Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Taking a Chance

Good week. Got the treatment I've been working on about half done. That's not the progress I'd wanted, but the other half of the schedule, the editing, went very well.

It occured to me a little while ago that I had a finished novel that has been gathering dust for three years. Chance was my first, and even though my former agent never was able to sell it, it's good. In fact, my recollection is that none of the seven or eight publishers that passed on it had anything negative to say. The former agent called it "'Treasure Island' for a new generation." A friend who is a retired college professor read it and told me he had expected it would take about a week to finish (at the time is was over 100,000 words,) but he finished in a day and a half because "I literally couldn't put it down."

So it's a good book and I thought, "I can self-publish this and I'll bet I can sell it." I want to share the story with people. I put a lot of effort into Chance, it's my baby, my first. Until the day I wrote "The End" on the first draft, I always thought I could write a novel, but I didn't know it.

I've been through self-publishing before, Well Blow Me Down, and it's a lot of work. Writing the book is way easier that publishing it.) But I really believe in Chance, and I have a lot of my life tied up in it. So I started planning things out, but I decided I needed to talk to Eddie the Agent, the guy who represents me now. He has pushed really hard for Chrissie Warren: Pirate Hunter, and I don't want to do anything that might affect either any chance of getting it sold, or my relationship with him. So I laid out my plan, and he said, that if Chance had only gone to a handful of publishers (that's my recollection) maybe there was something he could do with it. So send it on.

That was exciting news. So I spent the last week going through it, editing, combing the nits out (my, that's an unpleasant metaphor, isn't it?) and you know what? It's as good as I remembered.

I also made a decision. I had done a lot of rewrites and editing of Chance. After I sent it to the former agent I did a revision at the request of someone in his office. Then it got sent to a very large publishing house where it was received enthusiastically – but – they wanted some changes. So I did I rewrite. Then I did another rewrite for them. Changed the story more than a little. It made it all the way to the final meeting at this house, and then they decided not to publish it. That took about 10 months and they had it exclusively all that time. After that I kind of think the former agent gave up. I believe he only sent it to another six or seven houses and didn't pursue it very hard.

Last week I went back several revisions, found the "finished" copy I had originally sent the agent and started from there. This is my story, and I want it to stand or fall on that basis, not on the revisions that other people wanted, people who in the end didn't even want the book.

Tori is giving it a final read and then I'll send it on to Eddie, hopefully later today. It's not perfect. It'll probably change a little. But it's a good book. I'm proud of it, and can't wait until people get an opportunity to read it. I'm proud of it, and excited that it's getting another day in the sun.

1 comment:

  1. I think it is very brave and wise of you not to give up on that first book. I think it was rather mean of that publishing company to have you make all those changes and not buy your book, or at least refer you to someone else who would. Though, I know you will have better luck with other publishers. Don't give up. Best of luck.