Wagner Writer


I’ve been taking the first chapters of my book to writers groups over the past few weeks. Based on feedback, I’ve made lots of tweaks, and what I have now feels really solid. The response I’ve been getting from recent meetings has been amazing.

At this point, I’ve shared five chapters of the book (more than 70 pages), and am getting fewer critiques and more compliments. Not that I don’t welcome critiques. Heck, I brought the first chapter alone to soooo many different groups for slaughter.

(I’m nothing if not obsessive. Don’t believe me? Ask Windy about reading the first paragraphs of my work. She probably threw up right now. Seriously. If I say, “I need a favor,” she immediately responds, “I’m not reading any more first paragraphs!!!”)

Now that it’s nearing completion, I have something I’m really passionate about. The book is very relevant to me and I think people will appreciate the message. For those of you who don’t know, the book deals with a gay kid who accidentally comes out to his homophobic parents. It’s not all dark and heavy, though. It has an urban fantasy feel and I try to make it entertaining as well as relevant. I’ve tried to write it in a way where it will (hopefully) appeal to anyone. One of my beta readers was a straight teenage girl and she really enjoyed it.

Most importantly, I believe I’ve done some really good work (at least to the best of my current abilities). The writers groups I’ve attended included actual editors, and they’ve been very pleased.

So what does that mean?

Wellllllllll, based on where the book stands and how current events – especially those related to the gay population – are shaping up, this is the perfect time to publish. 

Therefore, I’ve given myself a new motto:

2014 or Bust!

That’s right! My goal is to have the book published by the end of this year. I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to have it out before Christmas. That way, every one of you can buy a copy (or fifty) as a gift. So let’s see… If each of my readers buys two copies…. do the math….. integrated by pi…… I’d sell two copies! Whoopee!

Some of you are probably wondering why it might take til the end of the year. If it’s ready, why not publish now? Calm down and do some Lamaze breathing (hee…hee…hee…hee…whooooo). There are a few reasons:

1. First, I’m going to query some agents. If one is interested, that would be the ultimate dream come true. So why not at least try?

Unfortunately, it can take weeks to hear back. Besides, I’m going to query in batches. If the first batch results in rejections, I’ll tweak the query and try again with the next batch. It could take months to get everything in and settled.

2. Because 99.5 percent of new authors are rejected, I’ll likely move down the self publishing route. Normally, I’d be a little disappointed about this. However, I have a few ideas (one is particularly evil, mwahahaha) on how I can market the book a bit. I’m getting excited about trying some of these, so it’s my silver lining. Besides, many self-published authors out there are doing great (and loving it). 

3. The self-publishing route itself will take some time. I’ll need a book cover designed and approved. I’m a terrible, terrible artist, and will have to enlist the services of a graphic designer. On top of that, the book hasn’t been combed for teensy errors. I’ll need a copy editor for that, and it will take some time. Once that’s done, I’ll have to actually publish, which includes numerous to-dos.

Given the querying process can take months, I’m going to stagger these steps. In about a month or so, given I haven’t heard a peep from agents, I’ll start the self-publishing process. I’ve met a couple editors at writers groups and will have one copy edit the book. Hopefully I can work my Cody charm and get him/her really cheap (Cody charm means acting like a helpless dork until they feel sorry for me). After that, I’ll continue on until everything is ready to go.

There we go. That’s the plan for my book. Everybody please wish me luck. Then cross your fingers, click your heels together three times, mail me lottery tickets, and say:

2014 or Bust!

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