Actually it’s not a question. There comes a time in every unsold novel’s life when the fact that it’s not selling means it’s time for the trunk. Or drawer. Or Tupperware container shoved under the bed. Or special file folder on the hard drive.
The series I’ve been shopping for the past two years, the one that sits so near and dear to my heart, ain’t goin’ nowhere. It’s had requests for partials, even a request for a full, all with politely worded form rejections months later. And while there are still 4 agents who may still return my SASE, and another 3 who may, or may not, reply via email – and one publisher in the UK that might, maybe, still let me know – I think it’s safe at this point in time to open up that trunk and drop this baby in.
Am I bummed? Sure, who wouldn’t be? I loved this series, and these characters. It took up a big chunk of my life writing, then completely rewriting it. Though I can’t say it wasn’t a fun task. I certainly wouldn’t have done that if I wasn’t enjoying myself. But now I can accept failure. And I can accept that it probably just wasn’t appealing enough for the current market.
I’d be more upset if it weren’t for my current novel Ether coming along so nicely. I’m a better writer now than I was last year, and next year I’ll be even better still. So if Ether doesn’t make it to the big time, maybe the next one will. Or the one after that. Thing is, there’s no way to tell. No way to guess what’s going to happen. Much of publishing really is a crap shoot, after you’ve written a fantastic novel, but it all has to start with a fantastic novel, well written and carefully crafted.
So into the trunk it goes. And maybe, someday when I’m agented, published and famous, it can come out again and see the light of the big wide world.