Article on publishing

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  • #300563
    magicalbookworm
    Participant
    • Topics - 48
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    https://medium.com/page-count/how-to-lose-a-third-of-a-million-dollars-without-really-trying-d3c343675aca

    I’ve been thinking about this article since I read it at lunch and I’m so lost to the fact that it seemed normal for her not to know anything about how the publishing world worked. That she didn’t even think to ask questions to her agent. Let alone the idea that she thinks that other writers have time to mentor new comers coming into the publishing world.

    #300571
    MarFisk
    Moderator
    • Topics - 561
    • Replies - 15,563

    From the sound of it, she wrote literary fiction. It’s a completely different world from spec fic or romance, one in which authors are brought up with expectations rather than grim realities. In part, that’s because the odds are worse for literary fiction on average and no author in their right minds would write it but publishers want to publish it so they can say they publish literature.

    I say this based on part of my BA which was in creative writing and I was met with the attitude again and again that selling your work for real money or writing with the intent of doing so was somehow inappropriate. This was a long time ago, but all my teachers were published authors thanks to the publish or perish rules of academia.

    Basically, I understand where her predicament came from, I do. At the same time, I never ended up getting a publishing deal and I knew more about how the system worked than she describes there. Heck…I would have moved to New Jersey ;). The information is out there, and there are many successful authors who take joy in mentoring others whether as part of their own salon or through sites like this one. Some of that mentoring includes revealing the grim reality that is publishing. There’s always the stellar examples, but they’re the exception rather than the rule.

    As for asking her agent…well, it’s not really in the agent’s interest to depress the author and potentially risk losing the commissions to come. The cynic in me says the agent is not likely to spell it all out either.

    She remakes mechanical devices, and he dreams of becoming a steamship captain in The Steamship Chronicles. Book 1 is free in eBook.
    https://margaretmcgaffeyfisk.com/the-steamship-chronicles/

    #300572
    Ashe Elton Parker
    Moderator
    • Topics - 431
    • Replies - 9,261

    Actually, her Dark Caravan series looks like it’s fantasy of some sort. If you click the Dark Caravan link to her site at the foot of the article, it takes you to the series page and introduces the story with, “Jinn, Magic, Love . . . ” and I always thought literary authors had an aversion to This page actually has a synopsis of the first book, and I’d definitely call it fantasy from that synopsis.


    Ashe Elton Parker
    "Just love me, fear me, do as I say, and I will be your slave." ~ David Bowie as Jareth in Labyrinth
    ~*~
    Member since 1998.
    ~*~
    Look me up on Wattpad for some of my books!
    #300662
    Dreamers Cove
    Keymaster
    • Topics - 7
    • Replies - 20

    I wonder if this is the author and article Dean Wesley Smith alluded to in a recent blog post? He didn’t reveal the identity, but wow, it sure got him on a good rant. LOL 😛

    #300693
    MarFisk
    Moderator
    • Topics - 561
    • Replies - 15,563

    Actually, her Dark Caravan series looks like it’s fantasy of some sort. If you click the Dark Caravan link to her site at the foot of the article, it takes you to the series page and introduces the story with, “Jinn, Magic, Love . . . ” and I always thought literary authors had an aversion to This page actually has a synopsis of the first book, and I’d definitely call it fantasy from that synopsis.

    I’ll admit I was going based on the world she was connected to, so while her works might be classified SF, the rulesets are truer to the literary fiction world. There’s no question it’s tough, though, whatever you write. I have a few literary spec fic drafts I may never edit just because acceptance is hard, and I have several literary fiction novels I never ended up finishing. This could have been me if not for a couple lucky browser searches :).

    Which begs another question…one of timing. When I was studying creative writing in college and first started out seeking a publisher, the Internet didn’t exist. It’s easy to take the access we have now for granted, but timing makes a difference and not everyone managed the transition.

    She remakes mechanical devices, and he dreams of becoming a steamship captain in The Steamship Chronicles. Book 1 is free in eBook.
    https://margaretmcgaffeyfisk.com/the-steamship-chronicles/

    #300696
    magicalbookworm
    Participant
    • Topics - 48
    • Replies - 336

    i think the most thing that surprised me was she thought that the publishing house/agent was going to have another writer mentor her. or that should be something that happens. Right now, most writers are far to busy doing their own marketing and writing, where are they going to find the time to help new writers?

    #300713
    Ashe Elton Parker
    Moderator
    • Topics - 431
    • Replies - 9,261

    There are a number of, mostly TradPubbed, authors who do actually mentor new writers. Usually in well-defined programs designed to teach writers how to write better. DWS and KKR teach seminars and classes about Indie Pubbing and the TradPub world, in addition to publishing info on their websites regarding publishing and writing in general. I think TradPub authors may be invited to or offer to spend some time in programs and writing retreats like Clarion and (I think) Clarion West to teach Tradpub aspirants how to improve their writing and prepare for submitting their work. Not to mention published authors (usually literary authors, from my understanding) who teach in universities, and other, often quite costly, programs and retreats new and aspiring authors can pay to attend, all of them taught by established authors. So there are plenty of authors who are willing and able to spend time mentoring aspirants and newbies to the writing world–whichever path they wish to take.

    .


    Ashe Elton Parker
    "Just love me, fear me, do as I say, and I will be your slave." ~ David Bowie as Jareth in Labyrinth
    ~*~
    Member since 1998.
    ~*~
    Look me up on Wattpad for some of my books!
    #300716
    ErinMH
    Moderator
    • Topics - 405
    • Replies - 10,885

    SFWA is also now running a mentoring program. You do not have to be a SFWA member to be either a mentor or a mentee. There are periodic sign-ups, and each pairing is for a specific length. (First time was 6 months, second was 3, not sure what they’re going to settle on.) I’ll post here with more details next time it’s open for applications.

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