Thursday, January 26, 2006

Limited Engagement

I'm itching to get started on the next novel in the Bonfire Series (Working Title: 'Kindling') but I really think I should wait until I know what's going to happen to the first one (Splinters).

Getting published is a bitch.

After having exhausted everything I could think of to acquire an agent in the States to represent 'Splinters' (Long story short - I felt it had mass market appeal and that meant an American Publisher and that meant an agent) I decided to start trying the smaller Canadian Publishing Houses. But God, it all takes so long! You wait three or four months to find out that they don't think it suits their catalogue. (Well, Duh! It's a new approach to novel-writing. Of course you don't already have anything like it.)

At what point do you decide that your vision is wrong and the status quo is correct? I dunno - haven't reached it yet, I guess.

My friend Randy keeps pushing me to self-publish. 'That way,' he argues, 'you keep 60% of the margin instead of 8%.' And he's right but it seems to me that 8% of something is better than 60% of nothing.

I mean, it would be different if the book was non-fiction. If you've written a book about something like Economics or History or How To Skin A Cat you can go on a Speaking Tour and sell your book that way and self-publishing makes sense. But you really can't take a work of fiction on a Speaking Tour if you are an unknown author - who would show up to hear you? Imagine the posters - 'Tonight Ladies and Gentlemen - someone you've never heard of speaking about something you've also never heard of.'

Oh yeah - that's gonna pack 'em in.

It's different if it's a Celebrity Author. 'Tonight - Ladies and Gentlemen - Stephen King reading excerpts from his latest shopping list.' And they'd be turning 'em away at the door.

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