What months have passed? Sundays mark them. A month’s worth. A hundred and twelve queries sent and not a single mote of interest found in the book I wrote last year. And now yet another novel begun in the midst of all that inquiring is stopped as if stunned, like an ox in the road without a cart. (Or is that a la carte?)
This is not the first, of course. With the previous book, a more difficult subject, I stopped after only sixty queries. Six other novels have preceded that (not counting the two that were published—those without an agent and with a unique publisher).
Different queries were tried for each. Each and every time. The agents written were all individually chosen for their avowed interest in the ‘original.’ The dictates of their procrustean formulas of supplication were stringently obeyed. But when confronted, their interests, alas, were for something shorter and more conventional. (With or without zombies? Without.) Without a read, they say my book (books) did not fit their current needs. They wish me well.
Publishers will not read anything that is not represented by an agent. Agents must be queried for their interest. If none are interested, the work will not be read. It’s the way we live now. With few exceptions, publisher’s are not men (or women). They are corporations. Corporations are risk adverse. That is the Gordian Knot to cut. Just down the road from where old Procrustes slept.
What’s to be done?
Like I said, The Dark Heart of Night is a damned good book. And I know it!
Thus, after due diligence and deliberation, I have decided that if no one is going to read it anyway, at the least they should get to not read it as an actual book. So I will publish it myself, one copy at a time, through the power of the mighty Amazon’s CreateSpace.
Self-publishing is not a great risk. It is a token loss taken instead of a total one. Simply summed, the pain of no gain for the effort of a year or two. A few more typos missed. (Likely more than a few, I know.) Many fewer readers. But at least the book will be where it can be found and read by the happy few–may they feast!
And so, for those happy few, The Dark Heart of Night is now published and available through print-on-demand at Amazon. The book I wrote previous to that, I Imagine My Salvation, will be published in the same manner this coming winter. If my eyes hold up (I do not have the ready skills nor stamina of the professional proofreader), I will have the book I wrote two years ago, The knight’s tale, available by next summer.
In the mean time, I hope those who read this will be encouraged to try something both unsanctioned and unproscribed by the powers that be.