I’m at the stage again of letting my mind wander while I find a plot or a hook for a new novel – it’s always a time when I think about where I am at with the writing and where I want to be.
Recent deaths have had me thinking ahead too – I’m going to be 58 in the imminent future, and I can feel the cold hand of time pushing at my back. So I want to have a big idea – one that I can push, one that will give me a higher profile in the industry.
And, as ever, it’s the mechanics of that which give me pause for thought.
I got asked today, and not for the first time, why I choose not to work with an agent. The answer to that one’s easy. It’s not that I chose not to, it’s that they choose not to. I’ve been querying agents for many years and none, not one, has chosen to take my writing on. I think my work is invisible to them, as am I. It would be nice to have someone to handle taxes, royalties and chase up subsidiary markets for me — but I’m not holding my breath.
So I do a lot of my own marketing – I peruse listings, I approach editors, and I waffle – I waffle a lot – on social media. And I post snippets of news about the books and story sales, retweets of interesting things I spot going through and more waffle. As for strategy, I have none beyond having a bit of fun. Being sociable is what social media is for after all. And going by my numbers, folks seem to agree and follow me. Some nice folks even share and retweet my content on a regular basis, so maybe I’m doing something right.
That said, social media is important to my career, as I live in a remote corner of Eastern Newfoundland, so the opportunities to interact one to one with people in the business are limited. Social media lets me talk to editors, publishers and other writers without leaving my desk. I can’t remember life without it—actually, I can—it involved scores of brown envelopes, expensive printer ribbon, reams of paper and a huge postage bill. Thankfully those days are long gone.
One of these days I might get to go to a Worldcon or Stokercon and meet everybody I talk to online, and possibly get to have a head to head with some of the movers and shakers. But again, I’m not holding my breath.
So I do what I do – I write, and I submit, and I hope.
At least there’s always hope.
Onward and upward.
To infinity and beyond.