Wonderful, Google AdSense, etc. Tell me, honestly, how often do you click those? Hmm? Not often, do you? Or you do, but how often do you buy? You’re not unique you know. Traditionally published books, don’t exactly get TV spots in the halftime show for the Super Bowl, but they are advertised and marketed to book buyers. Unless you get your paycheque from Barnes & Noble, or own a mom & pop bookshop you are not a book buyer — book buyers are the folks who decide what’s going to be on the physical store shelves, and then buys them. Tell me — how many books have you bought from an author you’ve never heard of from the bookstore versus an online retailer? Getting a picture?
  • Cover art. This one gets fun. As a self-pub author I control the art. I can say “this is amazing, this sucks, etc.” For those who don’t know, an author with a publisher has no say in the cover art (normally, some publishers might ask the author’s opinion, notice I didn’t say value or listen to it). Now, in all honesty this is both a thrilling and horrifying thing. The publisher would find a professional artist (not of my choosing, but hopefully someone with a modicum of talent) to make up a pretty cover for me that’s formulated and market researched to make people buy the book. Sadly, sometimes this means a cover that has no basis in the story whatsoever. Sometimes this doesn’t detract, and helps (Twilight is apparently a fine example of this — though, personally, I always walked right past those covers without a glance). The upshot, however, is that with a traditional publisher I get a, theoretically, unique cover design from a professional. By myself, I get whatever I can put together with a mix of photoshop bungling, some creative commons searching/begging for donated art from artistic friends/scrounging up hundreds or thousands of dollars to purchase some art.
  • Distribution. In this day of the internet, who needs think of distribution?! Just put it up as an eBook and it’s worldwide in 24hrs. Again, I ask, when was the last time you bought a book from an unknown author when you weren’t browsing the shelves of a bookstore? Distribution is important. And face it, it’s the biggest weapon in the arsenal of a traditional publisher, and one that most self-published authors have no means to enjoy. CreateSpace‘s book sizes will often be a mark against many stores carrying them — 6×9 is a trade paperback, yes, but many stores won’t carry the hardback and trades of an unknown. Good ol’ pocket paperback 4×6 or 3×5 is more likely to carry and isn’t offered. Lightning Source, Inc does, but that’s out of budget for many authors — and LSi, offers far better distribution options than CreateSpace ever comes close to.
  • Other promotion: as a self-published author I’m unlikely to be able to have ads for my books show up in any media. Some magazines do carry ads for books — notice how none are from self-published writers? Ever wondered how much that little ad cost? Books might be mentioned on some TV shows and radio programs. For example, in a hypothetical universe, I am picked up by McMillan publishing, their PR guy takes one look at my book, looks up at the TV and thinks, I got it! And calls up the folks in charge of Ellen’s show and gets the book mentioned there, interview with the author (way too shy to talk to a camera, but this is a hypothetical universe where maybe I wouldn’t be) and … you get the picture. Self published? I might be able to get George Takei to mention it on his Facebook page — curiously enough, in both of these cases it’s all back to word of mouth. In this case the mouths of a pair of celebrities whose opinions on such matters folks are wont to listen to. And, y’know, the Takei thing might not be such a bad idea now I’ve said it. Other promotion might also include reviews. Many professional reviewers won’t touch self-published, that’s right, they refuse it outright. So I’d be down to relying on GoodReads and Amazon Reviews. Hmm … there we go again with word of mouth.

And therein lies the problem. If you didn’t notice, the pros and cons are, actually, fairly balanced. I can reach my readership faster and with greater control of cover art, timing, pricing, etc. But I can reach more readers with a traditional publisher. The promotion and advertising — well, the biggest Truth in marketing is that word of mouth is the only guaranteed to work, everything else is guess work; educated guess work but still guess work.

If I knew that the release of my book on Amazon’s Kindle wouldn’t be swallowed by, and I wish I were exaggerating, 13 (I counted) pages of pre-orders going out nearly 15months! For those not in the know, self-published writers and many small press/indie press publishing houses don’t get this option with any online retailer except Apple’s iBooks — not even Smashwords is so respectful to its users. So I would be buried under the Jo Rowlings, the latest adventures of Drizzt, or Junie B Jones.

Round and round, it’s like watching my dog chase the flea that just bit his tail, poor thing, but I watched him just now and realise that it’s a perfect analogy to my problem. Shrug off the rejections by the agents and do it myself, or keep trying? Which has the greatest gain? True, I write for the love of writing, but I also live in a world that relies on money — I’m not going to spend a year or more carefully grooming 140000 words into an enjoyable tale and hand it out with a cheery wave. I’d like to, and if employers in this country felt obligated to pay enough to live on, I actually would — it’s save the headache — but they don’t so I don’t. In a sense, yes, this is about money, but it’s in a “I’d really rather be writing than answering phones all day” kind of way.

So, please, do comment — feedback helps. I have authors following, I know. If you’ve any anecdotes to share, please do. Readers? What’s your answers? Do you prefer to browse the samples of iBooks, Kindle, and Nook to decide who and what to buy? Do you browse past a dozen pages of pre-orders to see what you can get right now? How many of you talk to your friends and family about what you read — how many of you are excited enough by the prospect of reading Love or Lust to recommend it to them or even gift it to them?

How depressing

Just checked up on my agent submissions:  so far half of them have either been rejected.

Well, sort of.

One agency doesn’t exist any more and two are the “if you haven’t heard from us by …” sorts.

Useful resource fro anyone looking for a literary agent:  http://www.querytracker.net

  1. you can keep track of who you sent things to and when (beats skimming through GMail looking for the sents and replies!)
  2. It’s got a bleeding agent search by things like genre

certainly worth a look.