Tuesday, September 13, 2016

My Book Update

In a previous blog post regarding my memoir, dated March 13, 2016, I declared “it’s done!”


It wasn’t done. I sent out query letters (letters of introduction about me and my book) to a group of literary agents in March and April, and I got no bites. Maybe my query letters weren’t enticing enough. Perhaps my sample chapters weren’t compelling enough. It's quite possible I didn't query the right agents. Who knows? Since April, I’ve worked extensively on both my query letter template and the manuscript itself. That brings me to today.

Now that summer is over and Kim is back to work, I have no excuses. It’s time for me to really finish the book and get out query letters to the next round of literary agents. Then I’ll wait six to eight weeks to see if I get any responses. While I wait, I plan to be productive. On the assumption that I won’t land an agent, which is a statistical likelihood given the ratio of aspiring authors to literary agents, I will pull together a strategy for self-publishing. That way, once I have exhausted the traditional publishing route, I won’t have to wait long before getting the book out on my own.

And if, surprise of surprises, I get any interest from literary agents, then so much the better.

I’ve had many people help me on the book—friends, relatives, writing group members, beta readers, a freelance editor from New York. Everybody told me that it’s well done, but I remained skeptical. Most of these folks had a stake in making me feel good about myself. Recently I submitted an essay to a mid-sized monthly magazine (circulation approximately 100,000 per issue), and they accepted it. Not only will I be published in their November edition, but they paid me (heck, I would've paid them)

Given that the essay is an excerpt from my book, this experience has provided me with a boost in confidence.

The name of the magazine? I’ll let you know in a future blog post, closer to the date of publication, which is late October.

Now, time for me to get back to those query letters…


  1. Nice job with the essay, and good luck with the book.

  2. wow a book! That seems to be such hard work but you do have a talent for writing so hope it goes well!!!

  3. Well done with the essay, Mitch. That's great news. As to literary agents—just remember these are people who have brought us some real duds over the decades. I'm reading a book called "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt. It won a Pulitzer Prize, no less, and yet the writing is actually mediocre and the plot full of holes. I've read lots of excellent books in my time, but this is not one of them. We're talking lottery here, rather than a process that involves carefully considered judgement.

  4. So true. And to follow this line of thinking to its logical conclusion, I've read several self-published books that are of the highest quality. Two of them were yours!

  5. I just read that essay in that monthly magazine last night which led me to your blog today! Keep up the great work!