Author Stacey Rourke

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

THE BUSINESS OF BOOKS

A fresh round of query letter submissions have gone out for THE CONDUIT. Some immediately kicked back rejections so quickly that there was no way anyone even looked at it. Others glanced at my letter and cast it aside without a second thought. Maybe they didn't like my font. Or maybe my last name reminds them of Mickey Rourke and he scares them a little bit. Whatever their reason I know it wasn't my writing, because they didn't see a page of that. Just the letter.

The whole process is headache inducing. Writers want to make a name for themselves and "the business" tells us we need agents to do that. Agents want clients that are going to make money, therefore many are hard pressed to take on an "unknown." Now if Stephen King walks through their door looking for new representation they will fall all over themselves to get to him. But a newbie? Nuh-uh. How then does any unknown author stand a chance? By finding the agents, and they ARE out there, that are willing to put in the work to cultivate a new talent instead of just riding the coattails of an established one. I have interacted with some of the "good" agents. While a business relationship wasn't formed they have been willing to give me tips, suggestions and advice to help me along. I appreciate them immensely. My hope now is that I will find one of these hardworking, helpful agents that will feel passionately enough about my story and my voice to take a chance on me.

All of this comes with a confession; I hate this part. I love to write. I love perfecting my work through careful editing. I even like hearing feedback from others on how the story could be tweaked or improved. I hate the submission process. I have worked on THE CONDUIT for two years. An agent rejecting it in less than sixty seconds with a form letter is maddening. It makes me want to show them my impression of Jack Nicholson in THE SHINING. ("Heeeeeeere's Stacey!)

But I won't. I'll play the game. I will let my work stand on its own and hope that it falls into the right hands. In the meantime I will distract myself by focusing on the part of all this I find cathartic--writing.

3 comments:

  1. Your work WILL stand on it's own. It is good and you need to remember that.

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