Monday, May 8, 2023

Butter Over Too Much Bread

Another quality post brought to you by Steve! 

Hey, kids!

Hope all's going well with you.  Today I'm feeling overwhelmed.  Or, as Bilbo once so aptly put it, like butter over too much bread.  

Right now I'm doing something which I really shouldn't be doing, which is querying a novel I haven't 100% finished editing.  I've done everything I need to start querying, which is, to be fair, quite a lot.  Before I would even start I would say you have to complete:

1.)  A query letter

2.)  A one-page synopsis

3.)  A two-page synopsis

4.)  Edit the first 10 pp

5.)  Edit the first 50 pp

Agents and publishers ask for all of these items at various stages of the querying process, and I'm learning now a lot of them are asking about your indie sales numbers in addition to social media clout, comp titles, and a bunch of other various nonsense that really feels more like gatekeeping than anything else.  And, I know, "gatekeeping" is the buzzword du jour lately, but I just have to wonder why any potential agent would want to know about my marketing plan before reading page one of my manuscript unless, of course, he just wants to keep out the riff-raff.  

I was actually making good progress on getting to:

6.)  Edit the complete ms

when an e-mail came through this weekend containing an entire manuscript Gavin Dillinger and I have been collaborating on.  This one is called LOONEY! and might be best described as a horror version of WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT.  Our intent was to bring some of the genuine horror of the Looney Toons universe into the real world both in the theoretical sense of how it would feel to be someone Bugs Bunny was picking on and in the real-world context of the often explicit racism, sexism, transphobia, and the like that informed those classic works.  I'm rather satisfied with how it came out, but I wasn't so excited to jump in and start editing two whole novels this month.  Of course, if I get a bite on the unnamed one I'm querying, that will take priority, but until then, collaborations, as always, take priority with me.

Meanwhile, in the publishing world, this past week we had an international BookBub event for ILLUSIONS OF ISOLATION by Brennan LaFaro, the first collection from French Press.  That has gone smashingly, but required a significant amount of effort to change the prices on every platform it appears on.

Speaking of French Press, we're still working on putting together our first anthology, THE PERFECTLY FINE NEIGHBORHOOD, which you can, of course, still submit to.  We (and by "we," I mean mostly our very own Kayleigh Edwards) have already put a ton of effort into wading through the slush pile.  I suppose we could always just add a requirement to discuss your indie book sales and your marketing strategy.  That seems to work elsewhere.

We've also managed to snag a narrator for ILLUSIONS OF ISOLATION, and coming up soon I will be releasing my first standalone novella, THE THING UNDER YOUR BED, which, for reasons I am beginning to regret, I intend to narrate myself.  I've always wanted to narrate something for audiobook, and this seems both the right length and it would save me the trouble of having to find and pay a narrator.  Of course, if that turns out to be a nightmare, it may end up being simply another writing lesson learned.  

All of this is, of course, before we even start talking about my day job, which has become an unbearable nightmare in its own right.  I wanted, though, less to simply bitch this month as to commiserate.  I find myself overwhelmed at times with this job, and I expect many of you are as well, though often in public, in social media and the like, we must put up the front of the ever-plucky indie author.  So just know that I see you, I feel you, and if you're feeling overwhelmed for any reason, know that you can always reach out to me via whatever method you feel most comfortable with.

Okay, everybody, talk to you soon!

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