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Douglas K Dandridge

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The Deep Dark Well, The Journey
by Douglas K Dandridge   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2012

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A continuation about the development of the science fiction novel The Deep Dark Well.

So I finished the novel and did three rewrites/revisions.  I thought it was ready to go, and I sent it out to publishers.  At the time I was still a little leery of agents, having been conned by one early in my writing career.  So off it went to Baen, Daw and Tor, the three publishers who would accept unsolicited manuscripts.  I don’t remember the order, and I won’t say which rejected me with a standard form letter.  But two of the publishers graced my mailbox with long personal rejections.  Both commented on how well written the book was, with interesting characters and a terrific setting.  That the book was a well paced page turner.  And then came the kicker.  The book was not for their market.  One publisher said it was too High for their market.  I looked the term up and saw that in scifi it meant too technological and scientific.  Simply put, they were looking for space opera of the Star Trek or Star Wars variety.  It seemed that only an established writer could dabble in anything like hard scifi and get it published.  I was devastated to say the least.  But I had no choice but to get on to the next book, something different, and keep trying.


In 2010 an aquantaince at Forward Motion convinced me to give agent submissions a try, as there were many more agents accepting submissions than publishers.  It seemed that agents were now in the positions that publishers used to fill, the gatekeepers.  So with hope in my heart I started off with the novel that I thought was my best, and sent it off to ten agents at a time until I had gone through my list of fifty.  Again I got responses about well written, great setting, interesting concept, but not for our list.  Some just sent the form response letter, leaving me to wonder if they even looked at the submission.  One agent remarked that the sample seemed kind of out of date.  Reading some of the newer works of scifi out there I assume he meant it was understandable.  I went on to other submissions, still not believing that there wasn’t an audience out there for the kind of classic science fiction I grew up with.  Then in 2011, at a writer’s conference in Tallahassee, I was introduced to the concept of self publishing.  I procrastinated for most of that year before finally trying Amazon and Smashwords in December of 2011, with this novel and my Urban Fantasy The Hunger.

So far I have received three reviews on Amazon, all from people I don’t know.  So far I have resisted trying to get friends and relatives to write reviews, which I understand most self published authors do.  I may have to break down and ask.  Of the three reviews all the readers liked the novel and said they hoped to read more.  One was a three star based on poor formatting, something I have learned about and corrected since then.  The other two were five stars.  I hope I can get some more reviews, and the book will be free in KDP Select on 09/7/2012 to 9/11/2012.  I have since written another novel that ties in with this one, and started on a direct sequel.  I am also considering tying it in with my Exodus series, but that is still just a thought.  I hope more people will discover this book.  I had a great time writing it, and think it is something that will interest most dedicated readers of science fiction.

Web Site: Imagination Unlimited

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