So I expected to succeed or fail, but it seems that more often than not I'm in some sort of Limbo.
In my previous writing career I used to call it "Sending it into the Void." Long, long waits for tiny responses. Six months, a year, even a couple of years. It wasn't flat rejection, in fact the publishers would even say that, "Be encouraged! We're still considering it!"
Or "This book would be improved if you do..." this and that. And since they were editors at the top of the pyramid who were telling me these things, I would rewrite to their suggestions and send it back...and then have to wait another six months, a year, even a couple of years.
It was like I was being punished for being almost good enough.
So I'm leery of the "almost" limbo state.
The last editor I dealt with said this: "If your next book is as good as this I'll publish both."
So I wrote the next book, and he said: "This book is better, but I've decided not to publish both."
Now in hindsight I can see that I was at the door, that I was close. Everything I read later told me that getting letters back from editor-in-chiefs was a rare thing. But it was too late, I'd gone on with my life. I was on to running my store and having a family, full time jobs. I put off writing for 25 years.
So when I came back to writing I felt freed by the idea that I could just publish myself. No waiting, no approval necessary. Just do it.
And then...I started getting a little bit of response from the small publishers, which has led to other small publishers, which has led...to, I don't know.
But it has led to a sort of Limbo.
Books of the Dead seems to be in a kind of Limbo right now. They've told me they want to publish my next Virginia Reed novel, so I'm doing that. I like the idea of consistency in the look and feel of the books.
Ragnarok is making the leap into bookstore distribution, which by necessity means that everything is going to be delayed, even rebooted.
I've got another small publisher interested.
I've got another opportunity which I want to keep vague but which could be big or could be nothing, but means long, long waiting.
Nothing is keeping me from writing, but the backlog is getting bigger, because I really do work at it, and I really do produce. These novels are waiting for opportunity. Not to mention all the novels that have healthy first drafts but which I've left in....well, Limbo...while I write my more current stuff.
Nothing wrong with being patient, but I kind of liked the immediate production and feedback I was getting from the small publishers.
I don't want to do anything rash. But it appears that the alternative is...Limbo.
4 days ago