Zorya is out on submission again. Also, I Aten’t Dead.

My last post was over a year ago. I’m not proud of it.

I have been dithering with self-publishing my third book, Zorya. That last post long ago involved the leap of faith needed to purchase the expensive stock image I wanted in order to build a cover image on my own.

I did make that purchase some time later (at least it’s deductable), and I did do some work on a cover. Mostly I procrastinated. My biggest obstacle to self-publishing, other than cover art, is marketing. It’s the thing I’ve seen most self-published authors stumble over, and I am no exception.

This past March, I attended the 2018 SCBWI Golden Gate Conference, which gives attendees the opportunity to submit to agents and publishers also in attendance. They pay special attention to submissions from attendees, and the opportunity was too good to miss.

So I sent several Zorya submissions out after the conference, the latest this evening (she didn’t want to see submissions until after the middle of July.) I have gotten one rejection so far. Some response times are as long as six months (not uncommon with submissions directly to publishers).

So. Here I am.

In other updates, the conventional publication of my second book, Roger Mantis, is proceeding, although the publication date was postponed twice. I’m still okay with the process, even the editing, but it’s an education.

Hand in Hand

Via Neil Gaiman’s journal, advice from authors, written on their hands.

Neil Gaiman Hand

There’s a common thread through many of these photos: the idea that a large part of successful writing is just plain sticking to it.

At the Asilomar writer conference, there was an ending ceremony where all of us wrote something to inspire ourselves on each of two index cards. One was burned in a big rustic fireplace (I had a sudden flash of a prim agent reading my reassembled card while sitting on a cloud floating over London) and the other copy was kept. Mine is currently taped to my computer case. It has one word. “Persist.”

Persist

Two of the hand photos in the photo gallery have the same word.

Robert Heinlein’s famous “Rules for Writing:”

1.) You must write.
2.) You must finish what you write.
3.) You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
4.) You must put the work on the market.
5.) You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.

I’d plug the word “excessive” into Rule 3, but I know what he meant–I’ve seen people who have been “polishing” the same manuscript for ten years. Otherwise the same overall theme of “not giving up” is there.

Golden Gate Conference 2013 at Asilomar

I attended my first Golden Gate Conference at Asilomar this past weekend.

The upside was a really nice venue, a national-park style resort a couple of blocks from the ocean, with really good food.

The downside was that most of the presentations were so interesting and useful, there wasn’t really anything I could happily skip to go enjoy the beach and the dunes.  Sure as hell I wasn’t going to skip the meals.  We did get to wander the beach eventually after the conference ended.

I got some input on my writing (although this time around I didn’t pay for the professional critiques) and picked up some good ideas on what editors are looking for.