I celebrated the fall of 2008 by sending my agent a nonfiction book proposal and the completed, polished manuscript of a crime novel. Shortly after La Agent fired off some submissions to various interested editors, the publishing industry began rending itself with layoffs, budget cuts, and severe restrictions on the purchasing power of the editors who survived the staff reductions.
What’s that you say? Great timing, Steve? Tell me about it. The editors who didn’t get the ax got the workloads of those who did. The nonfiction proposal is finally getting some atttention, but a year after the novel manuscript went out, its fate is still an open question. Things are tough out there.
Maybe you’ve heard about John Scalzi, a very good SF writer who posted an entire novel online, chapter by chapter, via his blog. He did it because he wanted people to read his work. He ended up getting a book deal and went on to become a successful novelist, but all that was after the fact. The chief thing is, he wanted his work to be read.
I like my crime novel, a lot, and I want it to be read. So on Wednesday, with my agent’s full blessing, I’m going to start posting it a chapter at a time. It should be complete by late December, at which point I’ll post a short essay describing how I came to write the novel, and the sources of inspiration for the (rather unusual) main character. I’d be delighted to get comments from readers, but they should come as e-mails to moi. Comments will be switched off for the individual posts. If you want to send me a few bucks in exchange for the posts, that would be nice, but mainly I want to get some daylight on the novel.