Tag Archives | traditional publishing

Can you trust your gut?

I’ve seen that phrase thrown around lately, and I’m truly wondering – can we trust our gut when making decisions?

With some decisions, I trust my gut all the time. And it’s rarely wrong. For example, when the kids are tucked into their beds all cozy and asleep and a platter of homemade chocolate chip cookies lay on the counter…

Or when a book comes out with an awesome cover and a blurb to die for…

Or when a squirrel is running away with my wicker furniture filling in its mouth and I’m holding a BB gun… (What? Okay, scratch that. I’d never injure a cute little rodent.) (I’d get my husband.) (Okay, this has never happened because red squirrels are way too smart and know to steal when no one is looking.)

You get the point. What about when deciding which agents to query? What about deciding which agent to sign with – if you have options? What about when choosing your publishing path?

It’s so easy to read an agent’s information on Literary Rambles and then see his/her smiling face on the Twitter avatar and just know he/she is the one for you. For some writers this works out and maybe it was their gut. Or not.

Let’s take a closer look at guts. Is the gall bladder, intestinal tracts, and liver somehow connected to the decision making part of your brain?

Or do we convince ourselves of things because of a first impression?

Or is it just a feeling based on something we can’t quite define?

Just opening the floor up. How often do you base decisions on your gut feelings? Do you trust what your body is telling you?

Comments { 41 }

Self publishing could kill your career.

Or not.

“Watch what you tweet because beginners to the industry could get very confused.”

Okay, that’s not what the tweet said exactly but it was something like that. Lydia Sharp tweeted it. I’m pretty sure she was responding to different bloggers who end up contradicting each other.

How are newbies supposed to deal with that? Never mind the rest of us. Well, I’ve just learned to ignore the extreme statements and decide on who makes more sense.

For example, many, many in-the-know people toot the importance of developing your brand early on – before the book deal.

Other prominent people say there is no such thing as brand.

Let’s explore some other contradictions.

  • You should write fast…you shouldn’t write fast.
  • The publishing industry is crumbling…the industry isn’t going anywhere.
  • You need an agent… you don’t need an agent.
  • Self publishing could kill your career…self publishing is the new query.
  • Writers must have a blog ASAP…blogs aren’t important until after a book deal.
  • Follow your heart when writing…keep in mind the market when writing.
  • Agents can be publishers…agents shouldn’t be publishers.

If I was a new writer jumping on social media and saw all the conflicting opinions my head would spin. Seriously.

Thankfully, I usually know the angle different industry people are coming from. I mean, of course, agents and editors are going to say the big publishing companies are doing great and books are selling.

Of course, successful self-publishers are going to vehemently state that writers don’t need agents and the publishing industry will crumble.

Of course.

Of course.

Of course.

What I love is when I find a blogger who cuts straight to the heart of the issue. No anger. No slamming the opposite opinion. No saying he/she is right and no one else is. Someone who isn’t trying to justify his/her position.

Let’s take the blanket statement that self publishing could kill your career if your book flops. Fear strikes your heart and immediate plans to self publish fade. If you’ve done your research, you’ll realize that just about anything could kill your career. If you get a traditional book deal and you don’t sell through your advance –guess what?


I suggest reading all the articles. Both sides. Think about the perspective of the blogger, and decide on what makes sense to you. Maybe your opinion will change over time. But don’t let all the conflicting opinions paralyze you into doing nothing.

Have you found any other conflicting opinions?

And over at Jill’s I’m answering 5 easy questions. Come say hello!

Comments { 48 }

Did the Mayan 2012 apocalypse refer to traditional publishing? Or not?

Joe Konrath blogs at A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing. He’s been predicting the downfall of traditional publishing for a while. But recently he wrote one called,

The End is Nigh. Read it, if you haven’t already.

Honestly, I don’t know what to think. I feel like the whole issue is a merry-go-round. Some, like Konrath, adamantly proclaim why traditional will fail. While others say publishing is alive and well. Agents are selling books. People are buying books.

But this post was different. John Locke recently signed a print deal with Simon and Schuster but he kept all his erights. From there, Konrath predicts other big authors will demand the same thing and then the Big Six won’t be able to recover. It’s just a matter of time.

I hear the stats about more ebooks selling. But I don’t think that holds true for kidlit. I don’t think the majority of kidlit books being bought are ebooks.

This post is not about whether self-publishing is the way to go or not. I’m not going to pretend I can predict the future. Some say the writing is on the wall. Yet many, many people are silent, not saying anything.

What do you think about this? The only sure thing I know is that we need to be informed. We need to hear the worst prediction and the best. And we need to focus more than anything on our writing.

Comments { 31 }

Friday 5 – My highlights from WriteOnCon

1. In the Myths and Misconceptions vlog with Agent Holly Root and Editors Molly O’neil and Martha Mihalick, Holly talked about confidence. Really, the whole vlog was worth watching.

Confidence doesn’t mean your work or writing doesn’t need strengthening. It’s okay to wait for publication.

Take away: I need to be confident in whatever stage I’m at. (Really this topic could be a whole blog post.)

2. Jay Asher’s post on Author Collaboration. But his topic wasn’t what made this stick out to me. He intended to write humorous MG and then went out of his comfort zone to write his bestselling novel, Thirteen Reasons Why.

Take away: Be willing to go out of my comfort zone! (That means you too!)

3. Beth Revis’s incredibly inspiring vlog: Never Give Up. Watch it and be encouraged!

Takeaway: Treat each manuscript as if it’s the one, even if it’s not.

4. Live chat with Michelle Andelman, Emily Meehan, Annette Pollert, and Jim McCarthy. Annette touched briefly on revisions. I scribbled this down in my note book.

Why are you telling me this? (relevance)

Why are you telling me this now? (placement)

Yeah, I know. Heavy. Let it sink in and think about it for a while.

Takeaway: Ask these questions every scene, every paragraph, every line.

5. Lisa Schroeder vlogged about openings.

Be intentional with your opening.

Start with a moment of significance.

Take away: Never open my story in any old spot even if it’s hilarious or brilliant prose.

There were so many brilliants posts. The live chats and Questions and Answer times were all helpful.

And one more since I’ve covered the self publishing topic this summer.

Agent Sara Megibow answered questions about self publishing. Check it out!

Thanks to the founders, agents, editors and participants for an incredible conference!

If you followed the conference, what was one of your highlights?

Comments { 36 }