The Bitter Taste of Lack of Success

I have several “query letters” to literary agencies sitting next to me. For those of you who don’t follow my every thought and move like US Weekly gives to Paris Hilton, I wrote a book. Finished it back in 2003. 2003, people.

It is NOW 2005. And since 2003, in November, I have been sending letters to agents that basically says “Please represent me? I love you! Wanna see my boob?”

And sometimes they write back and say “Well, I don’t know you. But I kind of like you so send in a little of the book.”

And then I wear my heart on my sleeve only to get dumped the night before prom by the Big Mean Literary Agent who just doesn’t see my potential!

I have letter number 139 sitting on my couch. I have sent 139 letters. The number is DAUNTING. I know that they probably don’t all want to full out make babies with me, but come on, maybe even a hand job? At least get to second base?

You know, I just sealed the deal with any agent who might read this from contacting me. I said “hand job” in regards to literary work. Thou shalt not speak ill of the querying process!

Thou art banished!

What chaps my hide, even though Robotnik tells me not to let it chap, is all of the other bloggers who get book deals. I’m happy for you. Yes, I wish it was me and stuff, but I’m still happy for you. You’re a fellow blogger and you’re living your dream!

Do I need a promotion scheme? Am I going about this the wrong way? Should I be posting naked pictures of my butt on here in hopes that an agent who likes Texas ass might want to represent me?

This book is 99,000 words, yall. Commercial fiction. I already have a readership here and I’m sure I could convince two of you to read the damn book. I’m open for book tours. Interviews? I’m great at those! I’m witty and friendly and I gave an interview yesterday and the guy laughed! He thinks I’m funny!

And think of the PR! “Fired blogger writes book and now goes on tour.” I could take funny pictures for the back cover! I even have a pen name all picked out!

But noooooooooooooooooooo. No. Obviously I’m not cool enough for a book deal, even though I have actually written the book and gone through the process.

No. I’m not bitter. Not at all.

18 Responses to “The Bitter Taste of Lack of Success”

  1. Brandi
    January 26th, 2005 18:21

    Awww, don’t feel bitter sweetie. Many authors publish posthumously. Many authors are bad writers and sell millions of copies. There are so many circumstances, and sometimes nothing in the literary world seems fair. You must write because of your soul, not because of a literary agent. You have marvelous potential, and there is not doubt that I would purchase your book, but you cannot feel upset that your potential is dwindling just because your work isn’t noticed. It’s almost irrelevent.

  2. Corrie
    January 26th, 2005 18:44

    dude, I would so read your book! Keep on fighting the good fight sister!

  3. debutaunt
    January 26th, 2005 19:30

    Ok, I’d buy your book.

    And if you are ever in the burbs, non burbia of NW Houston, I’d gladly go to a park/playdate with you AND buy you dinner. Perhaps we could get Houston Bloggers to form a Margarita Play Group.

  4. Cristin
    January 26th, 2005 19:55

    Hey lady! I would read your book! And if it helps, I recently read Mary Higgins Clark’s autobiography. She got HUNDREDS of rejection letters before she was published. You are a better writer than she is, judging from this blog!
    If she can do it……..

    P.S.- I don’t know what she looked like all those years ago, but I certainly wouldn’t want to see her naked, so I’ll bet she sisn’t have to send any porn to get an agent! Hang in there.

    (um, I meant all of this so not in a stalkerish kinda way….) lol

  5. LX Robotnik
    January 26th, 2005 20:27

    Hang in. I told you about Steinbeck…300 rejections! STEINBECK.

    I told you about my suitcase-full of rejections. Close to 600. Daunting? Aha. I’ve been getting rejected since 1997–and that DOESN’T include women. Har-feckin’ har.

    Bloggers with book deals? Let’s see. First..most of them suck (I won’t mention who); second, PUBLISHING a book is only half the battle–maybe even a quarter. SELLING/MARKETING the g.d. thing is key. If it doesn’t sell…you don’t get another contract. Back to slums. So…trudge on mom; you’re doing everything right. And let things happen when they do–patience, Grasshoppa, patience. Take care of Ellie; good things are coming.


  6. Kristie
    January 26th, 2005 20:34

    It amazes me how many really decent writers don’t get published. I know I’ve certain suffered through really, really bad books. I wonder what makes those hellacious authors “better” than any of the unpublished really good ones.

    Good luck to you. I hope letter 140 is the charm.

  7. brilly
    January 26th, 2005 20:43

    A friend of mine couldn’t get her book published so she published it herself. She also took it to stores herself and did all the publicity. The book sucked big time. But she has since had another book published. Doing all the work herself paid off in the end.

  8. Bree
    January 26th, 2005 20:55

    I would read it :)

  9. Emily
    January 26th, 2005 23:43

    I haven’t posted for awhile..you know..the stalking blogger type, but I did want you to know that I would totally buy your book by the dozen…You are an amazing writer, don’t give up!

  10. megan
    January 27th, 2005 09:53

    i feel ya - sort of - my boyfriend’s in a band (and not in the cliche way - a good band - a very talented band called one true thing) that’s been together for 10 years. this is the third time they’ve been signed and the second time they’ve released an album and they’ve toured and they’re going to europe - but still that’s nothing - nothing. no radio play and absolutely no money. and yet, there’s all this non-talent on the radio — there’s just no reason to it all.

    oh - and i’m sorry if that was kind of depressing … your writing here is excellent - good luck and patience i’m sending your way!! :)

  11. tabitha
    January 27th, 2005 11:40

    you don’t want to get published, cause like, you’d turn on Hemingway on us. According to the Fitzgeralds he was really cool before he got a big head and went crazy and started living with a million cats, and speaking of Hemingway, have you ever noticed that he’s always portrayed as wearing a turtleneck sweater, but lived on Key West??? but anyway, have you had an editor look at your ms? it’s tough criticism to take, but incredibly invaluable.

  12. Texas T-bone
    January 27th, 2005 12:31

    The number 99,000 scares me. I love to write, but I’m not sure I can string all of them together into something readable. The typical news article I write is between 400-1,200 words, and sometimes that’s a stretch.

    Have as many honest people (not relatives or “fans”) read your book and give you opinions. It may also be that the subject isn’t what publishers want right now. Keep trying. The trends seem to drive the kinds of things that are published. Some of the blog authors write about blogging, but that’s only because it’s a mainstream pursuit. Its novelty will fade.

    I’ve heard getting a book published is a hard nut to crack, and then once it is, if a company isn’t behind it to promote it, the thing never takes off.

  13. The Zero Boss
    January 27th, 2005 13:11

    LX Robotnik is right-on. Many of these bloggers getting book deals will barely earn back their pricey advances, and several of them will probably lose money for the publisher. Whoops - there goes your writing career! Better to work for it, and enjoy lasting success, than be a flash in the pan.

    (God, I *so* hope that statement doesn’t end up being about me…)

    Ever read J.K. Rowlings’ first rejection letter? The publisher didn’t even have the courtesy to return the manuscript. Yep - some genius threw HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE *into the circular file*.And let’s not mention the dozens who dismissed Stephen King as a hack.

    Keep on truckin’, momma. You’ll make it.

  14. Owen
    January 27th, 2005 14:26

    Keep going. Stephen Donaldson (fantasy writer of Thomas Covenant books) sent his first book out for ten years straight. It got taken by someone who had already rejected it twice and sold several hundred thousand copies.

    My spouse only has six rejections from agents for her book so far. I haven’t actually finished any of my three, so you are way ahead there. But I am going ahead and setting up a publishing company and if and when we turn to fiction (starting with non-fiction) then you are welcome to submit it direct. We won’t care about agents…course we can’t promise to like the book (*grin*)

  15. Surfie
    January 27th, 2005 15:57

    Here’s where you can publish it yourself.


    I bet with your readership from the blog, you would do pretty damn good.

    I’d read it too.

  16. wavybrains
    January 27th, 2005 16:56

    Man that sucks. I feel your pain, I really do. Another struggling wanna-be writer here. Have you started book 2? Sometimes people publish things in weird orders–your second book might sell, leading to this first one to then sell. Joined any writers groups for moral support and critique? I second the notion of maybe getting a reputable editor to look at it. I have a number of Elizabeth Lyon’s books–www.elizabethlyon.com– she does fiction and nonfiction. Best of luck to you, and hang in there.

  17. Sarcomical
    January 27th, 2005 18:00

    did you include, in the book, more pictures like the ones you drew of your unbalanced boobs? because i totally think that if you did they would be banging down the door.

  18. jen
    January 27th, 2005 22:23

    Narative non-fiction is hot right now, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you had more luck selling your tale of getting Dooced. (Generally non-fiction fetches a higher advance, too.)

    Something like 80% of all books are rejected because the proposal isn’t properly formatted. (I’ve yet to see a “how to” book with a good template.) And regardless of how good your book is, if it’s not in an easy-to-sell format, you’re likely to be overlooked. If you want some help, please drop me a line.

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