I received another rejection note yesterday for Princesses In SPACE!!! (not the actual title), which brings the total to...somewhere I don't want to tally it up, actually. Suffice it to say that I am just about out of places to submit this book, either as a direct submission to a publisher or a query to an agent. Nobody has bitten, and I find myself just about at that point where I have to admit that nobody is likely to bite at this point.
Which reminds me of that scene in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, when Kirk -- having been refused permission to return to the Genesis Planet to pick up Spock's body -- tells his officers, "The word is no. I am therefore going anyway."
I'm not really sure what the process is from here, so I'm going to have to do a lot of research and discussing with people who have been there, but unless something very strange happens, I will be getting Princesses out there myself. I'm going to aim for November 2014 for release (although at this date, don't even think of holding me to that). I know I need to do another round of edits and then start working toward getting this book put together into a coherent form. I'll need cover art, and I know there's a lot of file-formatting work to be done.
Plus, I intend to create a separate website for my work, as a promotional tool. That will also be aimed for late 2014. I want to have multiple books in the pipeline at all times, when I "go live"; I want to be able to say to readers, "If you liked Princesses, tune in late 2015 for Princesses II." And, of course, other books along the way!
The least of this news is that, if all goes as intended, the ACTUAL TITLE will be revealed by the end of the coming year.
This is exciting stuff! I'm fortunate to live in a time when this sort of thing is possible. I'm reminded of Neil Gaiman's words, from that remarkable commencement address of his:
We're in a transitional world right now, if you're in any kind of artistic field, because the nature of distribution is changing, the models by which creators got their work out into the world, and got to keep a roof over their heads and buy sandwiches while they did that, are all changing. I've talked to people at the top of the food chain in publishing, in bookselling, in all those areas, and nobody knows what the landscape will look like two years from now, let alone a decade away. The distribution channels that people had built over the last century or so are in flux for print, for visual artists, for musicians, for creative people of all kinds.
Which is, on the one hand, intimidating, and on the other, immensely liberating. The rules, the assumptions, the now-we're supposed to's of how you get your work seen, and what you do then, are breaking down. The gatekeepers are leaving their gates. You can be as creative as you need to be to get your work seen. YouTube and the web (and whatever comes after YouTube and the web) can give you more people watching than television ever did. The old rules are crumbling and nobody knows what the new rules are.
So make up your own rules.
That's what I'm gonna do! Maybe this story won't get read by a lot of people. Maybe it will. But it's not going to be stuck in a drawer, counted among my "practice" books before I finally manage to break through, becoming one of those novels nobody ever sees but the author, who takes out the manuscript once in a while and remembers with fondness the investment in a tale that was doomed to the drawer.
This book is my story. And it's coming. Soon.
(Give or take. Like I said, uncharted waters and all.)