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MelancholyMan
10-14-2008, 05:57 PM
I've got several novels that feedback is extremely good on.

Problem is, like many of you, I can't even get an agent to send back an SASE, much less ask for a copy of the manuscript. I write intelligent fiction - meaning thrillers with realistic complex characters, air tight plots, fairly science-based and techy, and absolutely no deus ex machina.

I keep banging on the agent/publisher door, but it seems to be a complete waste of time and effort. I will continue to write and try to get closer to what they want, without dumbing my work down too much, but does it make any sense to try to self-publish all that previous time and effort?

There are a number of avenues from low capitol outlay online sources like Lulu and CafePress, low cost options like iUniverse and XLibris, and expensive options like Dorrance. I'm leaning towards iUniverse or XLibris, but even then, is there any chance that I'll sell even one book? Yes, the internet gives all of us global reach. Then again, it gives all of us global reach. Is the signal to noise ratio just too low to get noticed or are there ACTUAL strategies you can use to raise awareness? Is anybody even buying books from iUniverse? I'd like to hear some success stories not posted on the iUniverse site.

veinglory
10-14-2008, 06:13 PM
As a reader of hard sci fi I feel a little, um, leery of the assumption that your problem is a lack of dumbing down. You might want to nail down explicitly what the mismatch with large commercial publishers/agents; you will need to know this in deciding whether to go for smaller specialist presses versus self-publishing. It will also depend on whether you have a skills and time to run a small business. At that point the compairsons between suppliers come in, and lets just say iUniverse would not top my list. I own hundreds of self-published books but the only iU books are review copies. I find their purchasing interface and customer service less than wonderful. But like I said, that is a detail-level decision and based only on what you have posted here I am not sure you are at that point.

Cathy C
10-14-2008, 06:14 PM
Hi, Melancholy!

I'll be honest with you---self-publishing can be an awesome experience. But fiction is EXTREMELY difficult to make any money on in that venue until you build an audience (like veinglory and some others have.) More and more of the traditional methods of selling self-pubbed books, like Amazon.com and B&N.com are shutting their doors to both self-published and small press books, for reasons of both server space and the all-mighty dollar. Since they bought a printing service, they keep trying to push authors toward the company THEY own, making it all the more difficult for new authors to have any free choice in the marketplace.

However, thrillers are really going strong now, so I'm a little surprised that you're having a difficult time selling them. I'm a member of International Thriller Writers and it's sort of a new golden age of debut authors right now. Who have you tried so far? Could it be the query needs some work?

veinglory
10-14-2008, 06:17 PM
p.s. at least in the genres I am familiar with (romance, fantasy, horror) there are many small press options with a better cost:benefit than self-publishing.

StephenJSweeney
10-14-2008, 07:01 PM
I keep banging on the agent/publisher door, but it seems to be a complete waste of time and effort.

Sometimes, just sometimes, you will have written a story or have an idea for a story that is simply not something that publishers will want. It might be too niche or it might just not be something that people will want to read.

That's my problem with The Honour of the Knights and my whole trilogy. An editor told me that the story, which revolves around what happens to a bunch of starfighter pilots when a war breaks out, is not something that will see much market acceptance.

Having intended to write this story for years, I'm stuck with either trunking it or self publishing it. If I trunked it, I know that I would be disappointed with myself for the rest of my life for never having tried.

Could I write the story from a different angle or change the main characters so that they are not pilots? No, because it simply won't work for this story. So... Lulu it is for me.

Having said that, I'm considering taking the plot and writing it as a fantasy novel instead though, and trying to get a traditional publisher to look at it that way.

Cathy C
10-14-2008, 07:04 PM
That's my problem with The Honour of the Knights and my whole trilogy. An editor told me that the story, which revolves around what happens to a bunch of starfighter pilots when a war breaks out, is not something that will see much market acceptance.



Isn't it an SF? What are you marketing it as right now?

StephenJSweeney
10-14-2008, 07:34 PM
It is a SF, yes. But there's science fiction, with a focus on world building, deep hard science and contemplations about society of the future; and then there's what I have, which is more action adventure, battles and cover ups.

Cathy C
10-14-2008, 07:38 PM
And fortunately for you, both types are beloved by SF fans! :) Where have you tried? Feel free to move this off post with a PM if you like. I might have some ideas (since I know more than a few SF/fantasy editors... ;) )

StephenJSweeney
10-14-2008, 07:45 PM
Well, I'm going through the editor's note right now, to fix some stuff. But I've pretty much exhausted all of the agents and publishers in the UK. US agents weren't in the least interested.

Anyways, I'm all set up to self pub this thing now, so I may as well carry on down that road...

Thanks for the offer though :)

Oh, MelancholyMan - sorry for hijacking your thread, mate.

MelancholyMan
10-15-2008, 12:31 AM
Oh, MelancholyMan - sorry for hijacking your thread, mate.

You know what happens to hijackers on US flights nowadays, don't you???;)

I really appreciate everyone's input. It is interesting how different, the various forums on AbsoluteWrite can be!

To address some of your remarks:

Veinglory: I do think my work is frightening to most uneducated folks. I'm a physicist and rocket scientist. I design and analyze various missile systems all &%@#! day every ^@%*! day. (Please excuse the swearing, it is an avoidable byproduct of my frustrations.) I also have an MS in atmospheric science. My work is crammed with hard science carefully written to be understood by non-professionals. But honestly, your typical lit major is probably going to struggle with it from an experiential standpoint more than anything else. When the half-life of Uranium-233 is important to the plot and your using words like radiolanthanum and electron-volt you're going to get some people for whom the work just doesn't pop. And unfortunately it seems to be just those people who are the gate keepers these days.

Cathy C: I'm surprised to hear you say that thrillers are going strong right now. I've tried every major thriller agent that I know of and they won't even reply. The query's been vetted over on SYW a number of times. The plots seem reasonable to me. Timely but with some longevity.

Nothing but form rejections. Nobody wants to read anything. I've just come to the conclusion that queries are a waste of my time.

StephenJSweeny: I'm a fan of hard science fiction. Grew up reading Clark, Bradbury, Azimov, etc. But have you been keeping an eye on the New Deals over on Publisher's Marketplace?

That kind of stuff's great if you like it, but it just isn't what I do. I

Cathy C
10-15-2008, 12:57 AM
Wander over here (http://www.thrillerwriters.org/debut_authors/who-we-are-1/) and read about some of the debut authors hitting the shelves this year and next. Plenty of different kinds of thrillers, from hard crime to eco-terrorism. If you're a member of Publisher's Marketplace you might see who THEIR agents are and try querying them. :)

veinglory
10-15-2008, 01:06 AM
Well if the science is written for an intelligent non-expert, it should work. After all the people who read Bradbury, Asimov, Van Vogt as kids are still around and earning good money now. There are still some of the sci fi mags going and I scan them for authors who know their psychonauts from their solanoids--having a PhD in a social science doesn't seem to have softened my brain too much. I would suggest popping up your query and a sample in the 'Share Your Work' area as a double check.

JoNightshade
10-15-2008, 01:33 AM
Veinglory: I do think my work is frightening to most uneducated folks. I'm a physicist and rocket scientist. I design and analyze various missile systems all &%@#! day every ^@%*! day. (Please excuse the swearing, it is an avoidable byproduct of my frustrations.) I also have an MS in atmospheric science. My work is crammed with hard science carefully written to be understood by non-professionals. But honestly, your typical lit major is probably going to struggle with it from an experiential standpoint more than anything else. When the half-life of Uranium-233 is important to the plot and your using words like radiolanthanum and electron-volt you're going to get some people for whom the work just doesn't pop. And unfortunately it seems to be just those people who are the gate keepers these days.

Um, you know what? I'd appreciate it if you stopped talking about lit majors as if we weren't capable of grasping your work. (You did this in another thread you started as well.) I'm a lit major. I read hard sci fi. Hard sci fi is out there. It's being published. FREQUENTLY.

And no, I don't start crying and throw the book away every time I find a word I'm unfamiliar with. I'm actually capable of inferring meaning from context. Or, you know, Googling. Just a couple of things I learned to do while I was getting my soft, unscientific education as a lit major.

You're having trouble getting the attention of an agent. But don't blame it on your work being too scientifically esoteric for mere mortals.

veinglory
10-15-2008, 04:27 AM
To be honest I was feeling something along the same lines but refrained from expressing it so explicitly. I mention it now because if your query is rubbing editors and agents in a similar way... well. Are you losing them on the query, before they even see the book...? Editors and agents have this tendency to be lit majors and you may not be sending them enticing vibes. ;)

Toothpaste
10-15-2008, 04:44 AM
I'm with Jo. Every once and a while you start a thread blaming everyone else for not getting any attention on your query. Yes it is veiled as some kind of question, but truly it winds up you sharing how your work is too over the heads for everyone (especially lit majors, did a lit major wrong you in a past life? You seriously hate them. And no I was not one myself, but I do respect the fact that there are smart and stupid people in every major) even though you have written it so non scientists can understand it.

People have explained to you the simplest, most straightforward reason your book is probably getting rejected. It. Is. Too. Long. Not that it scares people. Not that the subject is too dense for mere agents. Not that thrillers aren't being published anymore. No. It is too long

I am not sure how, as a scientist, you are drawing your conclusion that it is your work itself that agents don't relate to when not a single one has read it. That is fundamentally illogical. Nor does it make any sense that if you write your work so that non-scientists can understand it, that you are having trouble having non-scientists understand it. How on earth does that math add up? Your book is being rejected at the query level stage. Something therefore must be wrong with your query. As simple as that. And your word count is definitely a problem in your query letter. Now we can explain to you that first time authors rarely publish first books that long. We can tell you that maybe you should write a shorter work, sell that, and then try to sell the first. But you simply insist that you are the exception to the rule. Fine, maybe you are, but like the ever grating Dr. Phil would say, "How's that been working for you?"

Now as far as your actual question goes. Fiction is very difficult to self publish and market with any great success. It is done. Has been done. But again, it is so rare and again the EXCEPTION to the rule. If you have a good sense of marketing though, that will hold you in good stead. However, if you self publish and don't sell several thousand copies, you will be hard pressed to then find anyone interested in publishing your book commercially. They will see your book out in the world, not selling a lot, and not have any desire to then try to sell a work that obviously people aren't buying. BUT if you CAN get good sales, then of course they will jump all over you and fight for you.

Self publishing is definitely not an easy route. And it also requires a great deal of respect for the act. People who self publish properly are to be admired. It is incredibly difficult.

Anyway, look, I know this post reads harsh, and I am sorry for it. I just really hate how you insult groups in every one of your posts, and yet expect people to feel for you. But I do feel for you, I can't help it. I know what mass rejection feels like. I know what it feels like to rage against everyone else. To truly feel like everyone is against you and just doesn't get your work. I truly truly do. But we have to stay logical about things, not let our emotions overwhelm us. We have to problem solve. And if you truly feel like self publishing will solve your problem, then go for it. But please please go for it with your eyes open. Do the research, get an outside editor maybe to look at your work, get advice on marketing. Don't waste this opportunity.

MelancholyMan
10-15-2008, 06:20 AM
This forum is about asking questions and finding answers. I really didn't intend to insult anyone and I guess that writing years of technical reports has made my narrative seem harsh. Especially if you're looking beteen the lines for something that isn't there. When you can't see the eyes of the person doing the talking I can see where you might have been pricked. Toothpaste, you come across harsh in every post I've ever seen you write, but I'm sure that if we met in public you'd be a much warmer person. I can say that because your writing shows passion, and knowing that allows me to interpret what you're saying with less of an edge. I hate to say it, but I think the reason I rub you so wrong is that we are so much alike. Intensely logical, no bullshit, to the point, call it like you see it. You even apologize for it, which is appreciated but not really necessary.

If you'll go back and look at what I wrote, I didn't question the intelligence of anyone. I only said that the typical literature major doesn't find my science-heavy work all that appealing while engineers, scientists, doctors, etc, do. That has not been a difficult pattern to detect, and I do have the data to back it up.

And it isn't really arguable that the majority of agents and editors are literature or similar liberal arts majors. Why is it a stretch, then, or in some way offensive to suggest that the gatekeepers are biased towards works that reinforce their own sensibilities? The Soviet Union remained intact for 90 years by excluding anything not in line with their ideology. (Not that I'm saying publishers are communists. I'm simply drawing a contrast by using an extreme example.) Even in the west this is nothing new.

What is new is the growing ideological and intellectual divide in the United States and how it is affecting all forms of mass media, and thereby our culture as a whole. A very cursory review of the books and movies being produced today shows a far different scope than forty or even twenty years ago. I find it difficult to believe that it is entirely due to the fact that work like that is no longer being authored. It just isn't being published in America. Does the market evolve from the buyers, or is it created by the producers? Definitely for film and television, tipping that direction for print. The internet is neutral but the signal to noise ratio is so low it is very nearly a non factor.

...getting back on topic, which isn't to say that my work should be published. All along my primary annoyance has been the non-responsiveness of those who advertise themselves as conduits into the publishing industry. If someone wants to read my work and say, "This is crap," that's fine. Or for them to say, "We don't accept unsolicted queries," is fine. But to advertise acceptance of queries and then simply never respond is simply rude. They know only too well how people hinge on their reply either good or bad. Take a look at the NO NEWS thread in the Rejection and Dejection forum. For an industry that bills itself alternately as the fourth arm of government and the pulse of the nation, they are doing a very poor job holding up their end.

Is it my query? Obviously. It's been vetted again and again on SYW, where typically two schools of thought evolve. One says to do it one way, the other school says to do it the other. Both sides have merit. Which do you choose? So I work with it and send both. And in my next round I'll leave out the insulting rhetoric about lit majors.

Toothpaste
10-15-2008, 07:12 AM
"I'm not going to send any more carefully crafted queries to mind-numbed morons totally incapable of understanding my thoughts. The same brainless poli-sci, english, and lit majors that looked at me blankly in my university days when they'd discover I was studying physics. A vacuous gaze followed by an imbecilic chuckle and a comment along the lines of, "I can't talk to you." If only I'd have known those idiots who wouldn't talk to me then, would be running the industry that somehow sucked me in I could have avoided wasting the last decade."

You wrote this in another thread. It is filled with bile towards anyone who wasn't a science major and looks like it is based on some negative experiences you had in school. That is unfortunate. Then in this thread you write this:

"My work is crammed with hard science carefully written to be understood by non-professionals. But honestly, your typical lit major is probably going to struggle with it from an experiential standpoint more than anything else. When the half-life of Uranium-233 is important to the plot and your using words like radiolanthanum and electron-volt you're going to get some people for whom the work just doesn't pop. And unfortunately it seems to be just those people who are the gate keepers these days."

You do not in this instance insult outright lit majors this time. You do imply they are not as capable of understanding your work, which is odd, as I will say again, because you also insist in the same paragraph that you write your work in a compelling way that anyone, even non-scientists, can understand. I know plenty of lit majors who enjoy good hard science fiction, and I see it being published, so for me your taste conclusion just doesn't wash. To me, really, this paragraph suggests you just don't think lit majors understand your work. And considering what you wrote previously about lit majors . . . I take it as an insult. I don't think I am reading between the lines at all. I think I am keeping my facts straight including those from previous threads.

As to every post you have ever seen of mine being harsh, that may be. I'm just being blunt with you because that is what I have discerned from your post making is the best way to communicate with you. You seem to like it direct, and that's how I offer it up. With others I am softer, or funnier, or teasing. It depends on the individual with whom I am trying to communicate. You think I am harsh, and oddly I get reps telling me I am too kind.

As to your other points. Your premise is a false one, that the only thing that liberal arts majors (who all agents are evidently - again a false premise) are interested in are subjects only under that umbrella. This is patently untrue. Otherwise you would not see such popular authors as were already mentioned in this thread published. Liberal arts majors are capable of having a wide breadth of interests. Just as science majors can adore Lord of the Rings and Shakespeare.

But I wonder further. If your work only appeals to the more science minded, I wonder if it is indeed as accessible as you claim it to be. It is possible you are writing something incredibly niche, that what you find totally understandable is not translated as such in your work. Maybe what you enjoy about your work are more like in-jokes that the average Joe will not get. Maybe you have one too many of those in your writing. I know I have had to cut a lot of in-jokes in my writing about the world of theatre because only a select few would really get it. I also have to wonder if the main point of your book is a message book, as opposed to being an entertaining read first and foremost, if you wish to educate people in science and politics first, and tell a story about characters second. Understand that I don't think this is a bad thing, but if this is the case, that too makes your book much more niche. You may therefore wish to send your work directly to some smaller publishers and skip the agent step.

Lastly, I appreciate your frustration about agents and queries. I actually agree it is very rude not to reply to queries. But it isn't the agent's job to respond to queries. It is to sell their authors' books. And not every agent is the same (again, another false premise). This is where your background as a scientist must drive you crazy. There is no one way to approach an agent and they all like different things. There is simply no true path. No mathamatical equation, no survey you can conduct. You have translated the lack of this path as therefore meaning the industry is just based on luck. But just because there are so many different variables, just because so many individuals want such different things, doesn't mean that there still aren't steps one can take. It simply means it is a lot harder and you have to appeal to individuals, and not groups. Nonetheless there are excellent things you can do to make your book stand out in a query in general - a clear plot, an interesting character, a unique twist on the genre, and all of this well written. And also having a shorter word count would really really help you.

And yes the no news found in the No News thread is annoying in the Rejection and Dejection thread. . . but let's not forget all those other threads that surround it, where people analyse the rejections they have been sent. It appears therefore that there are agents out there who DO respond.

And for a boost, why not hang out a bit over at Goals and Accomplishments and see how people actually do get book deals, even those authors who have no connections whatsoever in the industry.

Anyway, my advice about the smaller publishers is sincere. That might be the best way for you to go, or at least the way to go before the self publishing route. I dunno. I'm not some grand sage with all the answers, I have never claimed to be. And I simply cannot give you any kind of satisfying answer on a grand scale. I am not a fan of absolutes and drawing generalisations (in that, at least, we differ). I am just someone trying to help out.

JJ Cooper
10-15-2008, 11:43 AM
I'm one of those debut authors at International Thriller Writers that Cathy mentioned above. Agents and publishers are accepting thrillers, and will continue to do so.

I've mentioned to you before about the length of your MS, as has many published authors on this site. From memory your MS is twice the length of my debut. That's a lot more in printing costs for the publisher and more risk involved. Publishing is a business and publishers have set standards for new authors based on risk. Agents know this. The last time I mentioned amount the length of your novel you didn't reply and I note you avoided the same point above by Toothpaste.

The length may also factor in to your costs for self-publishing as well.

JJ

StephenJSweeney
10-15-2008, 11:53 AM
People have explained to you the simplest, most straightforward reason your book is probably getting rejected. It. Is. Too. Long.

How long is it?

My own is 125k. That's just right for UK publishers, but, as I understand it, it might be took long for US publisher to consider as a début novel?

JJ Cooper
10-15-2008, 12:40 PM
Take the time to read this very detailed account of fellow debut thriller writer Andrew Peterson's road to publication. Of note is the length of his novel at the initial stages and where it ended up at. An inspirational story on his determination to get published over many years.

http://writersdigest.com/article/one-writers-unique-journey/

JJ

Joe DePlumber
10-15-2008, 02:19 PM
For everyone's info, regardless of the address, Xlibris is not in Philidelphia. It's in Cebu City, Philippines, with a local staff of ESL personel, and it's a nighmare. In only a few months they've managed to have a class action lawsuit filed against them for mistreatment of employees, and a congressional investigation proposed for unfair labor practices. Don't get me wrong, I love filipinos, but i sure as hell would not want to have to deal with them when it comes to layout or editiing my novel. What Xlibris saved on American wages, they lost much more on professionalism and quality, which qute frankly was hurting to begin with. I published with them years ago when they weren't vanity. I never paid a dime for my book. but now I'm stuck with the vanity tag whenever someone googles me.
Also, as I heard an agent rightly point out, with vanity press you are NOT published, you're printed.

Roger J Carlson
10-15-2008, 05:01 PM
Hmmm. I notice that people have mentioned everything except the first thing that came to my mind: perhaps your prose isn't up to snuff. I don't mean unreadable dreck, I mean good, but not good enough.

Uncle Jim says that if you can put a coherent sentence together, you're ahead of 90% of all submissions. That may be true, but that still leaves and incredible amount of competition. In order to be publishable, you need to be better than 90% of what's left.

I know all about this. When I finished the first draft of my first book, I thought it was polished and ready to go. Seven years later, and 4 major revisions based on critiques by industry professionals, it's still unsold, and I'm constantly finding new things wrong with it. This business of putting words into a coherent story is incredibly complex. To some of us, it falls naturally. Others of us get it only after years of hard work. Most of us never get it.

Maybe it's time to stop focusing on externals and take an honest look at the writing itself.

veinglory
10-15-2008, 05:35 PM
If a group of independent observers see something in your writing (e.g. insults to certain disciplinary groups) a good scientist would consider that it might actually be there.

MelancholyMan
10-15-2008, 05:56 PM
If a group of independent observers see something in your writing (e.g. insults to certain disciplinary groups) a good scientist would consider that it might actually be there.

Depends on the observers. The Ptolemaic solar system held sway for thousands of years because the observers believed that the earth was the center of the universe. It took a good scientist to see that they were wrong.

veinglory
10-15-2008, 06:44 PM
It took doubt, which is the basis of learning.

Amarie
10-15-2008, 07:20 PM
MM-I went through a similiar soul search with a manuscript I still love. Here's how I evaluated my options:
1. Self-publish
I rejected this one because I don't have the time, energy or funds to promote a self-published book
2. Rewrite manuscript as a screenplay
This one didn't work for me because my manuscript doesn't have movie potential, but one of yours might.
3. Rewrite manuscript to fit current interests of agents/publishers in terms of style, word count, etc.
This one didn't work for me as well because mine is a commercial historical mystery and I don't have the literary voice so popular now. Again, you might be better able to rework one of yours.
4. Write something in a genre agents want, hoping once I get a foot in the door, something can happen with my historical manucript. This is the option I took.
Best of luck whatever you decide.

victoriastrauss
10-16-2008, 01:27 AM
Hmmm. I notice that people have mentioned everything except the first thing that came to my mind: perhaps your prose isn't up to snuff.

What Roger Said. It's hard to remind people of this without sounding harsh, but this really is why most manuscripts are rejected.

- Victoria

MelancholyMan
10-16-2008, 05:55 PM
MM-I went through a similiar soul search with a manuscript I still love. Here's how I evaluated my options:
1. Self-publish
I rejected this one because I don't have the time, energy or funds to promote a self-published book.

As have I. I also remain confident that I will be published some day and I don't want to get in the way of publishing my early works by being impatient.


2. Rewrite manuscript as a screenplay
This one didn't work for me because my manuscript doesn't have movie potential, but one of yours might..

It has as good a movie appeal as any. And I actually did this. Studying screen plays for a couple of years really helped tighten my plotlines and improve my prose. I would recommend this to every writer.


3. Rewrite manuscript to fit current interests of agents/publishers in terms of style, word count, etc.
This one didn't work for me as well because mine is a commercial historical mystery and I don't have the literary voice so popular now. Again, you might be better able to rework one of yours..

I have done this also and am doing it to others. Though I'm not sure I have the 'voice' either. To improve my odds I put on a dress and watch Pirates of the Caribbean II before I start writing.


4. Write something in a genre agents want, hoping once I get a foot in the door, something can happen with my historical manucript. This is the option I took.
Best of luck whatever you decide.

I'm doing this too. My WIP is directly targeting the sensibilities of the lit majors liberal arts students english teachers editors and agents by including a bunch of unnecessary conflict and angst. I know it'll work because one of my sons who goes in for that crap stuff loves it.


Prose: It's hard to remind people of this without sounding harsh, but this really is why most manuscripts are rejected.

- Victoria

I understand and very much appreciate the directness about the prose. And I've battled mightily with that aspect over the years trying to improve it and questioning my self-confidence. I'm convinced at this point that my prose is as good as a random sampling of anything you might pull from a shelf in a bookstore. And a sight better than some.

Toothpaste
10-16-2008, 07:40 PM
I'm doing this too. My WIP is directly targeting the sensibilities of the lit majors liberal arts students english teachers editors and agents by including a bunch of unnecessary conflict and angst. I know it'll work because one of my sons who goes in for that crap stuff loves it.



This might be part of your problem then. If the conflict and angst is unnecessary to your story then trust me those lit majors liberal arts students english teachers editors and agents will be able to tell. Authors don't just write that crap stuff as added fluff, they write it because it is important to their story. Despite what you think, writing to trends won't really get you where you want it to. It'll only weaken your story, and make you feel lousy that you have compromised yourself as an author.

I won't even address your continual need to insult lit majors. It's verging a bit on the obsessive.

Marian Perera
10-16-2008, 07:55 PM
This might be part of your problem then. If the conflict and angst is unnecessary to your story then trust me those lit majors liberal arts students english teachers editors and agents will be able to tell.

MM also wrote that despite adding “crap” to his story to make it more palatable to agents and editors, the story is “as good as a random sampling of anything you might pull from a shelf in a bookstore”. So perhaps he believes that the unnecessary conflict and angst is necessary in some way.

victoriastrauss
10-16-2008, 09:02 PM
I'm doing this too. My WIP is directly targeting the sensibilities of the lit majors liberal arts students english teachers editors and agents by including a bunch of unnecessary conflict and angst. I know it'll work because one of my sons who goes in for that crap stuff loves it.

If you have contempt for what you write, so will those who read it.

- Victoria

StephenJSweeney
10-17-2008, 02:21 AM
Personally, I write what I'm enjoy. How could you write something that you're not all that keen on? It'd be like going to a job every day that you hate.

Okay, yes, from one angle I can see it makes sense - Experience, foot in the door, etc.

Stacia Kane
01-09-2012, 12:45 AM
If you have nothing but contempt for your audience, they're going to sense it and be turned off.

Those lit majors you disparage work in a lot of other industries and buy a lot of books. Who exactly are you writing for?

hughhowey
01-09-2012, 04:20 AM
I'm probably in the minority, but I say self-publish and keep writing. If you stay at it, you'll get better, your audience will grow, and you'll always be in charge.

It took me two years of writing and publishing before I was making enough to live solely off my book sales. It might take you longer, but the best thing I ever did was to keep producing quality stories. There's no promotion like writing more stuff to sell.

I know a lot of people (many in my local and active writing group) who are still trying to make it on that first book they wrote a decade ago. They aren't improving their craft, they aren't writing different types of stories to appeal to a broader audience, they're just walking around with that one book and making a career out of promotional experimentation.

Don't be that person. Be a writer! It's more fun, and it pays better. :)

GodOfABF
01-09-2012, 05:16 AM
<snip>...What is new is the growing ideological and intellectual divide in the United States and how it is affecting all forms of mass media, and thereby our culture as a whole. A very cursory review of the books and movies being produced today shows a far different scope than forty or even twenty years ago. I find it difficult to believe that it is entirely due to the fact that work like that is no longer being authored. It just isn't being published in America...<snip>...But to advertise acceptance of queries and then simply never respond is simply rude. They know only too well how people hinge on their reply either good or bad. Take a look at the NO NEWS thread in the Rejection and Dejection forum. For an industry that bills itself alternately as the fourth arm of government and the pulse of the nation, they are doing a very poor job holding up their end...<snip>

Regrettably, I would have to agree with you on this one. I think that an industry that allows Bristol Palin, Justin Bieber and -- for the final insult, "Snooki" -- to publish their (sic.) "memoirs", with no effort at all on their part and with lavish, saturation marketing, while treating you and other new authors as they obviously are... well, that set of facts kind of speaks for itself, wouldn't you say?

Barnum was right, you know.

wheelwriter
01-09-2012, 06:48 AM
Zombie thread from 2008.

Stacia Kane
01-09-2012, 07:24 AM
Dammit, I clicked on the wrong thread (I have like four AW tabs open at the moment). Sorry everyone.

GodOfABF
01-09-2012, 07:57 AM
Zombie thread from 2008.

Yes, but zombie novels are all the rage these days. If only I could motivate myself to write one. :D

wheelwriter
01-09-2012, 08:15 AM
Dammit, I clicked on the wrong thread (I have like four AW tabs open at the moment). Sorry everyone.


Yes, but zombie novels are all the rage these days. If only I could motivate myself to write one. :D

It's the zombies that did it, not Stacia. The older the thread, the more aged the brains. Gotta keep vigilant.

willietheshakes
01-09-2012, 06:11 PM
The Soviet Union remained intact for 90 years by excluding anything not in line with their ideology.

One of the values of having a softer degree? Knowing that the Soviet Union stayed intact for less than seventy years, not nearly ninety...

victoriafoyt
01-10-2012, 04:18 AM
could it be that your query isn't strong enough? care to post it?

Captcha
01-10-2012, 04:37 AM
But now that the zombie is re-animated, I want to know how the story turned out!!! Did MM self-publish his book, or has it been rejected by even more evil lit-majors? Did he finally find his home at a science-loving publisher, or is he still wandering, become more and more bitter as he shakes his fist at the stars which used to seem so knowable?

Anyone got any follow-up?

victoriafoyt
01-10-2012, 04:43 AM
LOL I thought it was a new post... darn i guess that's what I get for only reading the first page!

Have to say, now that I read the whole thing I'm curious too!! :D

G. Applejack
01-10-2012, 06:15 AM
But now that the zombie is re-animated, I want to know how the story turned out!!! Did MM self-publish his book, or has it been rejected by even more evil lit-majors? Did he finally find his home at a science-loving publisher, or is he still wandering, become more and more bitter as he shakes his fist at the stars which used to seem so knowable?

Anyone got any follow-up?

Did a quick search through his posts and the good news is that it looks like he did indeed sign with a small publisher and has a book on Amazon.

The bad news is he had some sort of falling out on the website, possibly after being a little too pushy in promoting said book, and recently asked to have his account deleted here.


Edit: After some further digging (and please correct me if I'm wrong) it looks like the small publisher was started by the author himself. So he did end up going the self publishing route.

hughhowey
01-10-2012, 06:51 PM
Awesome detective work. I hope he's still writing, wherever he is.

Dani
01-10-2012, 11:00 PM
This is like the best story I've read all week. And I bought four stories on Amazon.

I was disappointed at the plot thread left unanswered. I.E, the whole how long was the manuscript, and did he, in fact, think that length was a factor. This particular plot point was brought up twice and never answered. Thus I had to remove a "?" mark from the final scoring.

I did feel the angst of the protagonist. (Warning: Spoiler:) And I believed the evil lit/art majors editors/agents were set to destroy his career and thus the entire medical/scientific community would suffer without this bold piece of literature. The villains are what brought the whole story together and really made it work. Thrilling!

The ending was a littlepredictable, but I give it 9/10 question marks for holding my interest and making my eyes pop out a few times.