I’ve been on Instragram for quite a while now, but never really got that into it until about six months ago when I finally started to understand the way it and the community works. Since then I’ve been a fairly active instagrammer (even if I only have about 150 followers) – but recently I was inspired to start a separate, themed, Instagram account.
With all the beautiful photos I see people post of their books, I knew the world didn’t need another cover art Instagram / bookstagram account. So I didn’t go there. I did, however, find inspiration elsewhere – in the notes and markups I’ve found in the used books I’ve been reading.
It’s pretty fascinating, in my opinion, to see what sections people mark or underline when they are reading a book. Not to mention all the interesting notes people actually write in the margins. My new Instagram account (markedbooks) is entirely focused on sharing these finds. I’ve been going through piles of used books and snapping photos of what marks others have made in them, and sharing them now online via Instagram.
Anyway, feel free to follow. I’d obviously love more followers – but I also think it’s just an interesting project. It’s like peering through little windows into other peoples’ brains. I like that.
As I posted the other day, I’m currently in the process of querying agents to look for representation on my new book. I’ve only queried a few agents so far, as I’m trying to be pretty selective and only reach out to people who look like good potential fits – but I did receive my first rejection today!
In all honesty, it was nice to receive the rejection. At least now I know that my queries are going out, and I’ve gotten the first rejection out of the way. It’s pretty likely there will be many more, especially given that according to articles I’ve read online you should expect to query as many as 100 agents before you should even consider giving up.
So, it’s all about finding the right match. It’s a long slog, and I’m only 5% of the way to “quitting time” – but I strongly believe it will be worth it in the end.
If you’re familiar with either of my two previous books, The Trouble With Being God or Starving the Artist, you probably know that I started out as a self-published author. This time around, however, I’m looking to go the more traditional route. As such, I’ve started querying a few agents to get the ball rolling.
Of course, a lot of people are wondering why I’m not self-publishing this time around. My reasoning is pretty clear: I want to put out a better end product. There’s only so far I can get with finding beta readers and hiring editors and working and reworking my book. And in the end, even if I end up with a fantastic final self-published book, distribution and marketing are still all up to me as well.
Yes, I know that publishers expect you to also promote yourself, and that is fine with me. But I’d much rather give a shot at the traditional route, release something very solid, and have partners working with me the whole way through.
It’s a tedious process, to be sure. And who knows if I’ll even find someone – although I do think that it’s basically a matter of finding the right person at the right time. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot more along the way here, but it will be an interesting journey.
Right now I’m preparing for the rejection letters (or completely lack of response). But I’m also hopeful and positive. It’s going to take a lot of patience on my part – but in the end I strongly believe it will be worth it.
… and yes, I also know that just having an agent doesn’t guarantee publication by an existing publishing house. It does make it a heck of a lot more likely though.
The book I wrote over about a two week period in November 2015 is now to a point where I am ready to get some reader feedback. It’s gone through some editing and rewrites, and will be going back for another round of rewrites soon too – but I’m hoping to get some reader feedback too so I can get additional views on what works and what doesn’t. If you’re interested in getting a digital copy of this early draft, let me know – I’d be happy to send a few out.
I don’t have a synopsis written yet – but it’s basically a story of a guy who goes over some “confessions” of his life. Kind of literary, kind of philosophical, kind of a thriller. It’s pretty short though – only expected to be about 150 pages when finally printed.
Anyway, if you’re interested, drop a comment.
I’ve been reading some collections of short stories lately, and honestly they are reminders of why I don’t really care for short stories all that much. It’s just so difficult for a writer to put together something so short that still has meaning. A few of Camus’s from ‘Exile and the Kingdom’ were good (I particularly enjoyed “Jonas, Or the Writer At Work,”) but most of them failed to reach the expectations works like ‘The Fall’ and ‘The Stranger’ had set for me. Hemingway is faring a little better in his ‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro’ collection – “A Well Lighted Place” was simply fantastic … but I’m still partial to novellas vs. short stories.
On that note, I’ve decided to put together a few short stories of my own this year. Not having written anything in short story form since I was a kid, it’s actually a rather difficult exercise, to make something with meaning and impact in such a short amount of space. My first work of 2016, a short story called ‘The Secret’ was finished earlier this morning, and I think it works somewhat due to the fact that it’s a kind of horror story – which definitely seem to lend themselves to the short story form better than some other types of writing. Since you’re mostly setting a mood, a scene and then throwing some sort of shock or surprise at the end, the format works fairly well. In fact, I personally prefer the short stories of Stephen King and many other horror writers to their full-length novels.
So, that’s that. I wrote a short story. I think it’s decent. I have more in mind too. More than anything, they’re a good opportunity to exercise different writing muscles than what I’ve been used to.
Finally forced myself to set aside some time to write what I refer to as “the letter” – for the upcoming book. It’s one of the last two major rewrites of my first round of edits that I felt needed to be added to give the book the proper ending. Just one more major portion I need to expand out a little and then the first round of edits will be complete. Still quite a bit more to go (another few rounds of edits probably) – but the major reworking and cleanup of the story is just about done.
Here’s the letter, by the way. Blurred so you can’t read it. I wouldn’t struggle to make it out either, because if you do, the book might be a little less enjoyable.
Obviously I’ve been super silent here for a long time. Mostly it’s because there hasn’t been a lot going on.
The good news is I have a new book that I’ve been working on that is almost done with its first round of edits. A second round will be coming soon thereafter – but I’ll also need to get it out to some people to do some preliminary “beta” reads.
It’s kind of a literary fiction piece, and it’s called “A Confession” (at least that’s the current name.) It all takes place in one sitting with a narrator speaking pretty much the entire time, recalling some past events. Definitely inspired by all of the existentialist fiction I’ve been reading. And, as you’d expect from me, it definitely has a little bit of darkness to it.
Anyway, if you’re interested in reading an early version, let me know. Otherwise I’ll likely share a few snippets here and there as it gets closer to release.