So, I sent off the first three manuscripts today. My original plan was to send them off in October, so I guess that a two month delay isn't too bad. I could have mailed them a couple of weeks ago, but it seemed foolish to send them in the middle of the holiday season. This way, I have managed to give myself the illusion that the readers spent the holidays working through their backlog and that it will be pleasant for them to receive something new at the very beginning of the year.
All of the publishers here say that one must wait at least two months for a reply.
Was your heart in your mouth when you finally consigned your baby to the mail? I'm very excited for you & hope you don't have to wait too long for a response. Looking forward to the book's success and to the day the English translation come out.
Just a coincidence that today I heard an interview about self-publication on the radio today. Some novelist was being interviewed and he said his usual, and all the other well-known, publishers had turned down his latest book because it's a collection of short stories. They only wanted novels from him. A man from the publishing industry said that generally they turn down 80% of what they receive. Both the author and the publisher were rather in favour of self-publication.
Sorry, I can't find it, it was on France Info sometime after 11 this morning.
I have read that they turn down 98% of what they receive.
I bought a self-published book on Amazon, written by a former colleague. I would never have published it in a million years. She had a certain amount of talent but absolutely not enough for a publisher to accept.
Anyway, I have sent out nine manuscripts so far and have received three rejection letters -- two form letters and one extremely nice and detailed handwritten critique. The person didn't say "try again" but I got the impression that if I heeded some of her comments, it would not be impossible to submit the manuscript again. I'll keep the idea on hold for the moment.
Actually, the 9th manuscript just went out today, but it is one of the major publishers concerning whom I normally would not have even tried except for the fact that they said they share a reading committee with three other publishers.
I have decided to pursue the delusional belief that the longer it takes a publisher to respond, the better my chances since if they find the slightest interest in a manuscript, they pass it on to another reader and then a third one before making a final decision.
I've seen it in movies and read it in books, but now I fully understand the dread of finding unidentified envelopes in my mailbox. I know that a thin envelope is bad news because I am pretty sure that an interested publisher puts more than one sheet of paper in the envelope.
Post by cheerypeabrain on Mar 14, 2019 18:21:59 GMT
Good luck Kerouac. I look forward to purchasing a (signed) first edition. Preferably in English...but in French would be ok too...I have lots of French relatives and chums here so I see a Christmas gift opportunity.
So, it has been just over one year since I started submitting my manuscript. Mostly, I have received automatic rejections -- not a surprise -- or no reply at all. I have received a grand total of two documented rejections, and both of them were completely valid. I just wish that I had received more.
Anyway, I did not require these rejections to understand that I had written total crap. Reality sinks in over time.
I will be reworking the text. For a start, I plan to delete at least 30% of what I wrote, perhaps more. Then I will try to piece together what is left and maybe add some new stuff.
It seemed to me that the only traditional way I could get anything published was to do so on the approval of some minion at a publishing company. I re-examined why I wanted stuff in print anyway and came back to the same conclusion that it is/was just for the fun of it and conforming to professional expectations and standards was way down on my list of priorities. Thus I self-published.
I understand if you want to do it to see if it can be done. A challenge or well deserved feather in your cap for completing the process, but I am far from being dedicated enough to rip to shreds "what I wrote" (Ernie Wise), rewriting it, deleting whole swathes of something I felt was worthwhile whereas someone else felt it added little if anything and was unnecessary and so on, just so a random man or woman who I care nothing about, working at a publishing house will tick the box.
I can't be bothered now to expend effort on something I don't want or be too concerned with the approval/permission of someone else in this or any part of life. My efforts are amateurish and for me, that is fine. I seek only the pleasure of doing it, as though it is the journey that is the thing for me, not the destination. I've read some terrible books in my life and I'm sure my efforts are far better than those and fit somewhere about halfway on the scale of bad to good.
So why are you doing this the proper way, with all it's hurdles, frustrations and pain? What do you get out of it or what do you seek to get out of it? A mental exercise, an ambition fulfilled.........?
So why are you doing this the proper way, with all its hurdles, frustrations and pain? What do you get out of it or what do you seek to get out of it?
I find it interesting to see if I can navigate the maze leading to the needle in the haystack. However, I am becoming increasingly perplexed as I have increased my consumption of contemporary literature and can't imagine how at least 90% of it ever got published.
I don't read much contemporary French literature other than an occasional book I get from the library. It seems that all the books in France that are given prizes and talked about are by a small group of people whose names are known and repeated endlessly and who I have no desire to read. Michel Houllebecq springs to mind. Or else they are related to someone -- like Miterrand's daughter. Annual literary prizes are talked about on tv and the radio as though they concern the average citizen.
This concentrated set of people dealing with writing and literature in France seems exemplified by the currect business with Gabriel Matzeff. It turns out that the man is/was a pervert, grooming and sleeping with young girls and writing about it, but he was fêted on literary talk shows for decades. Only now that one of these young women, now aged about 50, has written a book about it are people saying, "Well, I guess we let it all go because he was famous and a good writer."
As much as I like to read, as happy as I am that there are still lots of bookstores in France, in your case, Kerouac, I would do like Mark and self-publish. If the story you want to tell is one you are happy with, or will be once you have edited it, then I see no reason to "navigate the maze leading to the needle in the haystack".
Whatever floats your boat, no problem. Stick with it.
But he's swimming though, so no boat. Swimming up stream in molasses without a paddle whilst flogging a dead horse and looking for the light at the end of the bridge whilst trying to thread the straw from a haystack through a camel's back? Something like that anyway.
Kerouac, when it comes to writing, the creative process can have a positive impact on both the brain and the "soul." It’s a way to channel your artistic self into something concrete. Hopefully this process has been more a positive challenge for you, despite some new discouragements. I absolutely wouldn’t know where to begin if writing fiction, but you have such a vivid imagination that I’m guessing many good novels could come out of that brain of yours. Lots of good comments above.... I hope you will have a feeling of accomplishment no matter what direction you decide. Maybe someone (freelancer type of person) with professional editing experience could help. Just a thought.
I’ve always assumed your book was a fictional novel and would be nothing like your writing here. However, I think it’s also very obvious that you definitely shine when it comes to writing travel essays and experiential descriptions. I’m currently reading a 2005 travel narrative about Basilicata. So far, I almost feel I’m along for the ride with the author (David Yeadon). His writing is new to me and it looks like he’s written a slew of other books that I might enjoy. In some ways, though I’m still in the early stages of getting to "know" the author, his style reminds me a bit of your travel essays here.
I very much appreciate all of the comments and encouragements that all of you have written. I confess that I would really like to beat the system, but if I don't manage to do so, I fully understand. One thing that makes me persist is that I see my style in quite a few other authors who have had success in France -- people like Vincent Ravalec, Philippe Besson, Philippe Djian, Anne Vergne, Béatrix Beck and a number of others. So I know that you don't have to write like Houellebecq, Céline or Proust to gain recognition. It's a crap shoot.
I can't be bothered now to expend effort on something I don't want or be too concerned with the approval/permission of someone else in this or any part of life. My efforts are amateurish and for me, that is fine. I seek only the pleasure of doing it, as though it is the journey that is the thing for me, not the destination.
This is where I am, Mark, and thank you for defining it so well. I have so many stories to tell but time is hard to come by. I should do as a writer friend does...9:30 am Mon-Sat, thermos of coffee, sits at her desk with door closed and curtains drawn, and writes for 3 hours.
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]
My mind is still simmering my pot of words and each day brings new ideas about rearranging things and getting rid of others. But I have not touched the last version yet.
Articles about Mary Higgins Clark have not helped, not that I think that my subject or style are in any way similar, but considering the fact that she was one of the most successful writers in the world, I never enjoy reading statements like "My first manuscript was refused 40 times before finally being accepted." I only have about 15 rejections so far. Strangely enough, I was pleased to receive a new rejection 2 days ago, because I thought that all was quiet on the western front, between the various rejections and the publishers who don't even bother to reply. (Just for the record, almost all of the big publishers always send an answer, and the little ones ignore you, probably because they don't have enough staff to worry about such things.)
almost all of the big publishers always send an answer, and the little ones ignore you, probably because they don't have enough staff to worry about such things.
It could also be that the big publishers have staff to quickly skim -- and possibly reject too quickly -- manuscripts that come in over the transom, whereas small publishers might glance through those manuscripts and then put promising ones in a pile to be actually read by someone. You could be hearing from a smaller publisher long after you forgot you even sent it your manuscript.
so, are manuscript still sent as hard copies? i would have assumed publishers would want to receive it as emails these days ... anyway, wish you luck that maybe one day it won't be a rejection ... haven't read back the whole thread just now, and must admit i forgot what your book was about?
and mark - was your self-publishing in print, or as an e-book? did/do people buy it and if so, how do you get them to know about it? or is it just for yourself?
whenever (if) i manage to finish one of my writing projects, i might come back here for advice ... was thinking recently until the i might take a few of the short stories i have written over the years, work them over, and do something with them (thought so far was as an e-book on amazon, which apparently a lot of people do, but no idea yet about the process there, either) ...
Just about all of them are hard copies. I only found about two publishers out of 30 or so who accepted digital copies. I think it is a way for them to protect themselves from being flooded by total garbage since it takes a much greater effort to make physical copies than to just click a button.
Of course at the moment, absolutely no publisher is accepting physical copies for health reasons. The current situation might completely change the future of publishing.
rikita, years ago I put one book on a site called Lulu.com, somewhere about 2003. At the time is was about the only self-publishing site available. Since then Amazon have opened this up as well and I migrated that book across to them plus a couple of others that I put straight on there - kdp.amazon.com
From both of those sites you can get a real printed book or a downloaded ebook and as part of the process you can assign a price to them and in different countries. I'm not sure how you'd do it, if possible, on the Amazon Germany system. I kept the minimum price they let me as it wasn't done for profit. It can be a little complex to get the book in the right format and the right size cover etc, but I persevered and did it after a few tries. Amazon will do their own marketing and it's just a box you tick to let them, I've done nothing about it.
The first book came out and as it was a bit of a niche subject, it was noticed by someone who I knew years ago and he mentioned it somewhere and it snowballed a bit from there. Currently sales of that are around 1400, but because I get no money from the ebook version my royalties are about in total 5 euros or so. The other two have so far been unnoticed and that anyway doesn't bother me as they are done in an amateur way and done as a hobby - and it's a nice ego boost to see your own name.
Does that answer you thoughts? Just ask if anything else or details now or later.
yes, that is a lot of interesting information, i might be back with more questions later ... 1400 sounds quite good, for me the idea is exciting that people would read things i wrote without those people being friends or family who just read it because they know me ...