Guest Blog: Dan Amore – How I Became An Epublished Novelist.

The year is 1998. I have just completed my first crime novel. Not my first novel, mind you, my first crime novel. I had written a literary novel, depressing as hell, and a Western that was good fun, but not a great book.

The mystery, however, I think is pretty good. I’d always loved crime fiction – everything from Ross MacDonald to Robert Ludlum and all points in between. But I like my book and I’m a caustic, nasty, ass-bastardly harsh self-critic. So for me to say I think it’s “pretty good” is saying a lot.

Out go the letters to literary agents, back come the rejections.

This goes on for several months until an agent with a New York Times Bestselling author signs me on. Me and my little mystery. She loves the book, the main character, the setting.

I swoon. I dance. I get drunk. Repeatedly. Me and NYTimes Bestselling author have the same agent.

The book doesn’t sell.

My agent’s belief in me seems to be shaken by the fact that she can’t sell the book. It definitely appears to be my fault. She is less than enthusiastic about seeing a new book from me.

Buh bye.

It’s now 2003.

I’ve written a new crime novel.

Out go the letters to literary agents, back come the rejections.

Again, months go by. Eventually an agent, yes, you guessed it – with a New York Times Bestselling author – signs me on.

I get drunk. I dance. Not quite as much as I did back in ’98 because the internal skeptic has grown more powerful since then. Yet I have enough positivity left to think to myself, there’s no way this one’s not going to sell! It can’t happen to me twice!

The book doesn’t sell.

The agent doesn’t show interest in another project from me.

We part ways.

I waste a lot of time thrashing about, challenging the notion that I can stop writing. Stick to the day job, Dani.

Of course, I can’t stay away from the blank page. So I write a thriller. My most ambitious work to date. The manuscript is 600 pages or so. 110,000 words. It’s dark. Gritty. Bad-ass. I love it.

I don’t send it out.

Instead, I write a new crime novel.

It’s fast. It’s slick. It’s got a great bad guy and a hero that you just want to drink a few dozen beers with.

I don’t send the book out.

I stack the new mystery manuscript on top of the thriller manuscript, which is now sitting on top of the old mystery manuscript, the Western manuscript and the literary novel manuscript.

I find myself calling it the Leaning Tower of Piece-A-Shit.

The books aren’t all bad, I know that. I definitely saw improvement with each project.

So why not send the new ones out?

The problem?

I feel like I’ve been the recipient of someone’s scorched-ass policy.

Hey, I’m not blaming anyone. This is the writer’s life. Fall down seven times get up eight.

It’s now 2009.

I complete a brand-new mystery. It features a Los Angeles area private investigator with a sarcastic sense of humor, a family of comedians, and a penchant for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Her name is Mary Cooper and I fucking love her.

I write a query letter to agents that’s dripping with sarcasm. The end of the letter reads something like, “…and I absolutely adore those little notes that say it’s just not right for you. Every time I read one, I truly believe that opinions in the marketplace vary widely and everyone genuinely wishes me luck in finding a place for my work. Very, very sincerely, Dani Amore…

I sent out one or two, then decide, what the fuck am I doing?

I place the manuscript on top of the Leaning Tower of Piece-A-Shit.

And then the Kindle arrives. EBooks begin to sell.

I take DEATH BY SARCASM off the top of the Tower. I like the book. I like the character. It’s marketable. How many millions of people either have a sarcastic sense of humor, or have a loved one who does? It’s the perfect gift for that special, sarcastic someone in your life.

February, 2011.

DEATH BY SARCASM is now on,, and soon to appear elsewhere, as well.

As of today, the book is selling.

But you know what?

I’ve got one review on From a woman who calls herself rocketgirl. And no, it’s not me.

She gave DEATH BY SARCASM 4 out of 5 stars.

And she recommended it.

One satisfied reader.


You know what? I’m not on some agent’s roster with other famous authors. But someone, a total stranger, shelled out $2.99 for my book. She read it, enjoyed it, and recommended it to others.

And the best part for me?

I don’t think she was being sarcastic.

More about Death By Sarcasm here:

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