An agent, a publisher, or an editor?

I’ve started the tedious process of finding an agent in order to get my transgressive novel “Weekend Getaways, or Adventures in Contract Killing” sold.  It will be a hard sell, primarily due to genre (something in the Chuck Palahnuik vein) and the fact that I am a newbie.

With a more than 1,000 page book in hand (“Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents”–a gift from my wife), I went through the 300+ page section on literary agents, scrupulously reading each entry to determine who represents what and how and why and submission guidelines.  I made a list and start going through each agencies website.  The thing that is most significant is to read their client list and then look up the various novels to determine if my stuff is like their stuff.

This is tedious stuff.  This is MORE difficult than writing the damned novel.  The writing part was (relatively speaking) easy because there was an outline, a guideline, a sensibility, an ultimate goal.  And, oh yes, complete control.  Stepping into the business aspect requires an entirely different sensibility.

So, no,  I can’t allow to spend my evenings surfing the web for fun or playing solitaire (ho-hum) because the task, though daunting, is necessary.  The great love of my life (aside from my adored wife) has been writing for all the many intellectual and spiritual rewards it provides.  It is not my current employment.  (Ironically, my blog entries are automatically connected to my Facebook page where several co-workers might read this and, of course, understand.  Many of them have graciously bought my self-published efforts and are waiting for more.)

Another tactic I am considering is to determine what contemporary novels fit my genre/style and try dealing directly with a publishing house.  A small literary press perhaps that encourages new authors and experimental styles.  Finding an editor who does the same might be just as good.

The real issue I have is with geography.  I am located in Wichita, KS which has never been considered a hotbed of publishing although there are artistic and creative individuals and venues all around.  So, a dilemma could be on the horizon.  What IF I need to venture away from the comfort of home to go to, let’s say, New York or Los Angeles?  At some point in the development of a relationship with “people in the business” there would have to be face time, not simply emails and instant messages, but honest-to-goodness sitting-down-across-from-each-other doing-lunch face time.  And THAT is where the “sacrifices” would have to be made.

They say you have to spend money to make money.  Alongside that is the notion that you have to give up some comfort to get some luxury (if you can consider becoming published a luxury.)

The chase goes on.

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6 Comments

  1. jenniferneri said,

    March 11, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    I think by the time you were to come face a face you would be at the contract signing point.

    And YES, I too found it much harder / time consuming to query than to write. Crazy huh??

    All the best with it!

    Like

  2. tikiman1962 said,

    March 11, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    As usual, thank you for your kind words and support.

    Like

  3. lawrenceez said,

    March 12, 2010 at 4:34 am

    Maybe you could start your own publishing house.

    Like

    • tikiman1962 said,

      March 12, 2010 at 2:41 pm

      Egads! An idea, but it’s like being a person unable to swim caught in a riptide.

      Like

  4. David I said,

    March 12, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    I truly, deeply hate the process of querying agents.

    That said, you may indeed want to consider some face time. I found that the best way to get this was at writing conferences (I’m particularly fond of the venerable San Diego State Universoty Writers Conference.)

    If you’re interested in my suggestions of how to seek an agent, if you go to my blog and look at the sidebar under “Looking For These?” I have a link to a long series of posts that give various hints and tips.

    (You’ll also notice that your blog is now linked on my sidebar, under “Cool Writers.”)

    Like

    • tikiman1962 said,

      March 12, 2010 at 2:42 pm

      Thank you for considering me “cool”.

      I’m thinking of George Clooney’s line in “From Dusk Till Dawn”:

      Everybody be cool. You, be cool.

      Like


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