• stopping person from going forward rejection

    Unhelpful Rejection Letters: A Rant

    As I put Replaneted to bed and put into the bin of other failures, I gotta rant about the rejection process. In “On Writing”, King says you keep writing, keep submitting to agents, and expect to get form letters. The signal you’re getting good will be when you start getting personalized rejection letters. Something that says “we didn’t like this, but try again”. Of course, King was doing this back in the 1970s and 1980s. Those were the days, weren’t they? Back when you sent in physical copies of your manuscript and had to pay for stamps. Nowadays you’re lucky to get a response at all, let alone a form…

  • writer conference convention

    Write-Up on the Minnesota Writing Workshop 2023

    So this weekend I attended the 2023 Minnesota Writing Workshop in Saint Paul. I am averse to writing conferences because A) I’m extremely introverted and B) I can’t stand spending that much money on something that could potentially go nowhere. I’m not a gambler. I like to know I’m getting something for my money. Maybe I’m a Scrooge that way. Maybe I have to realize there are no guarantees in life. But for one thing, I wanted to make some writer friends. To at least try and socialize and pretend I’m part of this community. And every time I read about how XYZ author got their book deal, a lot…

  • girl sticking tongue out

    How’s Replaneted Doing in the Queries?

    So this January, I signed up for QueryTracker Premium in the hopes that it would help me submit Replaneted (a.k.a. terraforming romance). I’ve probably doled out about $200-$250 on this book (query letter specifically) because I believed Replaneted was a good story. It was the best I had written so far and the most marketable. It had a strong voice, defined characters, an interesting setting, a plot full of heart and intrigue. So how did it go? It sucked. It sucked worse than any other submission blitz I’ve ever done. Not a single request for a complete manuscript or even a partial. Every rejection was a form letter. It was…

  • dwarf woman

    Taking The Mudbow Sisters to Publishers

    I’m revisiting The Mudbow Sisters, my “Sons of Katie Elder with Dwarves” novel, by sending my query to publishers instead of agents this time. That’s how I got Merm-8 first published, and I miss having a book on the shelves. There are people who do read my work. My wife knows someone who read it because she looks for books by local authors. There aren’t as many publishers as agents who take direct, unsolicited submissions so this won’t take long. Most of them have some excluding factor, like being only Christian or only romance, neither of which my book is. And you can tell by the quality of the book…

  • jealousy babies

    Angrily Jealous

    So Lindsay Ellis, who I’ve talked about before, just announced that she sold a book, a fiction book, and it’ll be published in 2020. I should be happy about that. One of my favorite YouTubers, who makes insightful and thought-provoking analyses of nostalgic films and film theory, has a book coming out. And instead of being happy, I find myself being angry and insanely jealous. Why? I know it wasn’t like it was easy for her. She says it took ten years to get the book published. I’ve been doing this since 2006. I’ve written a half-dozen novels, collected rejections. Did she get this just because she’s got semi-celebrity status?…

  • depressed writer

    The Year in Writing

    This has not been a great year for writing.  I finished Defender and started sending out the queries.  Only two agents bit.  The rest never responded or sent rejections.  This is my third novel I’ve written with intent for publication and again, no one was interested.  I know most novelists don’t get their first novel published.  A lot don’t get their second.  But three novels with ~93 rejections a piece?  I am doing something seriously wrong. Art is one of those things where no one can tell you what you’re doing wrong.  When you put together a bunch of ingredients that don’t work together, no one can tell you how…

  • musa publishing logo

    Musa Publishing Shuts Down

    So Musa, where Merm-8 has been published, is shutting its doors.  They announced it via email to its authors today that, at the end of the month, all links will be pulled from buying sites and rights are reversed back to us. So in six short months I go from achieving my dream of being a published author back to the beginning.  I won’t have a book to show off and say “yes, I’m in the marketplace”.  I can’t point people to an Amazon page or promote on Twitter or anything.  I’ll be back to where I started. I don’t blame Musa at all for this.  No anger.  They’ve been…

  • book club cartoon women

    The Book Club

    My wife is a member of a neighborhood book club. Which is not, as you might think, a thinly veiled excuse to drink wine and complain about their husbands. It is, however, mostly filled with snacks and conversations. Most of which aren’t relevant to the book. They’re usual fare isn’t usually book clubby books — books with heavy subjects but entertaining stories like The Help or The Fault in Our Stars.  This month, it was Merm-8. Hey, that’s my book. And to tell the truth, I’m disappointed in myself for not exploiting the opportunity as much as I could’ve/should’ve. For some reason, I just didn’t feel very writerly that day…