Friday, March 19, 2010

Keep Trying

Spent the past 24 hours trying to get a partial out to an agent.

Everything is fighting it, my computer didn't want to run the word processing program. Fixed it, moved on to reformatting a correctly formatted document that turned into junk on it's own. It's not like I haven't run into this before.

When I worked in the Netherlands, sending tech manuals halfway around the world, you wouldn't believe the way things would print out at the receiving end. That's why I check what I've done before sending it. Even then, it seems like there is some type of problem.

Today, ready to send the partial to the agent, went to another computer, where DSL/high speed is available. Now, I can get on my blog...but I can't get on my email to send them the partial!

To compound this, earlier I called their office, to clarify a couple of questions I had about the submission. Sent to voice mail, haven't heard back. Can't check my email to see if they answered my questions that way.

Are we having fun yet?

Doesn't matter, I don't stop.

Maybe my email server is having a problem.

Either way, I'll get the partial out.

If you're the agent in question, have mercy and a bit of patience, please.

What's that saying? 'That which doesn't kill me, makes me stronger!'

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I know, I know. Made a comment earlier about how I don't like to leave any projects 'undone'.

This one's been dragging on now for, ummmm, almost 3 years. Yes, time flies when you're researching and writing a novel. My car caught on fire, twice, still haven't fixed the carbs...OK, there were some short stories in there, the three blogs, farm work and a screenplay, but you get the idea.

Then I took the last year 'off', went, as a lady friend calls it, "incommunicado'. Part of the experience/research for the now completed novel. Which means I didn't do much in the way of worrying about being on the Internet or doing the blogs. Yes, there are a couple of unpublished posts that will complete the YOU WANNA BE IN MOVIES series.

I can now say that the feature film I was human background scenery on can be classified as a bomb. It won't be remembered as a classic, at least that's what I've been told.

For the really surprising confession is...I've yet to see it.

I'm so far out in the sticks that the local movie house didn't show it. When it came out on DVD, I decided that it wasn't worth buying. The local library is so small that we haven't got a copy of it. NO, I'm not going to rent it either.

Why? Word from my fellow human scenery extras is that the scenes we were in showed great shots of the train. As for us? Well, I understand that there wasn't much to be seen of the extras.

Hey LOOK! My head as a pixel!

The Sweet Taste of Rejection

Oh, the joy!

Query emails going out, rejections now starting to roll in. Most people would be depressed, upset, angry. WHY?

You have to get rejected to be accepted. When I sold BMWs and Volvos for a living, I learned about sales averages. At that time, you had to talk to about 100 people to sell 1 car. At the dealership I worked at, you were expected to sell at least 10-15 cars a month. Anything less and it was talk with the sales manager time.

Try sending out 1,000 to 1,500 queries a month. You can see why car salesmen spend so much time at the dealership. Now, if you had the same rate of return, you'd have 10-15 agents interested in your 'product' at the end of the month.

Throw in the fact that you're not selling a known product. Raise the return rate to about 200 to 1 or higher. Yep, tough to sell a book.

You can't give up.

Me, I'm just getting started.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Persistence, that great word which means you don't stop until you reach your goal.

Tenacity is part of my personality. I will stay on the book, project, job, whatever, until it's done. Why stop? There's nothing more aggravating than a unfinished project lying around.

Which leads to the frustrating part of being a writer. The real work comes after I write the story. Then I have to find an agent or publisher.

I've sent out the query letter.

Now comes the hard part, waiting for the reply.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Your Efforts May Be In Vain

OK, few hours since the last blog.

Agent Query email results?

No change.

Send the test email. Reformats itself to look as if I am unable to insert page breaks, etc.

Which I did, but they get stripped out when sent through the ISP server or maybe the virus hunter?

I am not having fun now.

Decided to go ahead, send the email to an agent. May she be merciful on my efforts.

After all, life out here in the 'rural areas' of America doesn't include the wonders of cable, DSL or high-speed internet of any type. Unless you want to spend the big bucks on satellite, which works at a less than satisfactory level. Just ask my neighbors, who have used it and then quit it.

Ah, but the views are sublime and the wonders of nature abound.

Yes, I LOVE NY and LA.

But it's hard to take this old boy out of the country.

So, dear agent, please be gentle
If rejection be thy choice
I shall suffer no remorse
For I have done my best

How Many Ways Can I Write This?

Dear Agent,

Have I told you about my book?

Yes, I know this isn't the way to do it, but my angst is now overwhelming my restraint.

Spent the better part of the morning, rewriting my basic email query. Went out, chopped some wood for the wood burner. Got cleaned up and got on the Internet.

Enjoyed the nerve wracking experience of putting my carefully crafted query into an email, then checked it.

Yep, all that time spent putting page breaks, correct spacing, page numbers on the query, wasted. Down the tubes. Repair the damage and try again. Send the email to myself.

Haven't looked at it yet.

Afraid of what I'll find.

So, Dear Agent, you might not get the query until tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

For My Next Act...

Yeah, a couple of weeks, I'll be back.

How about just shy of a year, by a couple of weeks?

That's the thrills, chills and headaches of writing, researching, editing and rewriting a novel.

It doesn't help when the agents/publishers decide that anything over 125,000 words is too long. I was at 136,000 words when I got the news by reading the blogosphere.

Back to cutting, rewriting, restructuring the book. I'm not complaining, because I'm convinced it improved the book, immensely.

Now it's time to find an agent. Which, from what I've heard, is much harder work than writing the book.

Yes, I've started writing the next book.

It's what I do.