Progress Report #9
ah, so I believe I finally found the reason as to why I can’t find a literary agent. Due to all the research that I’ve done, and I’ve done a lot (but apparently not enough) I came to believe that the story I wrote was a novel. However, it turns out it’s more like a novella, which explains why a literary agent wouldn’t pick it up. Novellas are hard to market due to their length and tend to yield low book sales, so an agent would be hesitant to find a publisher for it unless he or she is an establish author.
You know, I think this is more my fault than anything else. I wanted my book to be a novel and searched for stuff that confirmed to me that it was a novel, thus fueling my perception that it is a novel. The old confirmation bias rears its ugly head. It is not entirely my fault, though. The information out there does point to a 50,000 word story being categorized as a novel, especially considering that I read in several places online that 40,000 words is a novella. Now you see how one would conclude that if their story is above 40K it would be a novel. Also worth noting, it’s national write a novel month and the minimum is 50K, again fueling the perception that 50K words is considered a novel. If you ask me, “light novel” is a more appropreiate term and it makes sense being that 50K isn’t that far from 40K, yet is a significant amount in terms of content, but since this isn’t Japan, that won’t work. I also think word count and what it means for a story is arbitrary. Just because one person says it’s a novel doesn’t necessarily mean it is, another person may very well say it’s a novella. From now on, especially after my experience, I’m going to follow the rule that anything between 30K and 75K is a novella, anything above those numbers is novel territory.
What this all means is that I have to reassess my approach. Since novellas are difficult to publish by traditional means, I’m leaning even more toward self-publishing. And if I self-publish that means it’ll be on my pen name, since that name is already making a name for itself (excuse the pun).
Progress Report #8
Well, a literary agent still hasn’t taken the bite. I knew this was going to be a long process, but I’m starting to wonder if I’m doing something wrong, especially considering the positive reviews I get from anyone who has read my novel. Perhaps it’s the query letter? Maybe the beginning of the story needs to be more compelling? It is the first thing literary agents see, after all. Perhaps the story just simply isn’t good enough? I don’t know. Regardless, I have it in mind to begin the process of self-publishing Tidal if I don’t get a manuscript request by the end of February. This means that Tidal could potentially be released during autumn or winter of 2014. I’m iffy going the self-publishing route, though, because after working on Tidal for so long, I think it deserves to be published through a publishing house (not to belittle self-publishing) or at least be considered to be published in such - but that’s just me!
In other news, I’ve been writing on and off, working on various projects. I’m still not sure which one I am going to commit to, but I’m coming close to a deceision. I have pegged my next project for a completion date of late summer, early autumn 2014. Either it will be the start of a sci-fi trilogy or a short story anthology.