Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Letter to the Publishing Community

To any agents or publishers or editors who happen upon my blog:

I'm not a loon. Really I'm not. In fact, I think I could be your dream client.

For instance, I'm not a one hit wonder. I've already got two books completed, and another two that are written but still need some polishing. Meanwhile, my WIP is around two-thirds of the way first draft complete, with another one sitting at around a quarter of the way through. I also have a story idea file four pages thick now. When I finish the books I'm working on, I plan to start a mystery series in the same vein as Mickey Spillane and Erle Stanley Gardner but with a female protagonist. Think Sara Paretsky's V.I. Warshawski, but with less baggage. After I get the first of those done, I have an awesome new thriller idea that I'm still working the bugs out of.

I don't feel the need to have anyone hold my hand. Which means I won't be calling you once a week to ask you what you thought of my latest book, or if you've heard from X publisher about my last book, or pestering you to find out when my release date is. The only time I think I'd be the least bit pesky is if for some odd reason my royalty check is late.

I'm self-sufficient, and financially sound. You won't be hearing from me once a week complaining about how if my check doesn't come in soon, I'm going to have to donate organs or sell my eggs on eBay. Oh, and don't think it's because I don't care about the money. I care. I want money for my work. I just don't NEED it to survive. I like money, which brings me around to the next point...

I am not afraid to sell my own work. Hell, I worked in sales in differing capacities for most of my life. If I wasn't selling hard products, I was selling services - like computer training or consulting. I did a lot of PR, which is selling an image. What's an author signing but selling the author's image while they sell their books?

I'm also quite adept at talking to people. This comes from my years in sales, and being raised by the epitome of the salesman. I grew up watching my father talk to everybody, all the time, everywhere.

Another thing I think is important is I learn quickly, and don't have a problem taking advice. This means that if you give me advice about my work, I'll take it, use it and not make the same mistakes again. (Unless, of course, your advice is to do something that would change the content of my book, and even then, I'm willing to discuss alternate ways of accomplishing your ideas without compromising my own.)

So, if you've stopped by because a query caused you to Google me to see if I was a nutcase or a professional, please take this information to mean I am more professional than nutcase. Sometimes, there's a fine line between the two, but with me, the line is set in stone. I keep just enough of the loon around to make life interesting.

Now, if you're read this blog, you'll see some strong ideas that might put you off. I admit, I'm opinionated, but I see that as an asset rather than a liability. I'll never be a 'yes-man', and I'll never be a dishrag. I'll match you, wit for wit, and we'll both come out on top.

You see, I'm really committed to writing. I could write for the next twenty years and never be published, and while that might be a little wearing on my psyche, it won't stop me. I'm not going to turn tail and run. In essence, I want you to know that I'm in this for the long haul, and I think some agent and I are going to have a very lucrative relationship together over the course of my career.

So when you get that query letter in your inbox, or the mail as your guidelines may be, don't hesitate to contact me. Talk to me for a while. Learn about my work. Maybe it'll be the start of a beautiful partnership.


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