My journey through the world of writing and everything that lies in between…

Posts tagged ‘publishing’

New Page Added

I don’t know how I didn’t see this before in the two and a half years I’ve had this blog, but I’ve never put up a contact page with my email 😛 It’s thanks to agent Rachelle Gardner’s post about making sure you put your contact info out there, especially if you’re out there networking (or attempting to network) within the publishing industry. You just never know when an agent might want to contact YOU because of something interesting they read on your blog. (I’ve actually had this happen to me once before, about a year ago, but I wasn’t ready to submit anything to them yet).

Anyway, go and check your blog/website and make sure that email addy is somewhere visible! 🙂

Publishing and the Digital Revolution

This week there’s a lot of buzz about the future of publishing and the role of an agent. It’s no surprise that eReaders and eBooks are growing quickly.

What does this mean for us writers? Will all publishers and agents disappear and the writer be responsible for self-publishing?

I don’t think so.

There’s a number of reasons why–a writer generally can’t reach a big audience if they self-publish and also, there will need to be some standard on what’s good and what isn’t (a lot of the self published stuff out there is pure junk…and the true gems often get hidden). Most people still want some sort of guideline or “gatekeeper” to figure out what actually IS good. And for a writer, while the agent’s role is changing amidst the digital revolution, they will still be important.

This fantastic article from agent Mary Kole of Andrea Brown Literary Agency pretty much sums it all up.  Former agent and CNET staffer also Nathan Bransford posted his views on the the changing role of a literary agent. I’m sure this topic will be covered extensively over the next few years as the publishing world transforms.

So, I don’t think we’ll be saying goodbye to agents or major publishers any time soon. 🙂

Writer Frustrations

Yesterday, agent Jessica Faust opened up the floor for writers to vent about their frustrations with agents. Many of the comments were interesting and brought up good points. However, it seemed as the day went on, there were a great deal more comments that were just plain bitter and vindictive.

I know it must be frustrating for many of these writers, especially if they’ve had less than pleasant experiences with agents. I know it has to be difficult to work months and years on a project only to be met with lack of response or rejection. And even though I haven’t gotten to that point yet, I’m sure I will be just as impatient and frustrated. However, I’m trying my best to prepare myself ahead of time for the inevitability of the waiting game, however frustrating it may be. That’s just part of the business, at least from what I’ve learned over the past few months.

 I think many writers take such frustration out by playing the blame game.  I would like to suggest that perhaps one of the main reasons their  book hasn’t been repped by an agent yet is because it’s not ready and/or because of the strong competition for all of us unpublished, unrepped writers out there. There are hundreds of thousands of people wanting to be published and obviously not all will make it to that point (unless one takes the self-publishing route). You have to work harder and make your story stand out from the rest. And yes, you may end up encountering an agent or agency that’s less than professional–but that goes with the territory. Every aspect of human society, whether that’s business, religion or politics will have some people in it that make others look bad. Nothing in life is perfect, nor will it ever be. There will always be issues and we have to do our best to deal with them.

For some reason, agents, editors and publishers are expected to be superhuman and perfect irregardless of the fact that it’s just not possible.

If agentfail# has proven anything to me, it’s demonstrated that agents really do have to deal with a lot (the amount of irritated writers in the comments is definitely proof of that). Yes, they aren’t perfect. Yes, they will make mistakes. They are only human after all, despite what many writers want to think.

Venting frustrations are fine, (we all have to at some point) and giving suggestions about how to change flaws in a system are great, but it accomplishes nothing to be bitter about it.

Writing Goals for 2009

I realize the time for a New Year’s resolution is a few weeks away, but it’s on my mind now so I figured I’d write while it’s on the forefront.

My goal for this year is to get my first draft researched, edited and completed enough that I can start sending out queries by the end of the year.

I’m this close to typing “the end” with the book. I wrote about 700 more words today, bringing me closer to the goal. I’m not sure exactly how much is left–guessing between 7-10 chapters–but I’m not entirely sure on that so I’ll just say that I’ll finish when I finish. 😛

Yesterday at my critique group organizational meeting, we made goals and changes for the year to help things move along better.  We used to submit our chapters or sections a week ahead of time, but the majority of the group was having a hard time getting things read and critiqued well in that time span since two people per week were normally critiqued (there are only seven of us). We decided to make submissions due two weeks ahead of our critique date, giving everyone plenty more time to do a thorough reading.

My first session is January 22nd, meaning I need to have something up by the end of the first week in January. So I really need to get this book done, so I can go back and focus on editing the chapter that’s up next–it generally takes me a week to do that 😛

We also decided that we should post a running synopsis of our book up to that point so that if we have to skip a week here and there, we aren’t lost. I found this great idea because a good chunk of my book is changing (at least from what they’ve already read) so instead of submitting new or redone chapters that take place a good deal before where they left off, they won’t be confused and I won’t get comments about continuity 😛 This should be fairly easy to do as I have a running chapter synopsis anyway.

That’s pretty much all we’ve changed for the year, but it should make things easier for all of us.

Anyway, I am wondering (and worrying slightly) about the monumental task of research waiting for me at the end of my first draft. It’s something I try not to dwell on too much now, but it’s hard not to, as it is a mountain I’m going to have to climb at some point. I am hoping that it won’t be as hard as I thought, but with a completely different culture, language and time period, I’ve got my work cut out for me. Not to mention the task of editing…cannot forget that important aspect.

Anyway, the contest I mentioned in the previous post has chosen finalists. The paragraphs were good–not my taste and most of them were too long in my opinion–but well written. I don’t think any of them are books I’d actually pick up and read by the paragraph alone, but it all comes down to a matter of taste.

Of course I hoped I’d be one of the finalists, but out of 1300+ entries, it was slim. Still, the hope was there as well as the slight disappointment that followed. I see it as practice for the mounds of rejection letters I will probably receive in the coming years for my book 😛

One good thing about it though is that if mine was chosen and a partial ms was requested, I’d be scrambling around, editing like mad. I may have over 3/4 of the book completed, but a very small portion of that (perhaps like two chapters) are good enough to even be looked at by an agent. So it was for a reason that I didn’t win at this time–but I will eventually succeed in landing an agent and a contract–I am determined to do such, even if the publishing industry becomes more and more selective and difficult to break through. I will not be deterred! 🙂

And on that note, I’m off to bed. This post was becoming a bit on the long and rambling side anyway.

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