According to mythology, Irish leprechauns have a pot of gold waiting for them at the end of a rainbow. Unfortunately, Wikipedia states that a rainbow is an optical effect, so it’s impossible to reach the end. If you walk toward the rainbow it will seem to recede, much like a Walmart associate.
I’m chasing my own rainbow. Last month I completed my sixth novel, “Silent Waltz,” and I’m hoping to place it with a major publisher. I’ve tried this before without success. My other five novels are with small, traditional publishers, and that’s fine, but their platform is limited. They lack the contacts, resources, and expertise to push an author to a higher level. Marketing, advertising, and promoting falls almost entirely on the author’s shoulders, so I spend a lot of time doing what I do worst and less time writing, which is what I do best.
Here’s the catch: Most large publishers will only accept submissions through a literary agent. Do you know how hard it is to get an agent? That’s a rhetorical question. Don’t get me wrong – the problem is not my writing. The work is good, and “Silent Waltz” is the best writing I’ve done. The problem is that I’m not a celebrity or disgraced politician and I don’t have a large following. Agents like writers that can produce large and fast sales. They are, after all, working on commission. Since I’m not famous my best chance would be to show agents the string of Edgar, Shamus, and other writing awards I’ve won that are based on literary merit rather than the number of votes or likes I can pry from my Facebook friends or LinkedIn connections. Unfortunately, all I can offer are five star reviews for my novels, along with a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations for two of my short stories. So far, that hasn’t been enough.
I’ll keep trying. Maybe it’s just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. We’ll see.