Sunday, September 23, 2007

Level II

I have arrived.

An agent has offered a contract for The Brighton Virgins. Now comes to long, unpredictable slog toward publication. Actually, I can't think of that right now, I'm still too pleased at knowing an actual professional within the publishing industry thinks my manuscript is publishable and is willing to try to make that happen.

As with most things, this did not come quickly, or easily, and when it finally happened, it was almost anticlimactic.

I had polished up the manuscript and sent out two batches of 20 - 20 to the UK, 20 ti the US. I received a fair number of requests for more material and even a few requests for the manuscript. then, one agent wrote to say she was enjoying it, and I would hear from her in a few weeks.

This, of course, had me sitting on tenterhooks for an interminably long time, but the e-mail finally arrived and she said, as her first e-mail indicated she would, that she wanted to offer me a contract.

So now, by my own definition, I'm a Level II blog. I still have a long way to go to get to Level I, but I can at least sit here and look back over how far I have come.

It may be a while before I post again. Milestones don't arrive every day.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Ahead of the Curve

I've been suspecting this for some time, and even pondered posting about it a few months ago. The fact that I never got around to it only supports my opinion:

Blogs, especially writer's blogs, are a waste of time.

The point of writing is to write. If you get too caught up in the 'on-line community' you end up spending far too much of your limited time and resources writing your blog, reading other people's blogs and posting to various forums.

Some time ago I proposed to develop a circuit--a group of blogs and forums I could surf around, reading and posting to--as a means of promoting my own blog and web site. And do you know what? I stopped after a few weeks because there was just too little time for it.

I used to faithfully start posts for this blog, only to have them turn into articles; articles I could potentially sell (and I have actually sold a few). Why should I give it all away for free?

I have just had a look at some of the blogs I used to check--many run by professional writers--and some of them have signed off, having realized what I did some time ago: there just aren't enough hours in a day to produce good, saleable work and still connect with all the people out there worth connecting with. The fact that they are worth it is irrelevant; there are simply too many of them.

I'm not signing off. I don't need to; I hardly ever post anyway. I still expect to post my milestones (have I mentioned I sold a piece to Writer's Digest?) but in the mean time I think I'll take a break from the Internet and write an article about how blogging interferes with writing.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Milestones

I haven't been paying much attention to this blog because I have been busy doing other things. The big news is, I have managed to achieve my major goal for this writing year: I have earned some money.

I've already been published but, no matter what you say, it really doesn't count unless you get paid. On New Year's Eve of 2006, I received word that an article I submitted to AbsoluteWrite.com was accepted. The pay: $5. This was good news indeed, even if it didn't allow me to quit my day job.

On my birthday, a little while after that, I received word that a filler article I sent to Writer's Digest (yes, Writer's Digest!!!) had been accepted. The pay for that was a bit more than $5, but I'm still keeping the day job.

I finally finished the first draft of my novel--which should not be confused with the rough draft, which was finished some time ago. I sent off a copy to a buddy of mine to read (and the initial reports are good) and made a hard copy for my wife. Neither of these people are editors, but they are readers and know a good story when they read one and will, hopefully, be able to spot one that is full of holes and/or inconsistencies.

My non-fiction humor book, Postcards From Across the Pond, never landed a publisher. The field is simply too crowded with authors with more name recognition so it was unlikely to make any money for a publisher. Therefore, I decided to publish it myself. I was willing to shell out a few bob for the project, but found LuLu.com where I was able to produce it as a Print On Demand (POD) book for a very reasonable sum. I can order as many/few books as I want and offer it for sale on the web through LuLu, Amazon and other major book store web sites. I can even place it in actual book stores if I feel like it, but I doubt I will. My fan base is through my web site; I think a link from there to LuLu or Amazon may be about it. But then, at least, everyone who has been waiting for a copy can buy one if they want to.

I'm not a big fan of self-publishing, and I would never go that route with my novel, but I think Postcards is the right type of project for POD publishing. Remains to be seen. At least it didn't cost much, and I can always keep a few copies on my bookshelf to make me look like a real writer.

Beyond that, I'm editing and submitting more articles (it has not escaped my notice that articles are the only things making me any money right now) and working on the plot for my next novel.

It's a busy time. I'll check back in when something else shakes loose.