Quote Originally Posted by jeffschanz View Post
My book is too long for most agents. It's tainted with semi-publish-y-ness. It's a bit of a hybrid genre. It's not YA or women-centric (pretty much what everyone seems to want nowadays). I haven't blown anybody's doors off with my query skills. Perhaps I should just take a deep breath and narrow my focus on killing it with a serious attempt at self-pubbing and self-promo.
Industry professional (ish) here with some tough love for you.

The first thing you should do is take your book offline. Get rid of those links on your website, remove it from bookrix and anywhere else you've put it. And your website needs a re-design: it's not enticing.

Yes, you've published it by putting it up online. But if you know that it's only been looked at by half a dozen people, I suspect you'll get away with this.

Stop making sweeping statements like, "my book is too long", "agents only want YA or woman-centric stuff", and so on. They're not true, and they're not helping.

You say your book is too long for most agents: judging by the blurb you've provided on bookrix, your writing is far too wordy. I've had a quick look at the reading sample offered there, and yep, it's overwritten and unclear. You need to work on your writing before submitting this anywhere. The best way to find out what you're doing wrong is to give critiques to other writers. It's the quickest, easiest and safest way to understand why your own work isn't working. Trust me on this: I've been writing and editing for decades and have seen writers transform their work by giving critiques.

And... part of the reason I wanted my book out there is to build rep and name recognition. It seems most of the success stories I hear about start with that. And yet, that's the thing I'm shooting myself in the foot to do. Ugh. My brain hurts.
And the phrase does not need to be said: "welcome to the big show, rook." Rook is humbly sitting on the bench after his fastball gave up a 3-run bomb.
Ah, me. Well, take it, learn from it, and keep throwing. Thanks guys and gals.
Putting your work out for free is not how you build a following on social media. Engaging in conversations is how you do that.

Building a brand means publishing your books well. Not putting them up for free on your site.

Take a step back. Stop rushing at this. Learn how to do it properly.

Quote Originally Posted by jeffschanz View Post
Treehouseman. Good advice, of course.
Have 4 now. 11 chapters in on #5. Have 4 more on the docket to start ASAP. Current one pictured is just the most ready to hit the public. Definitely not stopping to whine. Just whining while I work.
Stop writing anything new for now. Learn what needs improving in your writing first. Then your new work will be better, and will need less work.

Quote Originally Posted by jeffschanz View Post
Cornflake. Thank you for the invite. It is most appreciated.
I am not really interested in piece by piece crits, though. Or workshops. Not my scene. But it is a great tool for a lot of people. I'm not even very comfortable being on the critic side. I don't feel like I have enough street cred to offer that kind of detailed advice to legitimate authors. If they specifically ask me, I will, but that's sort of a "buyer beware" situation. But thank you, and good advice for most.
You're a reader. Of course you have the authority to tell writers what you like and don't like about their work. And as I said earlier, it will help you learn how to improve your own work. You do have to focus carefully, and apply the things you learn to your own work, but you can do that.

Quote Originally Posted by jeffschanz View Post
1. It's just a personal thing with me, but I'm not into partial crits. There's a combination of complex, psychological and stubborn reasons. Too much to detail here. My mind might eventual change, of course. I've been dealing with artistic crits for nearly 35 years. The concept is very familiar. Query/synopsis help is another matter, though.
You do really need to work on your writing at this basic level, though. And giving and receiving those partial crits is how you do it. You might not like it, but your work really needs it. There's no way round this.

2. Thank you Toothpaste for the reference. I will look into them. I read so seldom anymore. Not an exaggeration, I spend all my free time writing. I'm away from home either working or driving 12 hours a day, 5 days a week. I write on my breaks, I write on weekends, at my daughter's softball games, and I think about my plot points while I drive. I'm obsessed, not proud of it, but honest about it. I've been trying to read other author's work that have been corresponding with me, and wouldn't mind trying to read one of Mr. Butchers, but I'm not sure when I'll get to it.
3. I'm not a fan of reading a 2k word draft, too, Patty. I will if asked, but not a fan. I find it hard to relate to stopping at 2k words and wanting feedback. Why stop at 2k? Feels alien. I know it's helpful to a lot of people though, and important. Just not my personal preference to read or submit.
If you don't read, then you don't know the book market; you don't know what's working, what's popular, what's bad. Make it a priority to start reading more: it will help your writing.

I read two or three books a week, and I find the more I read, the more I write. It's so important.