Friday, September 23, 2011

The Best Literary Blog, Etc., Etc.

Here are a few random thoughts to toss out today:

I have a new fave for a literary agent's blog, and I don't have to leave the Denver area for the source. Agent Rachelle Gardner rolls out a new entry almost every day, and almost every entry is designed to help the unpublished author sharpen his or her game. It is a marvelous resource. Gardner's blog is all good info all the time.

It took me nine months to come up with the skeletal structure for my first novel. It also took that much time to get it completely polished, and then there probably will be more polishing when I find an agent. That's just part of the deal. If anyone thinks they have that great idea for a novel and can whip it out and have it published all within a few months, I will have to pop that balloon. One author wrote that writing is the second-toughest job in the world, topped only by alligator wrestling. I also laughed out loud when someone related Mark Twain's reply when someone asked him what his favorite part of writing was. "Having written," he said.

I read that many publishing houses say about 20 percent of their revenues are now coming from e-books. I think that's just the tip of the iceberg. Digital books will take more and more of the market share. We live in times where younger readers are visually oriented, and the e-book trend just plays into that fact. There's also the ease-of-use factor. A reader can have 10 e-books on a Kindle or Nook and tote it around easily. Those same 10 books in print format would be a bother to transport. Easier is better, and authors have to take that into account, especially if they self-publish.

I was just about resigned to going the self-published route, but someone in the publishing business (I won't say exactly who) urged me not to do that. (Unfortunately, that somebody isn't an agent.) He advised me to stay the course, put up with the sting of rejection and press on. I will follow that advice. I keep getting rejection notices that say things like, "great project idea, but I don't think it is a fit with editors I work with ..." or "this isn't the type of work I am looking to represent at this time." That gets me back to the basic lessons I have learned about my novel: It is a great idea, but it will be a tough fit. I believe in the project completely, and I will press on.

More later. Good luck in whatever your dreams are pushing you to do.

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