The Longest Journey Begins With …

If you look to the right of this posting, you’ll see a book cover with my name on it under the heading, “Coming soon.”    I’m interested in any feedback you might have.   Does it look professional?  Does it make you want to read the book?   Does it induce nausea?

So yeah, my book is finally getting “published,” “self-published”, that is.  I gave the traditional find an agent or publisher path more than a year, and received nothing but irritation and frustration.  It’s no wonder they say that this model is dying.  It’s not the rejections that bother me – I came to appreciate them, even the form letter responses saying they’ve read my query letter or excerpt and it’s just not a fit at this time.   At least they have the decency to send something back.  What really bothers me is the number of inquiries that got no return at all.  I understand that these poor agents and editors are so overloaded, their slush piles are so high.   But to not even respond?   There were a couple of times where they asked me to send a transcript after reviewing my query letter, and then never answered, even when I sent a tepid reminder some weeks  later  per the instructions on their web pages.  Please, tell me that I and my work suck, it’s better than not telling me anything at all.

I get it, they are overworked and overloaded.  I can appreciate and understand that.    But what I can’t tolerate is rudeness.  To me, it is simple rudeness not to answer someone’s query letter.   I think these agents and publishers need to think long and hard about what it is that keeps them in business.   It’s the writers out there.  And the more overloaded they are, the more likely they are to find that diamond in the rough, the next Harry Potter or Twilight or whatever.   They should be grateful that their slush piles are full.   Every time I read a column or a blog or an interview where an agent mocks the amateur and talentless dreamers and their laughable queries, I wince.   They should be treating all of these neophytes with dreams bigger than talent with the respect that they deserve, or they should get into another business.

Anyway, I’ve given it the allotted year, and now I am going to self-publish, print-on-demand and e-books.   I’m going through my final edits, and sometime in the next few weeks, Ojibway Valley will be out there on Amazon.   I have no illusions about sales – I know they are going to be modest, more than likely embarrassingly modest.  I have trouble articulating exactly why I am self publishing and exactly what I hope to accomplish.   I guess it’s because I’ve written a book, and I think it’s not bad, and I want other people to read it, and maybe some small percentage of them will think that it’s not bad, too.

Over the past few years, I’ve invested a lot of time and energy in my writing.  I think I’m getting better, but I know I still have a long way to go.   Publishing Ojibway Valley now feels like the right thing to do at the right time, like taking a GPS reading and getting my coordinates for where exactly I am on my journey.

I’ll post more as things progress.   In the meantime,  any feedback is welcome!

5 thoughts on “The Longest Journey Begins With …

  1. Congratulations on the next part of your journey! I think the book looks professional, the cover art makes me want to read it, and also think the only thing that induces nausea is you. No, seriously, I think it is time to try out the world of self publishing: one of the main motivators behind creating art is reaching and communicating with an audience. In this day and age I see no reason why you must go through traditional channels. From what I’ve read of this, in the very rough draft, it IS good and deserves publishing. I look forward to reading the finished product.

  2. Yes! Dave, your cover looks professional. It makes me want to read the book. And, it suits the content. I’m looking forward to buying it and reading it! Tangibility is a great reason to self-publish. Blogs are good for sharing excerpts, but the official printed version is what readers and authors themselves really want . Let all of us non-published writers take advantage of today’s technology and get our work out there for readers to enjoy, whatever their number. Publishing companies are like record companies–and we are the garage bands. As you experienced, the slush monkeys have a lot coming at them. The odds of a “label” discovering any one of us are greatly unfavorable (especially if the content does not look like a money maker). But when our work is out there in self-published print, our chances get just a little better. Someone stumbling across our “demo” is more likely to consider it for wider publication than someone who glances at thousands of manuscripts, or who clicks onto a blog and then clicks away from it.

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