So I currently have White Noise up for free on a site called Story Cartel, which I’m doing so I can hopefully get a few reviews on it, and I was asked why I didn’t have an agent for it. I told him the answer was a little longer than 140 characters, but it’s a question I think I will be asked again, so let’s actually go through this.
A lot of it derives from the fact that I am writing books in my off hours. I work full time as a developer and I write because I enjoy it. I’m not ready to be held to someone else’s timelines in my off hours and, if I’m having a bad day, I want to be able to take the day off without the added stress of knowing that I have a rewrite or an edit to get in. I already plan on getting two books done per year,1 but I want to know that if my day job gets to be too much, I can drop everything for that without worrying that my agent is going to get in trouble because I’m not getting my stuff done on time.
I have no drive to make anything with marketability in mind. I aim to write the story first, and then figure out who would like it after. I’ve already talked about doing some hypertext fiction or interconnected short stories, as well as doing some stuff that’s just not linear. At all. My romances don’t usually show up until the second drafts based on character chemistry,2 and sometimes there’s no romance at all, which means I don’t follow the rules for young adult fiction or certain genre fiction. Not that I always write young adult. Sometimes the stories are suited for older or younger audiences and I don’t really want to change the stories to suit one particular audience if the story doesn’t call for it.
I also want to actually learn about the publishing process from a publisher’s perspective. Since I’ve started, I’ve gotten a crash course in book formatting and marketing3 as well as learning how to find people to work with and how to work with them. I’ve been really enjoying that, as well as learning the ins and outs of trying to figure out how to set it up as a business.
And, as a bonus, I don’t have to have the girl covers on my books if I don’t want to.
I may change all this in the future and eventually go for the traditional publishing deal,4 but for the moment I’m enjoying doing it all at my own pace and learning about the process. If you’re an agent that really wants to change my mind, though, feel free to get in touch.