Brace Yourselves

Brace yourselves, comrades, for I’m about to drop some news at thy feet. Are you bracing? Seriously, brace yourself. I mean it. 

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I have finished my second novella.

Thank you, thank you, but please hold your applause till the end of the show. 

Thanks to very helpful readers with critical eyes, I was given great edits and some fantastic feedback on the story. Over the past week I’ve been engaging in word warfare, or wordfare, with the story to tie up all loose ends, solidify themes and characters, and make the flow more fluid. I am satisfied with how it’s turned out, and apparently so were my readers. I still don’t believe this will blow anyone away in the competition I’m entering it in, but I’m looking forward to even more great feedback from fellow authors around the globe. 

My plan with this story, which I have titled at the moment The Definition of Family, is to enter it into this competition and see how it fares. But that’s really only the tip of the iceberg. After the competition, I plan on taking any feedback and applying it, then sending it off to a publisher that has an open call for submissions which this novella qualifies for. After that, the story is off to two different agents that I’ve researched who I would want to represent me, along with some short stories and a personal note with only a hint of desperation in it. If absolutely none of that is successful, I gave thought to self-publishing the novella and adding it my self-pub collection. But I hesitate at this, and I’ll tell you why. 

There has been an explosion of self-published books in the literature market over the past few years because authors can subvert any type of publisher and simply publish their story on their own. They have to do everything else for their book as well, which the publisher normally handles, like marketing, advertising, monitoring, publicity, etc. But it is because authors can skip a publisher, or essentially become their own publisher, that the market has become flooded with books that, for lack of a better term, SUCK

It turns out there’s a reason why that publisher turned the book down.

Publisher: “Yes, Bill, you see there’s a legitimate reason why you’re space opera, cyper-punk, death parade story was rejected. It sucks. It’s so horrible I feel obligated to let you know just how horrible it is. It’s so horrible, Bill. So. Horrible.”

But nowadays the author, a little stung by this rejection, can now publish their story on their own and get it to reader’s hands their own way. Who needs that stuffy old publisher anyways? They don’t know what they’re missing, right? Bill’s space opera, cyber-punk, death parade story is actually really good, right?

Wrong. As an author, I don’t ever want to do this with my stories, or even be thought of as doing this. I view being rejected by a publisher as motivation to improve any story. Obviously it needs improvement, I think, otherwise they would have accepted it. And so I continue to hone my skills and write and rewrite and learn from my mistakes until one day I am accepted. I don’t want to resort to self-publishing as a type of cop-out, or a way to spite the publisher and do it on my own. I don’t want to be associated those authors who display a “screw you” type of attitude towards any big name publisher.

Now you may be asking yourself, “But Victor, then why did you self-publish your first novella?” That, my friends, is a much longer story involving near death malnutrition and the first item on my bucket list. A tale for another time perhaps. 

So, The Definition of Family is just about set to be submitted. Which is a relief, because the deadline is only a few days away. My next project? Believe it or not, I’ll be polishing the dust off my novel, The Black Beetles, and working it into shape in preparation of sending it out to the two aforementioned agents. I know I said to brace yourselves earlier, and I’m glad you did. But also brace yourselves for the long term, because when this book is done, it is going to blow your mind. Ya dig? 

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