At a Loose End
I probably should have written this story slower because I finished it so fast that now I don’t really have anything in place to do next. But it was one of those situations like when you see a chocolate cake (or whatever you prefer) sitting on the counter and tell yourself, “I’m just going to have one piece” and the next thing you know the whole thing is gone. Some things are just too good to go slow.
Looking at my summer writing goals, I was thinking of doing a second draft of this, but now I’m not sure. I already did that first draft (plus 25% of one before it) and before that I used many of the same characters in this, which was based off of this…so you get the idea (if you click the links) that the concept is a bit played out and so maybe it’s time to look for something else.
Maybe it’s time to put my plan of selling out into action. Anyone have any ideas they’ve thought of but don’t feel like writing? We can go halfsies on the profits–if any.
While I scramble to think of something, this week I’m looking for a small publisher for this. There’s probably a better way of searching, but I figured since I was going to Preditors and Editors anyway to see who’s a scammer and who isn’t, I might as well just troll their listings and look for potential targets. I’ve sent to four or five. I got rejected by one a week or so ago. Apparently small publishers use form letters too, maybe so that they feel important.
This search makes me just as grumpy as looking for an agent. Some of these small publishers are such pricks it’s unbelievable. One says in their submission guidelines that their process is a test and if you don’t follow it exactly you fail. What is this, a frat induction? You going to get the wooden paddles out? Or maybe I should climb on a motorcycle and try to jump over fourteen buses and a flaming hoop.
And some of them have this outmoded stuff about formatting. I could see when people were submitting by paper that it might be a big deal to stress that you want Times New Roman font instead of Comic Sans, but now that we have Email and I’m just attaching the file, what difference does it make? You want it in Times New Roman, just Control-A, select the font drop down, and scroll to TNR. Same for margins and headers/footers and so forth. Why make a Federal case out of it?
Because we’re busy! Sure, you’re probably running your firm out of your mom’s garage. I get that. But I’m busy too. I’ve got twenty other publishers to send to and all their crap to deal with. Which brings me to the “exclusivity.” Look, don’t say you’re going to take six months to get to it and then demand exclusivity. I’m supposed to just sit there for six months waiting for you with my thumb up my ass? Get real.
The thing is, I’d put up with all that shit if it were Random House. I’d cut off my thumb and sew it up in my ass if it were Random House. You’re not Random House! You just have some crappy website and if I’m lucky you can get my book on Amazon, though it’d probably be just as cheap to use CreateSpace or Lulu and do it myself. It’s not like Thumb Up My Ass Productions (or whoever it is) has some vast global marketing network. If I’m lucky they have a Twitter account with 20 followers and 10 friends on Facebook they can use.
But as I said before, there’s the illusion of quality if you have someone else publish it instead of self-publishing it. I suppose I’ll have to try and play ball, but can’t these guys drop the delusions of grandeur? I know it makes you feel like a big wheel, but you’re not.
I should just start my own publishing company, though not Thumb Up My Ass Productions because that would only attract a certain kind of clientele. Then I can feel important too. Or I’ll just buy a Dodge Stratus.
I know in one entry I was griping about critiques. I think it goes without saying that before you question someone’s facts you should probably make sure you’re right. See this example:
“I don’t know of any diner open 24 hours a day so right away I’m skeptical of your details. ”
My immediate thought was, Really? You haven’t heard of Denny’s? Maybe this person lives in Australia or something where they don’t have that. But she sounds like a real ass in phrasing it like this because in decrying my research she neglected to her own.
If you’re going to question a 24-hour diner, you do it like this: “Are there 24 hours diners? I don’t have any around me, but maybe they have them somewhere else?” See, now it’s a question and doesn’t have the pompous “I’m skeptical” thing going on. I do stuff like that a lot because on Critique Circle anyway you get people from Britain, Australia, etc. so I’m not always up on things in those countries, so I try to phrase it as a question instead of making a statement and sounding like a jerk.
Yes, it’s lessons in etiquette from the grumpy bulldog! Actually that could be a fun nonfiction book: The Grumpy Bulldog’s Guide to Manners. First lesson: don’t use the expression “Thumb up my ass.”
Second lesson: when I post about my dead cat, don’t say, “Thanks for sharing.” Can’t you be bothered to look at a line or two and come up with the just as generic but slightly more sensitive, “Sorry about your cat”? I hate those dickheads on Gather who just cruise around posting those kind of comments because they want points but don’t want to bother reading anything. Point weasels! Mr. Pagel should know what I’m referring to.
That is all.
PS: And then to invalidate the first few paragraphs of this post I thought of a different take on that story, which is this.