Balls in Hand

For a while there, readers of this blog might have thought that the novel JOHANNESBURG was simply never going to be finished.

Well, I have good news and I have bad news! The good news is that I am not currently working on it. The bad news is that it is only as finished as it will be for now… BUT I have been working on the materials I need to go shopping for some kind of representation/deal.

As of Monday, I start approaching the publishers, agents and publishers that feature on the short list I have been working on in January. I have finally managed to write a synopsis that I actually feel works like it should and will not bore most readers to death. HUGE thanks go to Marc Pienaar, Louise Hilderbrand and Richard De Nooy for their assistance with achieving that!

The novel is in its 4th or 5th draft stage. In other words, hopefully, it has been worked enough to be seen as a plausible project by the powers that be, but that I know it will still require work. Possibly a lot of work. But that stage is yet to come. I have it on good authority that taking it up to a publishable stage with no publisher is ill advised… they may have a different vision and it could lessen my chances.

So, am I looking for a deal for the book? Well, in short yes. Publishing is in as much trouble and the record industry. BUT major publisher, like major record labels still have on their side huge distribution and marketing networks. I like the idea of being part of that. I have done this on my own before.

But what I am really looking for is an agent. Someone who is willing to represent me, guide me, and be my partner with the books that are yet to come. So what I would really like to find is an agent. I think I have a pretty impressive track record. And by now I can say with no trace of false modesty that I can write. But I can’t get where I want to go on my own. So, yes, an agent. A partner with advice and ideas.

This may actually turn out to be a literary editor who is prepared to play with me. I am not fussy. Whatever works. It is the certain knowledge that I cannot just overnight start getting my works out there that drives this search.

It is true I can self-publish and e-publish. I have done both before. And I may yet do so again… with JOHANNESBURG. But first I am going to exhaust all the options available in trying this route. The I will pay the money to hire an editor, get the manuscript into a publisher state and publish it on Amazon as an e-book and market the hell out of it myself. Been there, done that, have 3 shirts, a cap, matching socks and a hoodie.

I have 3 short story collections I conceived and edited under my belt, my own collection of short stories, my non-fiction music business book and a volume of my poetry (with a CD). I also now have two complete novel manuscripts and a 3rd in the works. I feel this makes me less of a risk than many new potential clients/authors. We are about to find out if it does!

Wish me luck.
All tips, ideas and contacts are welcome!
I’ll keep you posted of progress.