Wednesday, December 28, 2016

How Todd spent 2016

In short, it was the year of Vortex.

As indicated, I devoted the bulk of this year to querying selected agents regarding the completed manuscript. This took place in several small waves throughout the summer and fall months. I culled a number of different references in order to target agents that represented Contemporary YA, Sci-Fi or similar. New agents, well established ones, East Coast US, West Coast, even a couple overseas. Alas, though I received a few offers of encouragement that went beyond the rote 'Not for me,' there were no takers. At this point, I feel I have allowed sufficient time for reactions to come in accordingly on my outstanding queries. These days most agencies tend to operate on the basis of: if you don't hear from us by X, assume we are not interested. I'd estimate around half of my query letters did result in some kind of formal rejection returning; I figured I'd be lucky to get any kind of actual rejection from around a third of them. Props to the ones who took the time to say no thanks. Closure is a good thing.

So I am therefore switching to the next stage of my go-to-market plan. I'm currently in the midst of performing two professional editing passes on the story: a) an extensive structural critique to identify any plot, characterization, continuity or other glaring issues requiring correction, and b) a line edit to catch and resolve all the grammar problems. In parallel, I'll be commissioning cover art. The goal is to pull together an e-book package and self publish early in 2017 via Amazon and Smashwords. Once that is accomplished, I'll be into the marketing and promoting stage of my plan. I'm interested to see what the latest options are in this area, how they work, certainly how well they work (if that's even measurable). One way or another, this ride will be fascinating.

I actually do have an older short story of mine, Shadows in the Mirror, that I need to package up and publish as a standalone e-book. I'll be completing that activity to learn the latest and greatest methods and procedures involved ahead of having to use them for Vortex. The tools and techniques for e-book publishing continue to evolve since my last hands-on years ago. From what I'm seeing, it appears to have simplified somewhat but it still isn't to the point where it could be called simple, consistent and reliable with predictable results. Unless a writer just wants to fork over a fee for someone else to take care of it. I suppose that's mighty dirt simple, if you can afford to do it.

In the background, I've been working on a smattering of flash pieces. One looks promising to have ready for early 2017. Most of the other works I'm chalking up to exercising and experimentation. At some point next year, I'll need to sort out and embark on my next major project or two.

So onto 2017. As of now, it's looking like year 2 of Vortex, at least for starters. Hope this ride doesn't get too bumpy.


Silly me.

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