Well, I've finished my edits on novel number two and it's back to the betas. Yep. Another round of "Why did you do that's" and "What were you thinkings." At least, I brace myself for those comments. Hopefully, I won't hear those words of despair. Hopefully, I've worked long enough and hard enough to squash those things before they're even a gleam in the betas eyes. But...
Sometimes "the best laid plans", as Burns said. If the Dog Pack finds fault, it's because fault exists. If fault exists, fault must be eradicated. I'm searching for an agent, someone who believes in me and my work. If the might-be agent has a faulty representation of my work, then the words "might-be" will be eradicated and he/she becomes the not-interested agent.
Long ago, publishing houses accepted books directly. For example, Forest Carter, an old cowboy from the plains, wrote a book called Gone to Texas. Mr. Carter went to the library, looked into western novels, found potential publishing houses, and sent his novel off to the house he found most interesting. The publishing house accepted his work, published his book, and a very famous director discovered it in the stacks. The book became the movie, The Outlaw Josey Wales. When Carter was interviewed about his new-found success, Barbara Walters asked what he was going to do. His response? "I think I'll buy a new pick-up truck."
Cute story, but...publishing houses don't do that very often. Nowadays, practically not at all. For some time, Algonquin Press would review the first thirty pages of a novel. I'm not sure if they still do that. Random House? St. Martins? DAW? Nope. They rely on the voice and the filtering of agents. That way the publishers can avoid the tedium of reading three-hundred badly written novels to get to the one good piece in the slush pile. Ergo: no agent/no publisher.
I need my betas to be tough. I need them to point out ALL the rough spots, the failed spelling (even an English major makes mistakes), the character flaws, ALL of it. If the Dog Pack approves, then I query, not one agent at a time but ten at a time. If I get the agent, I may be published.
Lots of ifs. Lots of maybes. Lots of hopes. The dream. Oh! One more 'if.'
If I get published, I'm definitely buying a new pick-up truck.