Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Story So Far

Okay, let me get you up to speed on my novel writing career up to this point.  (It's brief.  Don't worry.)  It's not particularly fun to list a catalog of failure, but you need this background information to get a feel for where I am in the process.  Here goes nothing:

2006: Completed first novel, a vampire historical.  Tried to get an agent.  Had good initial feedback from several top NY agents.  One of them mentioned the book to a publisher after reading the first hundred pages, then passed after reading the whole book.  This got my hopes up, which is both a good and a bad thing.

2008: Completed second novel, a lighthearted mystery a la Janet Evanovich.  Tried to get an agent.  Only got one offer, from a man who had never sold anything before.  When the contract specified that I would be charged for travel expenses, I respectfully declined.  One full was never responded to.  Economy was rapidly heading into the crapper, so that may have had something to do with it.

2011: Completed third novel, a suspense/thriller. Am trying to get an agent.  Two partials, One full.  All rejections, plus 30+ more rejections based on the query letter alone.  Nearing despair and wondering what one earth agents are really looking for.  Put heart and soul into this one, revised it for eight months, and am confident it's better than a lot of what I've read in the same category from the library. Still, no dice.  

2011: Completed fourth novel, a category romance. Sent query, synopsis, and first three chapters to Silhouette Romantic Suspense.  Am waiting to hear back.  Probably won't bother with agent for this one because, well, let's face it--I'm agent repellent.

I've suddenly realized how negative the whole process sounds when I write it out like this.  I don't feel negative about my overall trajectory as a writer.  I learned so much during the process of writing the third book.  But it still stings when I see published books that suck or have sloppy sentences and outright grammar errors.

Where does that leave me?  Let's just say there's an ebook or two in my future. I would still like to find representation for my work.  I just am not sure the traditional agent-publisher system works anymore.  It feels broken.  Maybe it's up to the young writers out there to create a new system--one that actually works.