Monday, March 7, 2011

The Great Grassroots Experiment!

So….I am officially, finally, penultimately, at long last on safari.  Yes, it’s true.  I am plunging over the falls in a barrel, bungee jumping into the great blue yonder, motor bike jumping through rings of fire – all this melodrama is to say, I am risking all (well mostly just my ego) in pursuit of that most elusive of beasts.

I am Agent Hunting.

Queries are off and away!  Or at least most of them, as I’m rotating based on whether the agents in question accept snail mail or email queries, pacing them according to response times and trying to have them all in the right hands at roughly the same time.  I’m a wee bit anal that way.

Insert the Kalen sleeps with men jokes here. 

Now that we’ve all had a chuckle, let’s attend to my state of extreme vulnerability here, shall we?  I’ve only been putting this off for oh say, forever, because I - like most authors - exist day to day in an extreme state of neuroses.  A state, I might add, which is not at all helped by the knowledge that YOUR ENTIRE FATE AND FUTURE HAPPINESS all depend on that damn query you spent weeks on and the manuscript you suddenly realize is not half as good as it should be and who do you think you are querying the Donald Maas Agency anyways?

Does anyone have any good drugs they might be willing to share at the moment?

Err.  Ahem.  Anyways.  After eons – nay, virtual epochs – dedicated to researching the best possible agent for me (re: the anal traits referred to above), I’m actually not querying that many agents.  I’ve got a finalized list of I believe twenty-two agents total.  Not a lot in the grand scheme of things.  But I’m not big on settling, and much like agents are all known to say they can’t justify signing an author if they’re not completely fired up and passionate about that author, I figure the reverse holds true.  If I’m not completely sure my future agent gets me and can do for me what nobody else can do, I’m not really doing myself any favors by pretending otherwise, right?

So not only am I Agent Hunting, I’m Big Game Agent Hunting.  What?  People are surprised that the writer who writes novels and comicbooks and screenplays and also acts and occasionally produces his own short films when he’s not doing stunt work or song writing in studios is overly ambitious?

Go figure.

So now We are doing everything possible to distract ourselves from said Agent Hunting process, given that is a lengthy and nerve wracking one.  And that would be the Royal We, for those not paying attention.  Or perhaps I’ve finally gone all Sybil on y’all and I’m speaking directly for the Voices inside my head as well.  Was bound to happen sooner or later.

Anyways.  So that means, the acting’s getting a big bump in priority, got a couple of sketch comedy shoots scheduled for the next couple weekends.  On the sixteenth I’m FINALLY getting my dental work taken care of which means no more pain (yay!), return of energy reserves (yay with double exclamation marks!!) and healthy/attractive looking teeth and smile (woot with THREE exclamation marks!!!)  Of course, that means immediately after I shell out the big bucks for that I have to shell out for updated headshots too.  That gets a boo.  And then of course, that means its time to go hunting for a new theatrical agent, ugh.

But you all don’t care about that.  So in regards to what’s going on writing wise in the meanwhile, ‘Shades of Adrian Gray’ and ‘Good Intentions’ are officially done and edited to death and will NOT be touched again until I actually have an agent who says do this and that and this.  I’m going to wait on editing Vagabond until I find an agent as well, and the same with the rest of my completed manuscripts.  Currently I’m about 40% through a new WIP, ‘Dust to Dust’, a YA urban fantasy with no vampires, werewolves, or fallen angels, and that’s coming out quickly so its getting most of my attention.  The rest of said attention going to FINALLY finishing ‘Lay Down Your Burdens’, the novella I owe kvtaylor.com.  About half done with that, but it should top out around 25K, so I’m shooting to have it done by the end of the week.

Now, as to the rather cryptic title of this post, I give you…..

The Great Grassroots Experiment

What is this?  Well this is what happens when booksellerchick.blogspot.com and I hatch nefarious schemes.  Tonight we plot to take over the world, that sort of thing.  We were discussing the ever changing battlefield that is the publishing industry, the uncharted territories that are e-publishing, and the fact that Marketing is King and I have More Ideas Than I Can Shake A Stick At.  All these factors By Their Powers Combined added up to something potentially a little more marketable than poor Captain Planet ever was.

You see, one is no longer dependent on traditional publishing to get one’s works out into the ether.  If one wants to make money off one’s works, then yes, this is still rather key.  But if say, one were to write a serialized novel EXPLICITLY for the purpose of attracting interest to one’s works, with no expectation of eventual publication of it, no need to worry about first publication rights or anything like that….why then, one could simply post said serialized novel to a website or blog, and update regularly with additional chapters.

This one is going to stop talking about himself in the third person now, as the novelty of that has worn off and I’m pretty sure everyone here gets that I’m talking about posting an original novel to my blog one chapter at a time and trying to build a fanbase that way.

I know?  MADNESS, right?  Except this isn’t madness, this is Sparta!  Complete with non-airbrushed six packs!  I’ve been hitting the gym lately! 

Okay, so its not quite a six pack yet, more a four, four and a half, but still.

Still.  Seems to make sense to us.  Logic dictates that if I think my writing’s good enough to be published in national book store chains and the masses would be interested in shelling out hard earned dollars for it, then there’s no reason they wouldn’t be equally interested in reading another book by me for free – or at least for the low, low price of merely telling a friend and passing it on.  And given that the time between signing with an agent, selling a book, and seeing that book hit shelves could feasibly span the length of a new Ice Age, that’s a lot of time that could be filled up and put to use finding an audience for future traditionally published works.

So at the end of the month, I will begin posting a chapter a week of a new novel, specifically for blog publication and for the sole purpose of getting potential readers interested in my work.  It’ll be a full length stand alone novel, one I firmly believe I could interest an agent or publisher in if I wanted to go that route with it.  Once I settled on this, it was fairly easy to figure out which concept to do.

I wanted to do a standalone novel for certain – not wanting to risk tying up anything with series potential in murky first publication rights negotiation.  However, most things I write I leave open for possible continuance, so I decided on a prose superhero novel.  That way, I can always continue it as an actual comic book, the further adventures of so to speak, as the comic book industry doesn’t give two shakes of a rat’s ass about first publication rights and would be thrilled to see something already had a built in fanbase.  Everyone goes home happy!

I feels smart.

So now I’m working on adding an official website to this blog, and in the process of commissioning fancy shmancy character designs/art work from my comic book artist friends (totally stealing that page from kvtaylor.com’s book) and stockpiling a few chapters to start things up, and as of Friday April 1st I’ll begin posting a chapter a week of:

Anonymous

The story of one of the world’s most famous teen superheroes after he’s betrayed by his best friend - his secret identity revealed - and ambushed by his entire rogue’s gallery and presumed dead.  In actuality, he survived, and he and his family are given new identities and relocated via the Witness Relocation Program.  Being a hero was easy.  NOT being a hero, however, turns out to be more than he can handle, and before long he adopts several new personas and returns to costumed crime fighting.  But this time, its not the villains he has to worry about hiding his identity from, but his family.  He already put them at risk once, and made them give up everything for him.  He’s not so sure they’d be willing to do it again…

Check this space between now and April 1st for samples, teasers and art from ‘Anonymous’!

10 comments:

  1. Was bound to happen sooner or later.
    Oh, like it hasn't been happening for years!

    But truly, the intense vulnerability that comes with agent and publisher hunting is--er, intense. (I WRITE GOOD.) It's for the very brave and the very stupid, and those of us who aren't really sure of the difference. Or just don't want to know, in my case. I feel your pain, man. Misery has company.

    I love it, though. Anonymous is going to be super fun, and I for one will be here for the whole ride. (Hm, there's a joke waiting to be made there too, but I'll leave that to one side for now.)

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  2. Hahah, true enough.

    And yeah, I knew you'd get it. Man, so much hugs and shared misery for your locked post OFWHICHWEWILLNEVERSPEAKOFAGAIN. This whole process sucks but we do it anyways because we can't not do it. And its never ever going to get any easier no matter what stage of the process we're at, is it? Jeez, we really are masochists. At least we know we're not the only ones doing it and that it makes perfect sense to other people as well. Makes us less crazy. It's the system that's messed up yo, not us!

    or something.

    And thanks! I'm pretty excited about this, enough so that I'll let the obvious joke slide!

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  3. Hey Kalen. Okay, first off, looking for a lit agent is about as much fun as white water rafting through grandma's basement when the sump pump has given out. And here you turn it into a safari! Haahaa. And now you've got to go out and find a theatrical agent, too?? IKES MAN!

    I BOW to you.

    Oh, and for the record, a four and a half pack? Not too shabby in my book. :-)

    I will be back to read Anonymous's super serialized story. And godspeed on your hunting expedition. I hope you stumble upon an entire herd of interested agents. Then take aim and shoot. Good luck!

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  4. Oh, and that was me: raven1 from QT. ;-)

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  5. Haha I figured! Your success story was posted as AG Howard on the QT blog.

    And thanks so much for stopping by! I added you to my LJ roll, you've got a lot of interesting stuff to read on your LJ and I can't wait to hear what happens with Splintered!

    And I've had a theatrical agent before, so my hunt there is a bit more like your hunt was. I know the process, just don't particularly look forward to going through it again, lol.

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  6. Best of luck on the agent hunting! I know you'll be awesome :D

    "Tonight we plot to take over the world, that sort of thing."

    hahah so which one of you is Pinky, and which is Brain?

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  7. Thanks! Do you have any plans to start on that in the near future yourself?

    And haha, it changes. I think Linsey was Brain today, and I Pinky. I do have my evil genius moments though.

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  8. Hmm, I would say while I was Brain today, you have many more Brain moments in general. I get distracted by whether or not we should call them sad meals and if we give peas a chance, won't lima beans feel left out?

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  9. Well one of us needs to be concerned for the poor lima beans! And I simply don't have the sympathetic urge - so I guess that does make me more naturally Brain inclined!

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