Since the first time I mentioned to someone that I was actively seeking a publisher, I’ve gotten confused looks and the same question, over and over again: Why don’t you just self-publish an eBook on Amazon?
I know I’m not alone when I say that getting published the traditional way, with an editor and/or agent, with a carefully bound tome of printed pages that I can smell and feel and turn over in my hands, is quite simply my heart’s desire.
That is my goal for my novels: I want to see them on my bookshelf. I want spines with “Amy Deringer Robinson” printed on them resting between Poe and Salinger. I want books.
But my short stories… Well those I might be willing to self-publish as digital bite-sized fiction.
Anyone have experience with this?
Anyone like to buy short stories on Amazon?
I don’t have a book review for you this weekend, but it’s for the best possible reason.
I just can’t bring myself to rush this book.
Stay tuned for my upcoming review of Ted Chiang’s short story collection “Story of Your Life and Others”. This man has a peculiar genius for micro fiction. But no, I’ll go no further. I have to keep reading.
I submitted to the Angry Robot open submission call today, which makes for nearly 60 submissions of my novel since I completed it last Fall. I’m still suffering a sore temptation to rewrite the whole novel from its very beginning, but for now, I am recommitting to the goal of publishing with journals and magazines as I endure the long wait for feedback on my book.
Whatever it takes to keep writing, writing, writing.
Back to it!
January is nearly over and I still haven’t heard from either the publisher or the literary agency who requested full copies of my manuscript. I knew this process would be slow and I know that no answer is better than a solid “no” at this point, but I’m starting to answer calls from unrecognized numbers, hoping that it’s good news, and if you know me well, you know I’M ON PINS AND NEEDLES HERE AND BEGGING FOR A LITTLE MERCY.
I’ve already begun planning my next big rewrite, assuming that this first round of querying is a bust.
But there’s hope, yet.
So, back to reading short stories by Ted Chiang, who’s rocking my face right off.
Aside from signing an agent and finding a publisher for my debut novel, my goal for this year is to publish three short stories in three literary magazines so that I can start to build my portfolio as an author.
Just a couple of weeks into this new season, it has already been a stretching and challenging experience.
- Finding the literary magazine that is the right fit for my style and taste, as well as appealing to a broad enough audience to be recognizable and respectable… That’s no simple task. For now, I’m aiming at open submission calls from smaller anthologies. Not only do I stand a better chance than I do with, say, The New Yorker, these calls often come with specific story ideas or requirements. That’s a great way to get ideas as I start building a short story portfolio for the first time.
- Short Stories are very different animals from Novels! That doesn’t take much explaining. Obviously, they’re very different. But in the same way that pushing through to the finish of my first novel taught me a host of lessons otherwise impossible to learn, so it is with the construction and refining process of short stories. It’s a highly spcialized genre of story telling.
- I’m finding, all over again, that writing is my life’s work. Published or not, commercially successful or not, I love to write. Short stories are a great way to remind myself of that since reaching “The End” comes so much more quickly than with a novel. (Although the final draft of short stories can be just as long in coming since every. single. word. counts.)
Off to the holidays, then back to the drawing board with the next round of query letters.
The adventure continues!