So now that picks have been announced, a couple things to note:
- The next two months are jam packed for me. Between working on Hetal’s fabulous MS, client work, a trip to NYC for a Broadway show and meeting up with one of my CP’s while we’re there, the dayjob hitting the end of the contract year and pushing us so we at least get close to our goals… Yeah. I’ll be around, but blog posts are going to be once a week, on Mondays.
- I want to pick your brain: What else would you like me to post about? I’m planning to write up a whole bunch of posts on the craft of writing. I’ve got several started, but if there’s specific areas you’d want to see my thoughts on, suggest them in the comments! I’d like to give you guys a mini class, basically, so you can edit along with Pitchwars.
- I know it’s tempting, when you don’t get picked, to want to quit. Don’t. Your not being picked is not a judgement of you or your work. It’s sheer numbers. Walk into a bookstore, and allow yourself to only buy one book. Why did you pick that one, not the one next to it, or the one with the blue cover? It was because you hate blue and only like purple, right? No! Unless you get specific feedback saying “Yo, this blue here? That’s problematic, it won’t sell”, don’t take it as anything other than it was one book on the shelf, and something about theirs appealed slightly more. There were easily 20 more that, if we’d had time, I would have wanted to request and they could have easily been picked instead. We were also having to consider what the other person likes, what the market does, and the amount of work it’d need vs the time we have.
- Especially in such a crowded area as SF/F, the market was a major factor. Writing is a craft, an art. Publishing is a business. One of the things that I always feel is rather soul crushing-You can write the best novel in the world, but if it’s a hard to sell concept in the market, if it’s something like vampires or dystopian right now, it’s going to have a harder go of it. Not saying it can’t sell, because amazing writing has a way of wiggling past barriers. But something that’s only good, and would sell in a hot market, won’t in the tight market. So much of this industry is timing, luck, and keeping up on what’s going on. So keep following new friends who are writers and watching what sells on Publisher’s Marketplace (Not all deals are reported there, but a lot are).
- Find CPs, find editors (I’m booked til November, but the other kickass ladies at Chimera are also fabulous. Many other mentors edit as well.), but get fresh eyes on your book. Take whatever of their feedback resonates with you, after you sleep on it. Always sleep on it first, because your kneejerk reaction WILL be to feel like they’re mean and your writing is awful. I promise you, it’s not. Look for big issues, and then tackle them.
Set goals, set deadlines, and then crush it. You’ve got this!