Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Slacking Off

I have something to admit - I've been slacking off.

Maybe you're asking yourself how that can possibly be.  Why, Russ blogs consistently three times a week!  He's always there for us to help provide the one unchanging part of our ever-changing world.  Quite simply, it comes down to trying to get my books published.

I haven't done diddly squat with them recently.

Yes, I've been blogging about writing, but I haven't done anything in the past little while to get my books in front of readers.  Oh sure, I started out like gangbusters back in August when I sent out eight initial queries for Salvation Day, but after I got rejected by most - I say most b/c three didn't even answer - I only sent out six more letters the following month.  Then two the next month.  And I haven't sent out a single query on Salvation Day since October.

I placated myself with empty words about it being hard since my novel was 140,000 words and most folks want you to keep them under 100,000.  Besides, Akeldama was now done and I would soon begin querying that.  This one was under 100,000 words, coming in right at 95,000, so this one would be my key to success.  I had reason to be joyful and excited again, so I sent out ten queries in the first week of January.

I soon got the same rejections and silence.  Since then, I've only sent out three more queries, and nothing in over a month.  I've made excuse after excuse about being busy, but that's really all they were - excuses.  I've had time, and I know it.  Instead of sitting down to read Guns of the South for the 50th time, I could've cobbled together my list of agents, researched them all, and personalized their queries.  Shit, who says I even have to stick to agents?  Thanks to several online and print sources, I know more than a few publishers who accept direct queries.

I just haven't done this.  I've been a lazy bastard who needs to get off of his rear and get back in the game.  Getting published is the ultimate goal.  Yes, writing short stories for contests is fun and will get my name out there if they place, but isn't that just another avenue to get someone to notice my novels?  What's the point if I'm not actively trying to get my stuff in the hands of agents or publishers?  Yes, I could make some high and mighty comment about getting better as a writer, and I certainly would, but that's not it.  It really isn't hard - I just haven't done the necessary work beyond my initial foray. Well, no more!

Unfortunately, I have a business trip to the Philippines in about two weeks and can't yet get started(yeah, probably just another excuse).  However, I will begin putting together my next stratagem this weekend for immediate use when I return(be warned - I don't know how much access I'll have to the Internet, so blogging may go dark for a little while...more on that next week). At that point, I'll start the next round of agent and publishers querying and won't stop until I either get a no from everyone, or I completely run out of prospects.  Oh, and in all of that, I'll keep writing my next novel.

That's not meant as a whine, but rather as a simple statement of who I am.  As Billy Crystal's character said in Throw Mama From the Train, "A writer writes, always."


  1. Hey Russ! When I was querying I kept track of sent and if there was a response on excel. Fire and forget man...don't hold your hopes on one person. Get your list together and set a daily goal of queries sent.

    1. Kevin - I have an excel spreadsheet and do try to "fire and forget." I think my problem is that I've been justifying why I'm waiting to continue querying(wow, a lot of "ing" in that sentence). I've just got to make time to personalize a new batch of queries and send them out.