Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks
Monday, June 03, 2002 I’ve been stuck in kind of a dilemma for the past year or so. Fortunately, something happened over the weekend that completely resolved it, without my having to do anything. That’s the best kind of resolution of all, I think.
The conundrum was one of those good news/bad news situations. The good news is that I got my first novel published last year. The bad news is that it's shit.
I know, people who have been trying and failing to get published for years are looking at me and going, "ohh, poor M. Giant. You're published. Boo freaking hoo." And I can't say I blame them, because I, too, tried and failed to get published for years.
It actually is a legitimate dilemma, though. On the one hand, I wanted to say to everyone I know, "Hey, you can buy my book now! I'm published! Buy my book!" But I didn’t, because I was too worried that they'd read it and be pissed at me because it sucks so bad. And again, I wouldn't be in a position to blame them.
I couldn't even decide whether or not I should be happy that the book wasn't exactly flying off the shelves. First of all, it wasn't technically on any shelves to begin with, since it was only published online as an e-book and never existed as a physical artifact. Second of all, I was an idiot and published this tour de crap under my real name, so I hate to think of some unsuspecting soul buying it, reading it, and someday seeing my name connected to something that's actually good (shut up, it could happen) and thinking, "eeeeww, I'm never going near that guy again."
On the other hand, I spent most of my first-year royalties on a single trip to the vending machine.
Yet another issue is that I’ve been doing some light trolling for freelance writing jobs, and I could never decide if I should be pointing out the sucky novel to prospective employers, just to prove that I'm "publishable." Should I just show that it exists and hope they won't actually shell out bucks to slog through it? Or should I just use the few shorter (and much better) freelance articles I've done since? I suppose I could direct them to this site, but since I have a day job things aren’t that desperate yet.
Finally, the decision has been made for me. The other day I got an e-mail which stated unceremoniously that my publisher has run out of money and is shutting down for good.
Yes! Not only am I out of print, I sank a publishing company! My writing was horrible enough to stop the presses! Lots of people have published bad novels, but how many can say their work was bad enough to bring a literary empire to its knees?
Now that I have this particular notch on my belt, I’m sure Scribner and Random House will be showing up at my door any minute now.
posted by M. Giant 3:23 PM 0 comments