Opinions Wanted

In Uncategorized on February 4, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Up until now, I have been trying to offer information and suggestions based on what I have learned thus far about this somewhat taunting task of writing. Lately I have been pursuing agents and publishers. And I thought writing it was daunting! I know I am just frustrated and ranting here, but it’s our blog site and I just need it! Still being somewhat green (dare we say very green) and no doubt naive, I have some questions for our readers who might have a bit more experience. It is not that I haven’t looked for answers, just that the answers are always different. So who to believe? Please wade in and give me your best take on a number of issues. Some of these are tactical questions, others just out of pure frustration.

One. You may consider this a rant. Are there not any agents or publishers who comprehend the value of a good Saturday afternoon read? Must it be a literary work with profound meaning containing the potential to change the way the world turns? I don’t read that kind of stuff. What percentage of the population does? How many books of poetry do you have on your shelf? I have one from grade nine.

Two. I know it’s about making money. I know the established writers have a following so people will buy the stuff with little thought. Have you tried to read some of the “old boys” recent stuff? I’m sorry but some of it is terrible. I can’t read it. Please notice I said “some” in both statements. OK. So on the one hand I have the high brow stuff I don’t want to read, and on the other, the stuff I can’t force myself to read. Is this just me or are there others out there who find the same thing? I really want to know. Maybe I am just kidding myself. Maybe I must expand my field of reading.

Three. I know the publishing world is changing with new technology and we are not exactly sure of where it is going and how fast it is going to get there BUT, is this new demand from so many publishing companies, that we be responsible for everything except physically running off the copies, the new reality? It seems to me that so many want an iron clad book that they don’t have to invest any time or money into, yet they wish to make the profits. I hear how competitive it is out there right now, with the changes and the economy. So is this the new reality?

Four. Considering all of the above, for new unpublished writers, do we accept this reality (if it is indeed reality and not my perception) and start taking offers where we are virtually responsible for every facet of publishing? Is it simply because I have not written the next classic? The next bizarre thriller with some unheard of concept or twist? Is a good page turner just simply not good enough? Even though lots of “average” readers out there might enjoy it?

OK, I’m done. Just frustrated, but I feel better for ranting. Having said all of this, I do realize that the answer is writing that great book. Not a good book, but a great book. The scary thing is the self-doubt that sets in and you question whether you really can write it. Like my momma once said, “We can’t all be brain surgeons.” But for now, I will try to sharpen my scalpel and get back to writing – cause my next one is even better than the last.

Take that publishing world! – Dan

  1. Dan, I certainly hear your frustration. My first response is: Don’t give up. My second response is to suggest that you consider all kinds of publishing options including small independent publishers (often they will accept submissions without an agent), e-book publishers (truly the world of publishing is taking a big turn toward e-publishing and this is hurting standard publishers to the degree that many of them won’t even look at new authors because of the cost associated with creating and marketing a hard copy book), and finally, publishing your own book (I don’t mean paying a vanity press, I mean contracting out things like printing, book cover art etc.). The opportunities are there.

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