Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Breaking the Membrane

I got to peek under the industry curtain a bit this week. More on that in a moment. First, updates.

“Rise of the Paramancers” is about half-way edited. Once I’ve ironed out some consistency issues I’ll be posting it on a new resource I found out about: This site allows authors of genre fiction (no literary fiction yet) to post drafts and get free feedback from readers of that genre. By the end of summer, “Rise” should be polished enough for me to post.

I heard about this resource from Michael Underwood, the U.S. sales and marketing manager for Angry Robot books. (They’re the U.K. company responsible for publishing Chuck Wendig, author of “Double Dead” and “The Blue Blazes”. I’ve trumpeted his genius in prior posts.)

Michael was able to get his big break by using Bookcountry, which is sometimes cruised by editors and publishers. He shared his career breakthrough story at a local event, and it was wonderful to hear about how someone else struggled, and eventually jabbed through, the evil, only-publish-what’s-already-sold membrane that coats large sectors of the publishing industry.   

His story validated a suspicion of mine: “Jesse Rules” might not be the book that breaks the membrane for me. The premise is a hard sell. “Wanna buy my book about a homicidal closeted catholic school student?” “Ma’am?” “Why are you backing away slowly while maintaining eye contact?”
Of course, I love my book. I think its all the desperate ambition and frustrated libido of teenagerdom, rolled up in one awesomeballs manuscript.  So of course, I’m still going to try to sell it. But maybe it has to be another title that earns me some advocates, and then I pull the old Reading Rainbow – “If you liked my elemental coming-of-age fantasy, you’ll lo-ove my homicidal closeted catholic school literary fiction!”

Michael broke through with his third book (“Geekomancy”, check it out). I’m still finishing my second, so I may not be as far along this journey as I’d hoped to be by now. So it's time to slide into Zen mode and enjoy each step for what it is. Next week is Saints and Sinners in New Orleans, where I’ll be signing copies of my fifth published story, “Mountainview”, in the 2013 Saints and SInners New Fiction from the Festival collection. Below are the links to my free published pieces, as well as the 2012 Saints and Sinners collection, which features my fourth published story, “Divine Hand”.
"The Camp Seminole Weiner Wall", 2012 Best of the Net nominee, free to read
"Friends and Pyromaniacs", if the link works it ought to be free to read
"The Gay Bomb", my first publication ever and it's free to read
The Amazon link to buy "Saints and Sinners New Fiction from the Festival 2012" featuring "Divine Hand"

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