I've been crazy busy for a while now, which is definitely better than the alternative! Thus, I realized recently that I've been so occupied making deals that I haven't stopped to post them. I'll be rectifying this on Publishers Marketplace et al as time allows. I'll also get back to posting my Agent Anonymous articles, originally published in the SFWA Bulletin, like this one from the October-November 2009 issue. I hope you enjoy!
I was originally going to do this article on what to expect when you hit big, because, believe it or not, there are special complications that come along with becoming a huge bestseller, but I can hear y’all now, “Yeah, cry me a river. What about surviving in this tough market?”
So here we have it. Survivor…publishing style.
First of all, in a very competitive market, good enough just…isn’t. Even if you’ve sold on proposal in the past time and again, you may find that you’re being asked to jump through a few more hoops—tweak or rethink synopses, write a bit more material, maybe even a complete manuscript—as publishers try to assure that each and every book published is truly polished and positioned to sell. This is not necessarily a bad thing, though it can feel that way when you’re the one writing away on spec.
It’s very important for publishers to see how your work will stand out on crowded shelves among all the others released that month (not only by them, but by their competitors). This means working toward really fresh and original voices and ideas. Whether you’re writing epic or urban fantasy, sf or horror, you’ve got to bring it…a new take, something you feel passionately enough about to pour your heart and soul into.( Collapse )