I’ve completed my second novel.

By on September 3rd, 2010
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That’s the big news as of September third, two-thousand ten. See my blog for the blow-by-blow on my process of finding a publisher. And by all means, please let me know if you can assist me in any fashion. I can use all the help i can get.

I’m done. And it’s just the beginning.

By on September 3rd, 2010
Comments Off on I’m done. And it’s just the beginning.

I finished my novel about two weeks ago.


After receiving feedback from my two writer friends, I made a pass of revisions. Then I read the book one last time and made a final round of touchups. We’ll call it fourteen drafts. I believe this is more than many authors go through, but my process is iterative not a plot-it-out-in-advance method. That’s just how my jib is cut. And, wow, my jib is more cut than Taylor Lautner’s abs.

So what next? Many months ago I started a list of potential presses. And I’ve picked up my research—I have a list of thirteen potential publishers right now that might be a good fit. I was disappointed to learn that my top two picks (Akashic Books, publisher of Joe Meno, and Serpent’s Tail out the U.K.) no longer accept query letters from un-agented writers. C’est la vie, they’re crossed off. I have also begun customizing my query letters so that they are more specific to each of these presses. I found publishers from novels I’ve read that were compatible to my own as well as through online research.

At the same time, I sent a shout out to everyone in my Linked-In network. I’m not a Facebooker, but if I were, I would’ve sent one out there, too. I sent a very specific email explaining that I had finished my second novel and was looking for someone with a friend at a publishing company. All I requested was an introduction so that my query letter would be read promptly. Of course, I won’t say no if it also allows me to skip the query letter and send the manuscript right off the bat, but that’s asking for a lot.

The result: three of my connections responded that they were connected to literary agents. One childhood friend’s former co-worker is now an agent in NY. He connected us, and I’ve forwarded my query letter to her already. A former co-worker of mine informed me that his wife knows a literary agent. I asked him to see if he can find out what she reps (because if it’s an irrelevant genre like romance or kids’ lit, then it would be pointless to reach out to her), but so far, I have not heard back. And finally, it turns out that another former colleague of mine used to work in publishing and knows a fairly big-time agent who had once represented Philip K. Dick! (Shocking. That’s actually a really good fit for my book. Who knew? Uch, Schindler did, and that’s why he saved the Jews.) I’m still waiting on this former co-worker to advise me on the best way to reach out to this promising agent, so I’m on pins-and-needles. But not getting my hopes up too much. I hadn’t expected connections to agents, and I still think they are a long shot. My book is “literary” but it’s not very commercial. So it will only appeal to a truly arts-focused agent. But it’s certainly worth a try.

In the meantime, I’m going to continue researching potential small to medium size presses. Here is a great site for that type of research: duotrope.com.

Wish me luck!