After six months of research and frenzied writing, I have a completed manuscript of Molly’s first set of adventures. The work is 100,000 words long and details Molly’s search for her father’s old starship. After several rounds of editing, I’m happy enough with the story (its readability and faithfulness to actual events) to flirt with publication.
You would think the easy part lies ahead, but unfortunately, this is not the case. My sixteen-hour days of nonstop manuscript work will prove to be the relaxing moments in this quest. The difficult part is going to be finding an agent that believes in Molly’s story as much as I do, finding a publisher that believes what my agent tells them, and then finding an audience that believes what the jacket of my book tells them.
That’s a lot of faith for an organization that gets no tax sheltering.
What’s next and why is it going to be so hard? Well, I just wrote a dandy query letter and I have a list of select agents to send it to. I’m going to attach the first ten or so pages of my work, and see if any of them are interested in reading more. The problem will come from the constant rejections and time spent away from the actual writing.
As a rocket scientist specializing in chemical propellants, I’m used to trying various “recipes” and tweaking according to the results. I will try to see my upcoming failures as empirical data with which to hone subsequent tests. The metaphor, as demonstrated by the following video, could not be more apt.
While I’m crashing and burning, I have another 100K manuscript to begin editing, plus a third, fourth, and fifth book to write. I speculate wildly on why The Reader was brought through time and handed to me, and I’m starting to suspect a pretty mundane truth: Publishing in the future is more difficult than time travel. Right below vanity presses and print-on-demand is the Bill and Ted publication method. Drop your material off in the past and give it 500 years to make it to bookshelves, if then.
So. Welcome to the final countdown. Liftoff is commencing in three… two…
Uh, Mission Control? We have an anomaly.