Mesh and the Scifi Book Deal Adventure – Part Three

Mesh and the Big Book Deal Adventure – Part ThreeClick Here to Read Part Two – Ugh, what a weekend. I’ve been incredibly scatterbrained as of late, so thank you for understanding that I haven’t blogged as much as I want to. I want to give an update on MESH, but do it in a scifi way. I decided to start by asking: How Do You Say ‘Ouch’ in Klingon? The answer is: it’s a trick question, there is no word – Klingon’s aren’t supposed to admit they feel pain. Here’s what is going on.

If you’re interested in being published, you’ll want to pay attention to this. For authors, there’s the effort of writing, and then there’s the effort of getting paid for your writing. Two separate skillsets and they each demand their own level of professionalism and diligence. That said, you can do everything write right, and still lose. That’s not weakness, that’s life.

The Process

The overall process for getting paid with a mainstream book deal goes like this: Write book > send query letters to Lit Agents > Get requests for manuscript > Send manuscript > Lit Agents like book, send offer of representation > Deal signed, Lit. Agent sells book to publisher > Publishing deal arrives 

That’s a very, very, VERY high-level version of the Mesh Scifi Book Deal adventure. I wanted you to have that so you understand where we are in the process. Part Two of the blog post was about getting to Step 4 in the process above. However, we’re still very far from Step 7: Publishing deal arrives. Want a real-world example? As mentioned about a month ago, I sent MESH off to a lit agent in response to a request for the full manuscript. I’ll tell the rest of the story here:

The Story

Jackson waited with heart in mouth to hear from the literary agent who wanted to read MESH. Could this be the end of the journey? He certainly thought so, spending weeks blogging and tweeting. That’s when he received the fateful response:

‘After some more thought and consideration, I didn’t feel like I connected to the characters like I had hoped. There were some areas in your MS where the pacing slowed down tremendously. Due to this, I won’t be offering representation at this time.’

The decision was painful, but the agent remained supportive: ‘Please don’t give up writing,’ she went on. ‘I hope that this ignites a fire in you to keep practicing your craft.’

Jackson took a long moment to sigh, look wistfully toward the mountains where forest fires smoldered. We’re not there yet, he whispered. I have to keep trying. He opened Word and saved a new version of the document. Time for another draft.

More to the Story

Processing all of this, I reached out to some of my beta readers. They’re supportive, rock stars in fact. Some agree with parts of the feedback, and disagree with others. Some say MG/YA books are’t supposed to be longer than 70K words. The previous draft of MESH was 89K words. What do I do?

I decided to start re-drafting Mesh like Pearl Harbor stripped out those B-25 planes for the Doolittle Raid (watch the clip, you’ll get it). Everything that won’t help Mesh get across the finish line? Chuck it out, consolidate, re-configure, re-write, edit. I’m losing thousands of words off the draft this way. We’ll see if this makes a difference.

In the meantime, I’m starting to query my old agents’ list again. In theory, you can wait six months and try again with any lit agent who has previously rejected you.

Wrapping Up

Why tell you all of this? It’s pretty easy: there’s no such thing as an ‘overnight success.’ We all there by trying, failing, and trying again. While this is just another part of the Mesh Scifi Book Deal adventure, I want you to know that I’m not giving up.

Neither should you.