Friday, November 12, 2010
CHAPTER ELEVEN: STOP IT!
I care about writers and authors and in the end I hope to help them navigate the publishing waters. I stay up on the new trends and the way the publishing world is changing. I do all this because I want to help, to keep the frustration level down for all the writers out there that want to have a dream realized and become a published author.
Along with this, I am frustrated by other well-meaning bloggers and authors sending out ill-advised or out-of-date advice and thus keeping the crazy chain of writers going down the wrong path.
The big publishers are not taking new work. Their agents are not taking new work! Do I need to say this again? NOT TAKING NEW WORK. NOT LOOKING, COULD CARE LESS THAT YOUR BOOK IS THE BEST BOOK IN THE WORLD!
I am not trying to be mean but these are the facts. Small houses are taking new titles (well, some are), and some are looking. But this means low royalties and a ton of headache. But do what you will. Back to the main grievance...
If we know that these publishers are not taking new work WHY ARE YOU STILL TEACHING AND TELLING WRITERS TO WRITE QUERY LETTERS?!? Come on! Really. This is stupid, crazy and like banging on a store window after hours and wondering why they won't open up for you.
Look at it this way, if you are a big publisher and you receive an unsolicited query letter, what do you do? I'd bet you would have a big meeting with all your investors and grant 100k to this unknown project. After that, you publish and market this book, and spend even more money on bookmarks and posters to give out at Starbucks. Now you, the big publisher, have to try to sell this book in this market to people that would rather get it free from the library. Does this all make sense now?
So, the store is closed unless you are famous. Are you famous? Anyway, they are closed; the big agents are closed. The sane thing to do is to leave them alone, or you can keep sending in your perfect query letter and they will keep throwing it in the trash.
Below are some things you can do to ensure that you will never be a published author:
*Write and send out query letters.
*Go to all the writing conferences.
*Read all the how-to books on publishing.
*Hunt for a book agent.
*Talk about your book you are working on but just talk, talk ,talk...
*Join a local writers' group and sit with all the other non-published (and never going to get published) authors and in 20 years still be working on your book.
*Over-edit your book.
*Wait until your book is perfect.
*Perfect your book proposal.
*Don't market yourself until your book is out.
*Minimize eBooks and online social media.
*Look at your book as a hobby instead of a business.
*Write for the public and not for yourself.
Believe me, I researched all the different publishing options for a year and almost gave up. But once I saw what I could do, it changed everything. My advice? Find a small, out-of-the-box house and talk to a real person who will work with you on your project and make it the best it can be.
This is the time of the author; the writer can now hold all the cards. It is time to take back your power. Take it, own it and claim what is yours!