The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Well, the end is near.  At least the end of the writing phase of my first novel, The Anthanian Imperative–Blue.  If you’re new to this blog, I’ve been working on this science fiction novel for a long time (never mind how long, but the number of years has two digits).  I think I’m in position to begin querying agents, and I’ve drawn up a list of several already.  I’ve talked to a lot of people about my novel and passed it in front of a well-known editor who made some important and valuable comments that led me to cut over 30,000 words.  It still weighs in at slightly over 120,000 words, and that’s a bit much, but that’s the smallest it’s ever been.  (Carrie, you will be pleased.)  So far, so good.

If you’ve followed my blogs for a while now, you know that I’ve been debating whether to go the traditional route for publication or take a chance and self-publish using one of the many routes available now.  My decision has been to try the traditional route first.  I like the idea of having an agent and, later, an editor take a look at the book and give me some feedback as to how it might hold up in the real world.  Also, the publisher is responsible for the cover art and typesetting, and all the other small things that go to putting out a book, things I don’t have any experience in, and things you have to do by yourself if you self-publish.  Personally, I think the book will do okay in the world of publishers and agents, but I don’t really know.  In any event, we’ll find out.  If everybody pans it, perhaps I’ll publish it on Smashwords or some other equally simple site, and let the chips fall where they may.

Another reason I’ve decided to try the traditional route comes from a conversation I had at the last science fiction convention here in Albuquerque this past August.  That was Bubonicon 43.  I happened to mention to a well-known author of many science fiction books that I was writing a novel and hadn’t decided how to publish, and his suggestion was to try the traditional route first, self-publish later.  He didn’t elaborate on that comment and I didn’t explore it further, and it should be remembered that he’s published all his books the traditional way, so his opinion is somewhat slanted.  Yet, at the same time, his suggestion set well with me, a veritable unknown in the world of science fiction.

So, wish me luck.  I’m still working on some things in the front of the manuscript, including the Table of Contents and another few pages on the pronunciation of some of the terms I use to identify my fictional characters.  But next week, query letters will go out.  (Cue the drum roll, trumpets, fanfare, roll credits.)

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