The Book, and What’s Important About It

Who knew selling a book would be so hard?

Well, I did, actually.  But this is nothing compared to the writing.

Anyway, the book is still going around to agents.  There was a request for more pages, but the agent passed–said she was a “very, very tough sell on aliens, although your writing is good.”   I’ll take that compliment; thank you!

The thing is, it’s very easy to start thinking that the book is crap because nobody has said “OH MY GOD I WANT TO REP THIS!”  But that’s bullshit. People I trust, who have no reason to lie to me (and who were very honest with me in the beta stage about the flaws it had, and helped me fix them), like the book.  In fact, my favorite comment from two of the beta readers was “If I’d bought this in a bookstore and read it, I’d consider my money well spent.” It’s not perfect–no book ever is, especially before an editor takes it in hand–but it’s good.  It’s a story worth telling, and worth reading.

It’ll sell, or it won’t.  But that isn’t the important thing.  The important thing is that I have a voice, and that I need to use it.  Because, while I need to write, I’m not really writing for me.  I’m writing for that teenager who thinks the future won’t have people like him in it, because they’re not in the mainstream books being sold.  I’m writing for the girl whose parents tell her she’s a loser because she loves SFF.  I’m writing for the man who is sick of every story with a gay protagonist being erotica or romance.

So the important thing is to keep writing, and keep querying.

Onward!

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About Michael Johnston

Father of a fifth grader, high school English teacher, writer. Forty-six years old and feeling almost every bit of it on some days, and not a bit of it on others. Based in Sacramento, California, USA
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