Last Friday in the mail I got my somewhat anticipated RWR (Romance Writers Report published for members of the Romance Writers of America, for which I am not really a romance writer but it’s a good association to belong to). It has articles on craft, trends, tips and success stories among other things. I was eating lunch Saturday reading an article about the effects of the economy on the publishing world, not an entirely new idea for RWR as past issues this year have also touched on this topic.
My lunch suddenly sat in my stomach and I felt the stress creeping in.
What scares me is that while sales on the whole are only somewhat reduced or stable it’s that publishing houses already selective, are becoming even more so. A tough dose of reality for the unpublished author. It gets harder and harder to compete in an already competitive business, so much that my own ideals of what I want to accomplish are changing.
I am opening myself up to working with a smaller publisher, a different genre classification and the scary world of e-publishing which has it’s own concerns and complications.
I’ve tweaked and changed my work to fit in with submissions guidelines for publishers I’d never considered before. Ones I’m not entirely sure I love. I’ve even grappled with removing parts of my work to fit in the much smaller word count guidelines than I’m used to. Should I change what I ultimately want just to get a foot in the door? For myself yes, I am willing to do quite a bit. I’ll accept non-fiction work, freelance of nearly any type, anything to just make something stick.
Non-fiction work doesn’t help much in a novelists world as far as publication. In fact the class I took from a NYT bestselling author said she never mentioned her numerous non-fiction works when seeking to publish her novel. And didn’t recommend we do so either.
There’s a little figure I’ve heard that 90% of the population wants to write a book but only 1% actually do.
I’m the 1%. Lots of people I have connected with are in that 1%. So how do we become that percentage that makes it to the next level, the mythical world of Published?
I’m taking classes, reading writing books, absorbing articles. I’m writing on a nearly daily basis and my list of things to do grows daily. There’s always work that needs a bit more rubbing to gain the desired shine and polish.
I normally keep these posts off this blog and confined to my ‘professional’ writing blog but there are a lot of new people I’ve met in recent weeks here through Blogging Mama who are writers, writer mama’s, and writer dad’s.
I know how selective and guarded writers are. I’ve cultivated several friendships online with other writers only to have them up and disappear. Did they feel threatened somehow? By me, my work, my progress? Who knows. It’s a cutthroat business, one published authors insist is worth the struggle.
I hope so. If you know a writer, especially the unpublished, give them some support and encouragement.
Because it’s cold and lonely out here on the outside of the Cool Club desperately seeking a way in…