Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My head hurts

Oh. Hi there. Been a while, huh? Sorry. I've been busy here in the writing dungeon, slaving away at the new book. (That's NOT me at left. I wear a blue tie when I write.)

And the new book is going well. Thank you for asking. ;)

I've also been cruising the Internet lately, where I've been reading all of the doom and gloom reports about the state of publishing today.

I mean right now. Today. This hour. I say that because it seems to be changing that rapidly. Today, agent Rachelle Gardner wrote a blog post saying she's rethinking her previous aversion to self-publishing, partly because it's so difficult to get pubbed the traditional route these days. Publishing houses are paring staff and cutting mid-list authors right and left. It's never been harder, she says, for debut novelists to get published the traditional way.

It's not pretty, especially for someone sitting on one finished manuscript and hard at work on the next. Since most of you reading this have either already written a novel or are writing one now, I don't have to tell you how much work it is, right?

For the record, I have not considered self-publishing. Yet. I honestly believe agents like Nathan Bransford when they say that self-publishing still has that stigma attached to it that might make it even harder to get published the traditional way, i.e., with an agent and publisher. You know, where you actually make money.

Now money is not, nor has it ever been, a major factor in my fiction writing. I am still romantic and naive enough to want my work read by people who might enjoy it. Who might get something intangible from it. To be moved to tears, or laughter. To be entertained.

I've sent out less than twenty queries on The Devil You Don't Know, and have received nothing back as of yet (five are still outstanding, including three I sent just last week). In other words, I'm still early in the process and I'm nowhere near giving up on TDYDK.

But that's not to say I don't worry about the state of the industry. As I've written here before, I left the newspaper industry as it was crashing down around my ears. I then stepped -- quite innocently, I might add -- into the fiction writing industry, only to start hearing rumors of its inevitable and unavoidable demise.

Geez. Is it me or what?

Anyway, my blog friend Annie at http://theinkphantom.blogspot.com/ blogged about this today. She's torn, as I am, about what to do in these chaotic and rather frightening times. Her post is informative and forward-looking, unlike my thrown-together drivel. Please cruise over and read it. It's worth it.

Also, Annie offers some quality help for writers at her blog. She knows her stuff and she's always willing to help out. So if you're reading this, please go over and follow her blog. You won't regret it.

Thank you and carry on.


  1. keep loving writing and keep writing... i don't think fiction work will ever disappear, it just keeps evolving. keep up with the times, and don't fight against the evolution, and you'll do fine. all you can do is write the best book you can write. the rest is beyond your control... so don't worry about it.

    (btw, the title of your post made me smirk- i just got back from the ER where my oldest son got three staples in his head... now HIS head hurts...)

  2. Getting "published" these days IS really difficult. Seems like if your not already a celebrity or a well-known author the odds of getting published are slim to none. However, much like you I have not considered self-publishing either. YET!

  3. Thanks for the shout-out, Terry. I was really blown away by Rachelle's post (and Seth Godin's, wowza). I have only been paying attention to this for the past year or so, but the last six months have been insane. I spent my whole dinner with my husband going over the options, and I'm nowhere closer to an answer than I was before. Rrrrg. Keep me posted on how things go for you. I think if I find most of the kids in 12-18 are actually willing to read on an iPod (why, when there are so many other fun media things to do??), I'd be more enthused about diving into e-books.

  4. Must be you... JUST KIDDING! I suppose the benefit of being a new witer is that I don't have a completed manuscript yet. This gives me a little time to watch what happens in the industry before deciding on one publishing avenue over another. I am grateful for writers like you and Annie who are navigating these tumultuous waters and sharing the wisdom gleaned along the way. Thank you!

  5. There will always be fiction. The thing that's changing - and a lot more rapidly than ever envisioned - is how it's delivered to the reader.

    I think the traditional publishers are gonna be out of business if they don't find a way to get into the e stream. That goes for the bookstores, too. If they can't evolve, they'll perish.

  6. I'm in the same boat as you. I've sent out a small bundle of queries for my first book and received a few requests for partials and one full, but no offers. I'm not ready to give up on the traditional route, but I am aware that the odds are not good. But self-publishing doesn't feel right, yet. I'd like to have professional guidance with marketing even though I know much of the publicity side is falling on the author's shoulders these days. I'll keep querying while writing book number two and hope for the best. If not, I have a wonderful idea for book number three.

  7. I say just keep writing and honing your craft. That's what I plan on doing during my goal towards publication. And having more works, makes you a little bit more marketable...or at least, that's what I'm telling myself.

  8. *waves*

    Yeah, publishing is the suck these days to break into. We all just gotta keep the faith we'll make it someday.

    How you been? I think about you a lot. I've missed you while I was away.

  9. Hey, thanks for leaving a comment on my stagnant blog, Terry. I miss all you guys too, yet sometimes life in general takes priority over blogging.

    I will swing by from time to time to see how you're getting on.

    All the best finding a publisher. I'll be crossing my fingers and toes for you :)