Unbelievable Discouragement

When I bought this laptop almost a year ago, I used a program “Easy Files Transfer” by Windows to transfer all my years of work from my old computer to this one.

Now I cannot find those files. There is a “Migrated Files Report”, which is simply a Wordpad document listing what documents have been “migrated”; However, I cannot find anywhere on my laptop these documents, which included two books I was working on.

This is so very discouraging. I don’t know how to find them, or if they exist anymore.

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At Least Two of Me

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Clone Wars.”

If I were to clone myself (and who’s to say I haven’t already?), I would send me off to work, clean house, do the laundry, and every menial daily task. While the other me could write full-time, spend time with my daughter and grandchildren, and friends… you know, the fun stuff. Also, the third me would become a professional pool player. He would take care of my reading obsession. I love to read but sometimes it interferes with my writing (and if it’s a really good book, it interferes with life).

Then the fourth me… wait… I’m breaking the rules, aren’t I?

Updates: Warning! Dated Material!

Mr. Bates from CrossLink Publishing has never responded to me. I don’t mean to judge, but it doesn’t seem that he is very interested in helping a writer trying to make a Christian message marketable.  

However, Darya Sackett from INNOVO Publishing has been very helpful and supportive. She has given me some very specific and helpful information on how to build my platform (see last post). I am beginning that process, with a goal of having an established platform by this Fall. Then, MORE THAN SONGS should be a marketable Christian book.

*** On a completely different topic, I had a job interview yesterday with the owner of a “fine dining” restaurant in Kent, called LAZIZA. It is a well-paying opportunity with advancement on the near horizon. The owner is looking to open a new restaurant in Hudson this June, and he is looking for managers to open it. It’s been several years since I worked in a restaurant. I’m nervous, but confident that, with a little time, I can brush up on my culinary skills and knowledge. ****
 

eBooks Or REAL Books?

The eBook phenomona is fairly new to me. I always seem to live in a technological temporal anomalie. I don’t own a Kindle or other reader devices; however, I have Kindle for PC on both of my computers. I have about nine books on each of them (counting my own books, of course!). I have read a couple of them about publishing on Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon.com), for the purpose of producing my own books on Amazon.com.
But, when I read (and I am always reading!), so far, it’s been real books.

You know, even my term, “Real Books” shows my old-fashioned ways.

My bookshelves are full of many books I have yet to read. Maybe when I have read them all and passed the ones I could bare to part with onto someone, I will begin to read and acquire more ebooks. Until that time, when I sit down to my computer, it’s usually to write, not read. (Unless it’s to unwind with some games of pool, mah jong, or spider solitaire).

But, hey… I just started following this “Daily Post“, and I like it! Check it out!

Rejection Is Part of the Package

January 24th, I got this email from Crosslink Publishing:
Rick Bates
Jan 24 (3 days ago)

to me

Thank you for submitting your manuscript for our review. After careful consideration, we have determined that it does not fit into our current catalog. We wish you much success in finding the right home for your book.

God bless,

Rick

rickbates | Acquisitions Editor | CrossLink Publishing | www.CrossLinkPublishing.com | 888-697-4851

So… I want to ask you, my readers, a question:
Since this seems to be a very generic rejection, do you think I should contact Mr. Bates, asking him what I could do to make my book more marketable. What do you think? Let me know please!

Act Like A Writer

I don’t post on this blog daily, because I don’t always have the time or anything particularly interesting to say everyday. Those who follow this blog know this is true.

Okay, so in 2012, I self-published two books (actually, one I released a revised version, so literally, THREE). They are short horror stories, written under my “dark” pen name, Matt Ice.    See my Author Page on Amazon.com

Each of these books are available in print or Kindle version. This was exciting for me, but so far, not very financially rewarding. I have sold a few copies, so I am now a “published author“.

Today, I submitted my first book MORE THAN SONGS  to two traditional publishers. This book has been a finished project for about 8 years. Here is the story of this book:

I began writing it in 1996. I didn’t realize at first it was going to be a book. It was just my personal study to understand biblical worship. Then, as I organized my notes, it became a book. I researched, learned, un-learned, prayed, and wrote what God was teaching me. The first draft was completed in 1998.

A huge part of writing is re-writing. Over the following five years, I edited, and edited, and edited. During this time, I was starting to get a spark for another book. At first I thought it should be a part of MTS; but it really was a different book (and that is another story altogether).

I searched for a traditional publisher of Christian books. I discovered that most publishers do not accept submissions directly from authors. They require agents. So, I searched and found a literary agent.

Writers Literary Agency read, critiqued, and seemed to genuinely believe in the message of the book. I signed a contract with them. The agency had the book “professionally critiqued” for a fee (which I paid). Then, they created a “professional” web page for me, for a fee (which I paid).

The agency then began submitting the manuscript to traditional publishers, because, as they had often reminded me: they don’t get paid until I get paid. After 6 months of rejections, Writers Literary Agency made me an offer. They would do what was called “Aggressive Marketing”. All I had to do was pay them $145.00 and sign a new contract. I didn’t have the money, and I was fed up with the agency. I had already given them quite a bit of money, with no results.

I gave up on them, and I was discouraged for a long time. I kept writing other projects. Literally, I was writing FOUR COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BOOKS AT THE SAME TIME! But, MTS just sat there.

Last year, I turned more of my writing energy toward fiction. Also, I was writing web content for 2 Blue Media (a paying gig!). When I learned about Kindle Direct Publishing, I worked on producing some of my short disturbing stories.

I got the fire again on my 53rd birthday last week. I was beginning to format MTS for submission to Kindle. It felt like I was giving up.

Then, two days ago, I decided to search again for a traditional Christian publisher. I found two: INNOVO, and CROSSLINK. I submitted the book to both publishers. Within an hour, I received a phone call from a representative from INNOVO, thanking me for submitting and she would send me an email with lots more information about publishing with them.

It occurs to me that I should briefly explain what I mean by “traditional publishers”. Traditional publishers, when they accept a book, believe in it and invest their money (not the author’s) in it’s production and promotion.

There are plenty of independent self-publishing companies out there. The author pays for their services. They have no financial risks, and will basically print anything that the authors pay for. I have avoided those for two basic reasons: 1) I don’t have the money and 2) I have always wanted a publisher for my Christian books to be someone who believes in the messages.

A few years ago, I submitted MTS to Tate publishing. They advertise that they are a Christian Publisher. They offered a contract to me of what is called “cooperative publishing”. In other words, for my first book, I would pay the first $4,000 production and promotional costs, and they would take on the rest. If an author has a successful debut book, their next books would be traditionally published. Obviously, I didn’t have $4,000. When I further investigated Tate Publishing, I saw some very bad reports on them.

Now, I await the two publishers. In the event that both want it, I’ll take the best offer.

2013 will be my breakout year!

Time Is Not My Friend

In four days, I will be 53 years old. I don’t say that in celebration. A 53 year old man who was fired from his last job (and has had more jobs than he can remember), has no car, and is about to lose his only phone, must certainly appear unemployable to most businesses.

In 2012, I successfully published two books, available on Amazon.com. Sales have been anemic. I have been considering putting my first book, MORE THAN SONGS into print by the same means. This book has been a finished work for about 6 years. I have wanted to go with a traditional publisher, one who would believe in this book’s message and marketability enough to invest. Considering the Amazon.com method of publication is a compromise of that desire. I’m unsure if it would be my “Ishmael”.

Okay, I should probably explain what I mean by that… In the book of Genesis in the Bible, Abram (later called Abraham) had been promised by God that he would have a son. Since he and his wife were past the child-bearing years, it didn’t seem possible. Then God delayed the fulfillment of His promise. Eventually, Abraham and his wife Sarah decide she was not going to be able to give him a son. So, Abraham conceived with Sarah’s handmaiden, Hagar. Hagar bore a son, Ismael, for Abraham. Then God moved to fulfill His promise, and old Sarah gave birth to the son of promise, Isaac.

As for my reference to this story: Ishmael represented Abraham and his wife’s attempt to bring about God’s promise by their own efforts. I’m concerned that, if I self-publish MORE THAN SONGS, it will be my way of handling it, rather than letting God decide when, if, and how. He lead me through the writing, editing, and completion of this book. And now, because it has just sat for too long, I’m anxious.