Books/Library Photography Writing

The Soul of Abram Clark, a Novel

A few minutes past 7:30 on Tuesday evening, I wrote the last word of my first novel. I’m extremely excited about having finished the book that consists of more than fifty thousand words.

The Soul of Abram Clark

I do not plan to self-publish this work, so my immediate task is to find an agent, and/or a publisher. The task is daunting, and I say with all candor that I expect the book will never be published.

In my opinion, the book is of excellent quality, well-written, intriguing, and of a timely subject. I believe it to be worthy of commercial publishing, although I quite understand it is impossible for me to judge that–others must take on that task.

Why then, if you judge the book exceptional, do you say you expect the book to never be published? someone will surely ask. The answer lies with the odds in book publishing.   Listen to these words of  Larry Brooks  from his very fine site: “… for every novel only one out of every 2000 novels written finds a publisher.  And of those that do, the vast majority will have gathered more than a few rejection slips along the way.” Mr. Brooks is not alone in his assessment; all people in the publishing field agree that the chance of selling a book by an unknown author is miniscule.

However, I will move toward publication. While being realistic in my expectations, and while remembering the odds, I plan to take all reasonable steps to have my novel published.

My immediate steps are as follows:

1. Compose compelling query letter.

2. Locate and query agents who are interested in the type of book I have written.

3. Locate and query publishers who are interested in the type of book I have written, and who will accept a manuscript from a writer with no agent.

4. Perfect the first 50 pages of my manuscript. (Typically, an interested agent wants to see this much of the manuscript.)

5. Write compelling back-cover material.

6. Have the manuscript read by a few select people.

7. Begin work on second draft of the complete book . . . then a third . . . then a fourth . . .fifth. . .

Would you like to help me?

I need an agent. Do you have any contact with one, or do you know the brother-in-law of one, or the second cousin once removed of your Aunt Lucy who once was in publishing, or did you hear a friend speak of a friend of a friend who . . .? You get the idea I’m sure.

From time to time through this process, I will publish parts of the novel, as I have done once before. No spoilers, though.

From a couple of pages into chapter 1

Landy moved with the stream of people who headed toward the exit doors. Then, among the crush, Grady Tomes stood before her and extended his hand. She stopped and smiled at the man as the crowd moved around the couple. He was a balloon, puffed up, weaving back and forth with importance. His hand in hers was a round of mush, white and soft. His orbed head was pink with a jagged line of fine white hair that circled around. The edges were damp. His aqua eyes bulged, set over by tufts of brows, as though cotton strands from boles had been stuck on. His mouth was red; his lower lip wet and large.

Landy saw that his clothes were of fine cut and that they had been pressed with skill. The shoes on his small feet were glossy, and in the middle of each ended a pant leg, creased knife-blade sharp.

Landy looked at his rotund middle as he bent toward her. Beads of sweat threatened to spill on her. “Landy, my dear, so excellent to see you here.”

“And you, also, Brother Tomes.”

He dropped her hand, turned, and moved through the people. He did not genuflect right and left as though before an adoring crowd, he only appeared to do so.