Originally posted on August 15, 2017, The Summer Read recounts the reading odyssey I went on this summer.
Why would anyone read 20-some-odd books? Kind of like someone asking, “Who would steal 30 bagged lunches?”
Well, the big read was partially for enjoyment, but really for research. I needed to see where my book fit in in the market, if the subject matter was appropriate for YA literature, who exactly was my competition and what he/she was writing about.
And I came away from it with a greater respect for contemporary authors and the confidence that my book can sit next to theirs on the shelf.
Or maybe all the way at the end of the shelf. But still…
In May my wife wondered aloud why I didn’t take the summer off to focus on my writing. According to her, teaching full time and carrying a full consulting schedule left me thin to do the work necessary to find an agent.
As is usually the case, she was right.
And, boy, did I have a lot of work to do.
As thorough as I am in my professional life, for whatever reason I had been quite negligent in properly researching the market for my book, its competition, and the specific agents to whom I intended to pitch my book. Unprepared for the task at hand, the same offense for which I fault my students, I myself was.
We call that irony, kids.