But let's start with Cinco de Mayo.
I wasn't aware that this holiday may or may not have been one of those times of the year when agents automatically delete queries sent to them, much in the same way I'd lamented my rookie mistake months ago (see "The Fourth and Fifth Rounds") by sending a batch off on Christmas Eve. I suppose it's still too early to tell, being that the Seventh Round went out a week ago, but I have to admit that the reception so far seems icy. But paired with some things that have crossed my mind quite a bit lately due to an illness that hit me in the beginning of March and ended with a surgery in mid April, a span of two months that put me in an intense state of self-evaluation about my role if any in this world of publishing, it became apparent to me that maybe my patience is wearing a bit thin.
So, take your time, prospective agents. As much as I wish one of you would latch on to my project and give it the representation that it deserves, I think I may be putting up that particular fishing pole for the time being. Well, at least I'm putting away the one with the kung fu grip in favor of multiple, lighter and less important ones.
The plan is to send out a batch every month, to the few agents that are left all over the country and beyond. But in the meantime, I have been exploring self-publishing options in a turn of events that anyone following this blog probably didn't see coming. Things change, and the marriage of media and technology is no exception.
To say that the world of self-publishing has changed since I did it last would be an understatement, but at the same time a lot of the same things still hold true. For instance, without the backing of a traditional publisher, for the most part marketing and publicity is still left completely up to the author. But that's okay, because hand-in-hand with the strides that technology has made in self-publishing, so has the means of getting the word out.
And then I've heard through some confidants of mine on Team Torres that authors who self-publish now can actually earn a little bit of royalty that amounts to more than just a few cents here and there, something that in the past has always made me look forward to receiving my 1099 every year just for a good chuckle. As a musician, I still gig on the weekends and earn a little money here and there. But the way I see it, with pricing structures now in the hands of the authors, I can now count my books as things that actually make me some cash on the side.
All the arrows are pointing in this direction, even now as I have the manuscript out to three different beta readers whom I don't actually think realize they are beta readers yet. I will follow up with them and initiate them officially, making then card-carrying members of the newly formed Team Torres. Yes, the process has begun.
I'm still keeping one eye open to traditional publishing, because I do still plan to consistently chisel away at least once a month in both the agency and publisher markets. But I've already begun to imagine the cover design, and already have a member of Team Torres ready with his mighty Photoshop sword. There was always something special about the control of self-publishing, about the time leading up to and including the process, knowing that ultimately I would have a say on when and where my children were born.