Still Not Published, There’s No Hope For The Rest of Us

October 23rd, 2005 · 4 Comments
by Booksquare

According to our official biography, we have a great fondness for the underdog, the man on the street, the little engine who could. We are so into the triumph of the spirit, it overwhelms our existence. Except when it brings us down, and we are down.

Thomas Shess is in Week Sixteen (like Week Fourteen, only closer to Christmas) and still hasn’t found an agent or a publisher or anything. Maybe it’s us, but it’s starting to feel like this is one of those sad stories. Or one of those stories where it ends just great, but we were so depressed that we gave up long before the grand finale.

Shess seems like a nice guy — if you look at his picture, he’s all smiles and stuff. He’s putting himself out there. He’s really trying. But let’s be realistic, sixteen weeks? We want more from this story — Pauline was rescued at least once an episode; why can’t Shess catch a few breaks? This isn’t about one man and his dreams. This is about a nation of authors and their dreams. Give the man a break — or a contract — and give the rest of the unpublished ranks hope.

Or at least introduce a cute kid character. It’s time.

File Under: Square Pegs

4 responses so far ↓

  • Holly La Pat // Oct 24, 2005 at 6:52 am

    Sixteen weeks? Is that supposed to be a LONG time to find a publisher or agent? You’ve gotta be kidding me. Most writers struggle for years. This guy’s wait can barely be counted in months. Let’s be realistic, indeed.

    I get the feeling I missed something. Or was this meant to be tongue-in-cheek?

  • Booksquare // Oct 24, 2005 at 9:44 pm

    That will teach me to post before fully caffeinated. Sixteen weeks is only a long time to read about someone not getting published — actually getting published takes much, much longer. I, unfortunately, have a really short attention span.

  • Tom Shess // Nov 2, 2005 at 10:15 pm

    Thanks for noticing The Zoo column at and yep, I’m unpublished. Back story: 18 weeks ago I finished a novel after tinkering it for a very long time. My day job is being a magazine editor and writer so I never had the luxury of sitting for months to polish the prose. Somebody wise told me you have to network to get a novel published. I decided to keep a journal to perhaps not making the same mistakes. On day one of my journal, I asked mediabistro if they were interested in following a bonafide rookie as he seriously tries to get published. They agreed and a terrific friendship has resulted Along the way, I’ve taken a few sidetrips exploring various things that every newbie novelist stumbles across. The column is not meant to be anything more than a novice in pursuit of a dream. Thanks for the kind words and I’m now looking for a copy editor, any ideas?

  • Booksquare // Nov 3, 2005 at 12:04 am

    Heavens, a copy editor? This site doesn’t even believe in spell-checking. Or double-checking. Actually, now that the book has rested for a while (this is the luxury of being unpublished), you will likely be in a great position to do some serious copy editing on your own. I suggest having whisky close by — it is amazing what sort of things slip by the eagle eye of the author, despite many rereads and edits and such (I’ve misspelled my own name; granted, it’s a hard name, but I’ve had it sufficiently long to get the order of letters right). And I have been following your story — you are not alone out there, rest assured.

    And please note: I was joking about the cute kid character. The world needs fewer cliches!