Friday, October 10, 2008

Once More unto the Breach, Dear Friends

No, unto isn't a typo...I went with the original Shakespearean verse...

I just shipped off "The Demon Hustle" to The Book of Tentacles. Tendrils crossed.

Two new rejections for The Last Days of the Springdale Saints...rejected queries, I should say. The second one, although a form letter, struck at the very heart of my concern as a new writer. I've seen these lines before:

"the only way we can make a living is by selling books to the large and medium-sized New York publishers, and selling books by new writers to big publishers is becoming more difficult"

So what is one to do, if he/she happens to be a new writer? I'm playing the short story game (and generally enjoying the heck out of it). Do I keep slugging away until all of the joy is scraped from the bone? I want to enjoy writing--like I did when plugging away at "The Demon Hustle" or "Fresh Produce" (a 1,500 word piece I wrote in one day last weekend...that never seems to happen anymore).

I still have queries in the ether...plenty for short pieces, and a few for the novel, but I don't see the economy turning around enough that those "large and medium-sized New York publishers" are going to feel like taking risks. What about the small publisher it safe? Any ideas?

Oh well...once more into the breach!


Jamie Eyberg said...

These publishers to realize that eventually they will need to find new talent to keep the literary gene pool clean, right?

I personally say if you think you have a good product, keep plugging it. You will find an agent who believes in your work as much as you do. (Dr. Suess was rejected 26 times before random house took a chance on him)

Catherine J Gardner said...

Oh, I'd ignore that comment as it's just a stock line. New writers get picked up all the time, it's just a matter of finding the right agent.

Rob Brooks said...

I agree with Catherine--I think it's a matter of finding the right agent, ones who are interested in acquiring new authors and who are really interested in your work. Finding one of thiese is something I haven't had success with either.

Carrie Harris said...

Yep. It's a stock line. I got it too, and after 10 long years, I'm agented. Hopefully you'll beat my turnaround time, though. ;)

Mercedes said...

Little do they know that we're unagented "New Writers" by day and vigilantes by night. I've seen your name plastered all over Duotrope. One day we simply won't be "New Writers" anymore. We'll be...incarcerated?