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My Black Sheep Novel

Over the past several months I sent out agent queries for my SF novel, Tyrmia. Out of twenty or so queries I got two requests for partials and all of them rejected the manuscript. The novel has been for sale as an ebook for just about a full year. Off the top of my head, I might have sold twenty copies.

Despite being roundly praised by all those folks who have read the book, it has been a complete failure in the market. This is not too surprising to me, actually. The book is very, very niche. It’s not quite a Steampunk story and not quite a Space Opera story but kind of a blend of the two. It has a strong female character that resonates with readers and it has an interesting villain who is at times even sympathetic. The story is not cliche and the plot keeps you guessing until the end. But the book just can’t seem to find an audience on its own.

So what do I do with it now? I let it sit there on the web and collect dust bits. The shelf life for an ebook is forever. So it’s not costing me anything to let it hang around and snag the occasional reader. But there is no chance I will make a paperback out of it. So that makes two of my ebooks that will forever be just ebooks. The anthology – Tales From Ocherva and Tyrmia.

I think Tyrmia will find an audience years from now if I ever become a well known writer. It will be in my back list and loyal readers will eventually find it. So I’m not too worried about it. I have a new Space Opera novel coming out this fall and it will be part one of a trilogy that will be completed this time next year with the release of the third book. The Star Trilogy – Starforgers, Starstrikers and Starveyers will be much more commercial and could potentially take off. Until that time, I have my nose to the screen and my fingers on the keyboard – writing like a madman.

You can’t spend time weeping for your black sheep books. You have to direct your energies to writing better, more entertaining books.


3 thoughts on “My Black Sheep Novel”

  1. @T.L. Thanks! It’s only a failure at this moment in time. I didn’t mention it before, but, damn, what a fine cover on Tyrmia too! LOL Thanks again for your support.

    @Steve (on FB) It’s hard to get a list much longer than that these days for SF agents. But I do need to spend some time looking for more. I may send it to Small Press editors; those that are open to slush. But I prefer to concentrate on the next book. I’m not panicking until after the fifth or sixth book bombs. Tyrmia was only the second.

  2. It’s a good book, but you know I think that from my review. I like your attitude. Keep the book out there! It will find it’s audience! I wouldn’t say it’s a black sheep at all. You can’t judge it’s success or failure by the same standards as publishing with a big house. The push isn’t done the same way and neither is the math (yours is more honest.). And, if you judge it solely on the story and the writing, it is a success regardless of what the sales say, at least in my humble opinion. :-)

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