trailing behind

It’s been pretty quiet in this particular corner of my universe the last couple weeks. I’ve been reading other people, but never quite getting around to this. Been pretty busy with reading manuscripts, hacking at my enormous email backlog, and foreign marketing. Have had a few things to celebrate, though, and don’t want to forget to count my blessings.

* Did a three book deal yesterday – hurray! And very pleased that it was a relatively easy one. The other two I’ve had in the works have been going on for some time. One because the editor and I are apparently playing a game of chicken – for the last two weeks. And the other because it’s my first overseas auction, and those take quite a while apparently. I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel for that one, though, and it will prove another milestone not just for it’s auction-y-goodness, but because I think the author is about to make more on a translation deal than they did on their original U.S. deal. That’s never happened before, to me anyway.

* Along with a few others have been invited to participate in Romancing the Blog. I was sure that once I agreed I wouldn’t be able to think of anything to say, but it’s only 300-500 words a month (you only have to do one entry per month), so I hope I can manage that.

* One of my very talented and witty clients was interviewed by Crescent Blues. I particularly like her advice for aspiring writers: Other than the usual “take it seriously, don’t give up?” Be honest with yourself about what you’re producing, and why you’re doing it. Do it only if you must. If you can live without writing — do so. Your mental health may be the better for it. And remember that the moment you make your first submission, you ARE a professional, and will be judged by other professionals as such. This is both terrifying, and exhilarating.

And now I’ve run out of tea, and think I’ll need more to jump into today’s pile o’ paperwork….

7 responses to “trailing behind

  1. Good interview. No sane person should want to write novels. For instance, today for my birthday, my agent sent me notice of a publisher’s rejection. I have a thick shell, but on my birthday? You wait weeks and months and what day does it come on? Sheesh. I often wish I could do something else, but it’s really all I want to do and all I’m good for. Well, I could do menial labor I suppose. That’s not true. I could do lots of things, but not well because I’d be thinking about writing all the time.

    • What gives me the greatest feeling of accomplishment?
      What do I enjoy doing so much that 75% of the time it doesn’t feel like work? That during the 25% of the time when it’s sheer hell, I have the tools in my kit to fix the problem–I just need to find them. The sense of powerlessness that I suffer through with the day job doesn’t exist on the writing side (It exists on the business-of-writing side, but we’re not talking about that now, I assume).

    • On your birthday? Yeah – that’s a bummer. Have you read this pile of responses to my question about sending rejections during the holidays? Anyway, hang in there and take a couple more insanity pills… I’m told that it’s a prerequisite for a long-term career as a writer.

      • I think the problem was taking the insanity pills too early in life. My vote would be for sending it after the holidays. They’d never know any different and it’s the safest bet.
        Agent rejections, to me, just aren’t as crushing. I think it’s because you guys move much faster than publishers so it’s over and done with swiftly. When I sent out agent query letters, only one response bothered me at all and it was positive (sort of): the one that came 10 months after I sent it, asking to see the first 20 pages and a synopsis. That’s a long time to get to that stage–you assume you’re not going to get one at all. I’d had an agent for six months already by then. What further bothered me was their new policy where you could pay to get your response faster, though you didn’t have to pay. I found that a little insulting, not to mention sleazy. But then, I didn’t know anything about that agent and had for that reason had placed them in my first small group of test queries.

        • There was another post where I tabulated the results to that question and got:
          Just Send ’em and Get It Over With: 35 votes
          Rejection Sucks, especially during the Holidays: 11 votes
          With yours, the latter would go up to 12, still almost a 3 to 1 ratio in favor of getting it over with. I thought the responses were very interesting and definitely gave me some insight into the writer mind.
          I bet I could find some agents who are slower than publishers. I’d like to think that I’m not one of them. Usually. I’m sure we could find any number of writers who would not think agents are speedy by any measure. Heh.
          I’d heard a rumor about an agency that was charging something for getting faster responses. I think it would make me uncomfortable as a writer too. On various levels. And then there’s the “money flows towards the writer” mantra.

  2. One of my very talented and witty clients
    And needy. You forgot ‘needy.’
    *grin* *blush*

  3. I just recently had a similar experience, with an auction overseas that resulted in a much bigger advance than the original US deal. When you factor in the sad value of the dollar, as well, those numbers get quite attractive quickly. (The one good but sad thing about it was that the overseas publisher was also ten times faster getting me a contract, as well as sending the first advance payment…wish US publishers were better on that front.)
    Good luck with the final phases of it!

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