update: the emissary

When we leave Bex and her friends at the end of The Rival, we’re left asking questions that The Emissary is going to have to answer. Who is really in charge of The Insurgency? Why are the Electroleviathans getting involved now? What made Dr. Andronicus go criminally insane? Who is The Man With the Beautiful Voice? And most importantly, what is Bex’s next move?

I’ve been working hard answering these questions. The process involves a lot of me turning into a prune in the shower while I space out pondering how the Mauna Loa Space Observatory might be involved, and what is the Latin word for destruction. (Not going to post any pictures of that!) But it also includes scribbling down a lot of questions on a notepad and key plot points on post-its, like this:

Then, I start organizing the post-its by act and scene, like this:

Then I usually stare into space for a while longer, pondering the intricacies of time travel, and how to save the endangered Honey Creeper. It’s around this point that I am both very excited, but also pretty overwhelmed. How is all of this going to turn into a story? But somehow it does. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.


query tally: 0 – 14

And I had a good feeling about this one, too.

So, the numbers since July 2010:

Agents giving constructive feedback: 1

Agents giving generic feedback: 8

Agents providing no response: 5

I would feel like giving up, if it weren’t for the great reviews… so thank you, thank you to everyone who has read and loved the book. Back to the list.

i’ve met the middleman, and her name is lulu

lulu.com, that is. This may not be the straightest path to iBooks for the iPad, but at least it’s one that I can figure out. I have spent most of the afternoon fighting with lulu.com, but finally The Rival is in the magical epub format, it has a working table of contents, and reads properly on generic ereaders like Adobe Digital Editions. And the cover is there, and lookin’ good.

Basically, lulu.com is a website that converts files like Word docs into epub format. Lulu sells eBooks, and they are also an “approved aggregator” for iBooks. I guess they are also an approved aggregator for the Barnes & Noble Nook, but Barnes & Noble’s PubIt! website is actually really easy to use and will also do this for you, so I’ve turned the Nook feature off in lulu.com.

Meanwhile, I have made zero progress for making the book available for Android devices. I like reading books on my Android phone, but trying to figure out how to sell on there is really difficult! I think I have to turn my book into an App! I have no idea how to do this. I have emailed their help desk… expectations low.

tablet sales quadrupled last quarter; ereaders not so much

Such is the news reported by mediabistro’s ebook newser. This comes as no surprise to me! After my experience with reading books on my phone (Samsung Galaxy) and Amazon’s Kindle, I posted this back in July.

While it’s nice being right, the problem is that getting eBooks tablet-ready is hard compared to getting them eReader ready. Grrr. I feel like I need to be a tech genius to make this work!

i cannot over-emphasize enough the insignificance of our opinion

“Dear Mr. Gold:

Thank you very much for the recent submission of your poetry chapbook, Notes on an Orange Burial. While we appreciate the effort that went into your work, we will not be able to accept it for publication at this time. Please do not be overly discouraged by this news, as we are a rather unimportant publishing company that more often than not is unable to distinguish between an inspired piece of verse and bar-room limerick featuring scatlogical leitmotifs. I cannot over-emphasize enough the insignificance of our opinion, and hope that you realize how talented you truly are.

We at BlackStone recommend that you do not rip up this rejection letter in anger. We feel it would be much wiser for you to wait until you are deservedly offered the post of U.S. Poet Laureate some day in the not too distant future, and then to urinate directly on this letter in front of close friends and family at your acceptance celebration.

Once again, thank you for thinking of BlackStone Publishers. And remember, our entire editorial staff is inbred.


Robert Gluck

Senior Editor

The above letter, oddly enough, contains not the words written by its sender, Robert gluck, but rather the words interpreted by its receiver, Jona Gold. In fact, I now ask that you kindly forget Mr. Gluck entirely, for neither his name nor even his shadow appear again in this book. Mr. Gold, on the other hand, is just arriving.”

-Greg Levin, Notes on an Orange Burial

I have thought of this opening passage from an authonomy.com book many times over the last year while the bone dry rejection letters have been rolling in. I wish agents did have a sense of humor.

I’m so excited to see that Notes on an Orange Burial has been picked up by a publisher and will be available on US shelves on October 1, 2011. Way to go, Greg!

watch and wait

Ummm… last week there was an earthquate and a hurricane. And not just at work. So, I’m not making any big moves. Just watching and waiting. Seeing what happens. Seeing whether fate is playing a joke or just being a royal pain in my ass.

query tally: the rival

No response over the last month from agent #11. Sigh. It’s the one-year anniversary of sending this manuscript out. The query tally for The Rival: Part I of Bex Blixen and the Electroleviathans is now:

Agents giving constructive feedback: 1

Agents giving generic feedback: 6

Agents providing no response: 4

I’ll need to find time to work on query #12 this weekend.

technology = impatience

I’m getting sooo frustrated with the huge number of not only ereaders, but types of ebook files. I’ve had to start a spreadsheet of all of the websites I need log in info for, and all of the different conversion software I need.

This is exactly why I call myself “the impatient writer”. C’mon, Bethany, it’s not like you’re having to write on parchment with a quill by candlelight! Get over it!

Reminds me of one of my all time favorite Louis C.K. clips.