Today, I have completed another short story, The Alienation, that I planned to add to the collection of short stories, before it could be published. Thanks to the graphic artist who works on my covers, I already have a cover for this new book. As soon as the editor goes over it, I am going to publish it on Smashwords and Amazon Kindle.
Hurray! I am writing again. Having taken care of many of the publishing and marketing issues, I could finally focus on completing Double Hazard.
This is an update about the lack of updates. Having dove into book marketing, which mostly consists of registering on various web sites and setting up profiles there, I am finding that it is very time consiming and distracting from the actual writing. Despite several chapters already having their plan written and ready for fleshing out, I cannot make myself focus on writing. The emails that are flying back and forth with the technical support of several famous online reources take up all of my time to read, make sense of, and respond to. Writers should not market their own books! Writers should write. Agents should market. But agents only wish to deal with that which they consider highly marketable in their particular niche, and finding the right agent also takes time - no less than marketing of my book myself does.
Why is it so time-consuming to find an agent, you might ask? It is because there are hundreds, if not thousands of agencies out there, and each has between one and couple dozen of agents. Each agent has their own submission rules that the aspiring author must read carefully and follow exactly. Some require a Word document, double-spaced, in Times New Roman size 12, without any formatting. Others need the chapter headings. Yet others want a plain ASCII text file. A tiny minority will take whatever: Word, PDF, ASCII. For the obvious reasons, I skip those who require a printed manuscript. Some agencies allow an author to query more than one agent, but most of the agencies do not. Some agencies may only be contacted once per title, other agencies only want to be contacted once a year.
So, in sum, I would have to spend many days just reading the agent requirements and crafting as many personal emails and attachments as there are agents. It would take just as much mental energy as marketing and distract me from writing just as much. Is this time not better spent marketing my own books, my own way? I do not yet know. Only time will tell.
Since this post turned out quite negative, I would like to praise Query Manaer. This is a tool used by many agents to accept submissions through. It is simple to use, and it provides a controlled environment for submissions. Since its text editor allows for some basic formatting, the question of which agent wishes to receive which format is no longer important. For an author, Query Manager removes the uncertainty about the accepted format for a manuscript.
An interview with me is now published at Smashwords. Here are a few Qs and As from it. Click the link to read the full interview.Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the Soviet Union, in the 70s, during the Cold War. There was a shortage of everything, including books to read. I loved history books but longed for fiction, which was pretty scarce. I began to make up my own fiction, although I started writing it down much, much later, when I already lived in Canada.Who contributed the most to your choice of topics?
My children did. The very first book that I planned to write was the one that ended up becoming the 2nd book of The God's Bracelet trilogy. I suggested to them that we could write a scenario for a video game, and we jotted down the ideas for the plot together. If not for them, I would have never seriously considered writing or publishing.When did you first start writing?
In 1982, I wrote a few pages of science fiction for a youth magazine's writing challenge.What are you currently working on?
My work is split approximately equally between the finishing of the 2nd book in The God's Bracelet trilogy: Double Hazard; the editing of the 1st book: Finding Ishtar; and the writing of my next novel: Evil, 100%.
Today, a collection of poems from The God's Bracelet trilogy became available for a free download on Smashwords. All 15 songs and poems from the novels are included in the collection.
Hurray! The graphic artist has completed the front cover of Finding Ishtar. I am as happy as a child in a candy store! You can find its thumbnail in the Artwork section for the Book#1.
Life is full of surprises, as my characters, especially the main protagonist, learned to know. The 3d book, The Mute Eye, is now complete, at about 400 pages. Inspiration works in strange ways, and despite me planning to complete the books sequentially, the 3d one just pulled me in and completed itself, ahead of the 2nd one, Double Hazard. Now my focus is on finishing the 2nd book. This work will be split with editing and working with a graphic artist on the chapter illustrations for Finding Ishtar.
My Smashwords account is up, and I am working on producing an EPUB file for the first book. Actually, I am going through and learning their style guide. Lessons learned so far: a print-ready PDF, produced by LaTeX, is not a good fit for making an EPUB. The simplest approach to the conversion from LaTeX to EPUB seems to be not tex->html, as many suggest, but tex->plain ASCII->odt->reinsert illustrations->doc.
The first two of the chapter illustrations are now complete! One of lessons that I learned is that finding nature during the COVID-19 pandemic requires some ingenuity.
There are holes in every plot. What do we do with holes? We fill them! I wrote several short stories and a novella, to fill the holes in the plot of Finding Ishtar. The short stories are: Found and Lost, A Glimpse into Oblivion, and The Untouchable Child. The novella is titled The Golden God's Scroll. I am planning to publish them either together with or after the novel.
Teamed up with a graphic artist who is working on the concept art and chapter illustrations. For now, it is pencil drawings. Check out the art section for the 1st book. He first finished a concept art of Ishtar's pet lions and owls, which play an important role in the series. More to come.
Since the 1st book, Finding Ishtar, appears too large to many critics, I am contemplating splitting it in half. The first six chapters would then form the book titled "The Exiled", and the rest would retain the current title.
Copyright © Noel Wellington, 2018-2020