Thursday, April 30, 2009

New month, same as the old month

I can't believe it'll be May in a few hours. We're 1/3 of the way through 2009.

I had one acceptance in April, two rejections. So far I've made one sale every month of the year. It'd be cool if I could keep that up, but since I've pretty much decided to stop writing short stories--unless the mood just takes me--that's probably not going to happen. I've only got four or five active short stories out in submissionland now, and two of those need to be reworked before I send them out again.

Still haven't heard back from the agent who requested my full last fall. I think I can safely stop expecting to hear back from her ever. I'm pretty sick of the whole agent thing right now anyway. The whole #queryfail, #agentfail issue recently did two things for me: it humanized agents, when before I sort of thought of them as an abstract collective entity, and it also made me realize that agents, like a lot of other humans, are jerks. Add to that the zero interest I've gotten from agents about The Taste of Magic--which, dammit, is an extremely good book--and the fact that fully half of the agents I've queried about it haven't never bothered to respond at all (eight rejects out of fifteen queries in February and March), and I'm fed up with having to deal with a middleman anyway. Agents can go jump off a bridge.

Still haven't heard back about my novella, either. I sent a status query to the editor this afternoon, since it's been three months and the editor said it would probably be two months before I heard back. I hope the attachment wasn't eaten by the internets.

And I haven't heard back about the rewritten time travel story, although I no longer care. That was the story that killed short stories for me.

So basically, the last month has been just like the previous several months: I hear nothing from nobody, and the ringing silence makes me doubt my worth as a writer. Do you know, that time travel story derailed me so completely that I think I've written maybe 3,000 words all month? I really need to stop brooding over things I have no control over and just damn well write--but what's the point, if sending the new stuff out means even more editors/agents ignoring me?

These end-of-month posts make me grim. Maybe you hadn't noticed.


Aaron Polson said...

...but "good books make life worth living." I'm quoting you, of course.

I think agents should work like this: toss all the queries for a month in a big vat, pull out ten at random, represent the books sight-unseen. Then the publishers can do the same from the agented books.

Clearly that's how some of the dreck out there made it to the top of the pile. Really, have you read some of that crap?

Hope May is a wonderful month.

BT said...

I hear you and empathise 100%!

I'm giving away end of month round ups. If you want to know what I've been up to, stay up to date with my posts - I promise I won't hide what I'm doing over the month.

Strangely very few of us have heard from the dark side in recent times. I'd have to have a look at home but I think I've had one rejection email in the last 6-8 weeks and one story shortlisted. That's it! I've got aboput 10 stories out there at the moment, but it's very quite on my side.

As for agents - yep they're people as well. Yes they should reply, but some don't - scratch them off your list and move on. Get feedback on your query if it's not generating the responses you're after.

If it still doesn't work, then rework your story (with feedback) so you can then have a new round of queries to send out to a more focused list of agents.

All you need to do is ask. Help is only ever the internet away.

BT said...

Aaron - I think you may have something there...

K.C. Shaw said...

Aaron--Thanks for making me feel better. I think you're right about the ten-at-random thing; only that can explain some of the books I've read.

BT--I ought to do away with the end-of-month thing too, since it just concentrates my frustration with the (slow, horrible) publishing process. I do plan to rework my query letter this week at some point. Maybe I'll post it and ask for help.

Cate Gardner said...

I say don't hesitate, post your query letter (and hope Carrie H stops by - she's a genius with those things).

There are fabulous agents out there (many, many fabulous agents) - keep looking and you'll find the right one.

K.C. Shaw said...

Cate--thanks, I hope you're right. I think I will post the query, after I go over it again. Obviously it's not doing its job.

Jamie Eyberg said...

Good books do make life worth living and if you have a good book then keep submitting it. Someone will pick it up. Agent or publisher

K.C. Shaw said...

Jamie--Thanks, I need to keep reminding myself of that.