Sunday, February 20, 2022

A Week in Writing #392 - First Rejection of the New Year

Hope everyone is feeling well, keeping safe, and, of course, writing.

I don't know about you, but I'm not quite ready to get back out there. While rates are dropping there are still a lot of people getting sick and dying, too many for me to feel like everything is back to normal. I'm not saying if you want to go out into public you shouldn't, as long as you follow all the guidelines, but I'm not in a hurry to test fate.

Case in point, even though we do a review blog, Trophy Unlocked, which includes movies, we haven't yet gone back to the theaters, something I love to do. I'm sorry but there is no movie worth getting sick for and with my luck the guy coughing behind me would be someone who isn't vaccinated. This plays out in reviews, so we're a little behind. As an example, I just wrote a review for Ghostbusters: Aftermath, which came to theaters last November but to blu-ray more recently. Not sure when it will post but I'm sure it will be soon, so keep an eye out for it. I also completed my review for Batman: Under the Red Hood but no publication date to report.

On the subject of the blog, the Saturday Morning Review was Paul's for Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, a film I have not seen. Wednesday's Game Day review was Trevor's for Vexx, which he played on Xbox.

No query on Thursday as I was trying to work on a couple of other things, including a script for a Kickstarter video and reviewing eight pages of thumbnails for Issue 21 from our artist. That doesn't mean we won't discuss queries because on Friday morning I did hear back from the first agent I had queried this year, and if you're keeping track, using the old query letter:

"David:  I'm afraid this won't work for us. Today, publishers typically make business (rather than artistic / creative) decisions; only taking on what their sales and marketing departments say is a sure thing. And, unfortunately, I don't believe this is sure to break out of a very crowded marketplace. Others might feel differently however, so obviously don't take my response as the final word."

This is, of course, based on the query letter and the first ten pages, so I'm not crushed by the comment, though I can't say it made my day. I'm not saying who sent it or changing the punctuation, in what has to be a form letter. Not sure how my book would need to be changed, if it can, that would make it a "sure thing," which sounds like a rather ephemeral standard.

I did continue my vetting for possible agents to query, opening my net to include agents who represent General Fiction, rather than just Crime. I used QueryTracker to put together the list this time. This is a two-part process, the first part, which I've completed, is to get their names, agency, and type of query on my spreadsheet. Part two is more research, like do they not take crime or don't mention the genre in their actual website profile. And then there are the details they want in and with the query, how long do they say they'll take to get back to you, etc., all of which I'll note and record.

Currently, my list of agents numbers 491, of which 63 are highlighted Red, which means they either don't handle my genre, I don't want to query them, or they have already rejected me, like that agent on Friday morning. I have, if you're curious, 82 that are yellow, which means they aren't accepting queries, the last time I checked or are in an agency that I've pegged another agent to query. Since we're breaking it down, I have 71 that I think are possibilities to query and a whopping 275 that I have yet to vet beyond step one. A lot of hope and research is still to be done and these distinctions will change over time.

On Friday, Paul and I recorded our Kickstarter video as part of our show On the Air with Powers Squared. In reality, we recorded bits and pieces of it, not a single take, which Paul will edit down and send to Artithmeric for them to come up with the final video. I would talk more about the Kickstarter, but I don't know much more since the last time we wrote, not that I haven't tried to follow up. You can listen to it through the link above, or watch it on for the next two weeks, or you can wait until Wednesday at 2:30pm PT and watch it on YouTube. Comments are welcomed.

On the subject of Powers Squared, Paul and I finally got around to applying for copyrights to the three issues we plan to release this year. You may remember that I started and aborted that process back in October. Well, a whole bunch of things happened and we just got back to it today. For some reason, the process went way smoothly. We've had some issues with our submissions before but we answered all their questions truthfully and accurately, so we hope everything will work out.

Sadly, no work was done on fka Skylar though I have been thinking about it, which I know doesn't really count. We're all about word count and there hasn't been any to mention in the last week.

Well, on that cheery note, I think that's about all from me. Keep writing and I'll see you back here next week.

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