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  1. #1
    stella
    Guest

    $64,000 question

    So here's the 64,000 question...I have been seeking an agent for my first novel (Pearl), a western with approximately 66,000 words. After reading several posts here, I have figured out that A) the genre is probably not the easiest to break into the market with, and B) the word count is low to boot.
    I have recieved probably close to 24 rejections to date, and almost all of them are polite form letters - many with handwritten comments such as - great character development, liked your writing style, I'm certain you will find representation but this is not what we are looking for, etc. etc. The only negative comment I received was on timing, but even she admitted it was a personal preference.
    So what gives?
    Are they all being overly nice, or is it simply a matter of wrong genre?



  2. #2
    Gary Kessler
    Guest

    Re: $64,000 question

    Stella:

    Someone responding to an earlier string on Westerns noted that they were from New Mexico or Arizona. Was it you? As I opined in an earlier string on Westerns, I do think there is a market for traditional Westerns in the tourist areas of the Southwest--and I would think that 66,000 words for a vacation book would be just fine. If you are from that area, or know someone who is, go into the stores, track down any books that are there, check out who the publishers are, and retry with your book with any of those publishers. I'm sure there is someone out there taking advantage of tourism in the Southwest.

  3. #3
    stella
    Guest

    Re: $64,000 question

    Thanks, Gary! And yes, I'm the rancher from NM. My dilemma is that my book is an inspirational western, if you want to call it that. It's not preachy, but it's minus the prostitutes. While I was writing, I found myself in between the proverbial rock and hard place. Most cowboys are pretty salty. They do not say, "Oh fiddlesticks!" when their four-legged transportation dumps them in the creek. Unfortunately, most christian publishers won't allow them to say anything else. I opted for realism.

  4. #4
    Lee Passarella
    Guest

    Re: $64,000 question

    Fascinating. An author in 2002 going the Louis Lamour route. This is certainly a stimulating Website, and I'm enjoying keeping up with everyone's endeavors. The more I read, the more I feel like a newbie in the trenches.

  5. #5
    stella
    Guest

    Re: $64,000 question

    I'm trying to decide whether to market the western trilogy or just set it aside for the time being and market a women's issues novel. Is it bad business to market more than one manuscript at a time if they are to different markets?
    And Nathan, if you do decide to do a western, I'd be glad to offer my vast expertise on knothead horses, gunshot wounds and belligerent cowbosses, if you need it.

  6. #6
    Brad Maier
    Guest

    Re: $64,000 question and a zero dollar answer

    What a shame that you can't find a market for your work. It's strange how some categories prosper and others languish. It seems to go in cycles because westerns once were a hot genre. Maybe they will be again at some point. Hang in there Stella. By the way, it's okay to market two things at once.

  7. #7
    stella
    Guest

    Re: $64,000 question and a zero dollar answer

    Good morning Brad! Thanks for the answer and I will hang in there. They say write what you know, and really that is what interests me. There's nothing like the smell of the sun rising on a cool fall morning with the tops of the apache plume glowing like fire. Spurs jingling in cadence with the beat of hooves, the feel of a good horse beneath you and your best friends on either side - it's something hard to explain. Hard to beat. I love it.

  8. #8
    Catherine McCallum
    Guest

    Re: $64,000 question and a zero dollar answer

    I have to laugh. Is the title of the novel you're trying to sell "Pearl?"

    I am working on a young-adult fantasy novel called "Pearl." It's the name of my protagonist. Is it the name of your protagonist, too?

    Cathy

  9. #9
    stella
    Guest

    Re: $64,000 question and a zero dollar answer

    Yes, it is. I chose it because pearls are formed from an irritant or an abrasive situation. My character starts life in an abusive home and the result is that she becomes a better person for it.
    How about you?
    (Please tell me the sequels to your book aren't named Pursued and Prodigal!)

  10. #10
    Catherine McCallum
    Guest

    Re: $64,000 question and a zero dollar answer

    No sequels planned yet.

    My character is named Pearl because her foster mother found the infant Pearl hidden in a trunk in the ruins of a village. Her foster mother is a dragon. (It's a fantasy, remember.)

    Cathy

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