The Publishing Dilemma

darkI’ve been writing for years.  I’m confident in my abilities.  I have a very strong story.  So why the heck am I still an “unpublished writer” rather than “… author of 75 Miles to Montauk”?

It’s simple, really.  From my perspective, I seem to be caught between two no-win scenarios.  Tell me if this sounds familiar.  Traditional route:

1. write a fantastic story

2. learn all you can about the publishing industry

3. submit standard materials to everyone you can think of

4. paper the walls with rejection letters

New fangled self publishing route:

1. write a fantastic story

2. sign up with a service like Create Space and hit “publish”

3. watch exactly nothing happen

4. endure withering/pitying looks as you explain you’re “self published”, which seems to equate a grade-school child bringing home construction paper artwork for mom and dad to pin to the fridge door.  It’s something a naive kid would be proud of, but no “grown up” would ever take it seriously.

(Incidentally – if you have trouble remembering how to spell “naive” like I do, remember this fun fact: “Evian” is “Naive” spelled backwards.  But I digress.)

agilityI recently met an author I already have enormous respect for.  Chris Pitchford is a delight to talk to.  His writing is crisp and witty.  He has a real knack for telling a tale, as you can discover in his new novel The Agility of Clouds.

When he isn’t writing fantastic stories, Chris  puts a great deal of thought into the business end of books, as explained in his recent article “Dream jobs.  Sometimes it’s not enough to have just one“.  Published by the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Chris lays out the pros and cons, and explains why he made the decision to self publish.  A recommended read!

 

Author Rights and Responsibilities

buried writerSo many of us dedicate ourselves to the craft of writing.  The construction of the novel, difficult though it may be, is still only one half of the battle.  I’m very confident in my writing, but I’m a babe in the woods when it comes to the wilds of publication!

Fortunately, there are people in the world like Rachelle Gardner.  Rachelle is a literary agent at the Books & Such agency.  Though the agency is based in California, she hails from my neck of the woods (or should I say Rockies)!  I just spent much longer than I intended roaming around her page, and I’m wiser for the experience.

The post that initially caught my eye is a doozy.  I’ve spoken with so many hopefuls in search of that sweet deal.  Many of them don’t have the slightest notion what’s expected from them, apart from that best-selling novel.  Get the agent and it’s as good as gold!  Wrong.   Deceptively simple, Rachelle explains in 12 bullet points not only the rights an author can expect when dealing with an agent, but also the responsibility that author bears to make the relationship work.

When you finish that article, look around her site.  You’ll be glad you did!