There’s a big difference between being able to write a book and being able to market it, convince pretty much anyone to read it, or get any interest at all in it from a literary agent. That’s what I’ve managed to figure out. It could be wildly inaccurate assumption based on limited experience, but I couldn’t tell you whether that’s the case or not because guess what – I do not know.
I also don’t know what I have to do to get past the kind of insta-rejection responses that I’m encountering when submitting my crime novel to agents. I’ve done all the right research, taken a great deal of care when writing my query letter and synopsis, and I’m not spamming loads of agents at once. I’m finding that the rejections come back quickly enough that I can afford to submit to no more than two agencies at the same time without feeling that I’m wasting time.
Test reader response has so far been extremely good. Personally, I believe I have finally found the genre where I always needed to be writing. I put off writing a crime novel for ages because that level of plotting scared me. Then I read a bunch of recent crime novels, where the titles on Amazon are always suffixed with something like “A gripping thriller with a twist you will not see coming”, and I knew that I could not just compete with these books but shoot bloody great holes through them.
For a start, I’m not using an unreliable narrator to tell the story. I don’t have drunk protagonists, or delusional ones, or ones who might not be the person they are telling the reader that they are. Because, frankly, that’s all just bollocks. I spent a long time figuring out who was going to do what to whom, and why (because that is very important), then I planned the whole thing out scene-by-scene to make sure there was no filler, no bullshit, no point where the reader would want to look up from the pages, let alone stop reading to make a cup of tea. I’m sorry if you miss that cup of tea, but that’s how it’s got to be.
My test readers keep telling me there’s an agent out there who will bite my hand off for this one, but I’m still not sure. It’s those damn rejections… they just seem to come back way too quickly. I suppose that’s the way life is for an unknown, debut author, and I just have to deal with it. I’ll just get on with writing the next one while I wait and wait and wait for someone to pick this one up.
If you are interested in finding out some more about this book, please get in touch via the contact page on this site. The same goes for anyone who fancies being a test reader, or just wants a free copy as soon as it is available.