Today I took an online webinar from Writers Digest and Jane Friedman. The class was titled How to Get Your Book Published and in it we covered everything you need to know in two hours. Riiiight. It was however, a really great overview and I highly recommend it to anyone considering publication.
Now, for those of you who are not in the know, I don’t plan on taking the traditional publishing route. Because of that, I knew the class wouldn’t be entirely relevant, yet I took it because I’m about one third done with my latest edit of To Kill the Goddess and I need to figure out what my next steps are. One of the great things about the class was that it spent a good deal of time talking about whether or not you are ready for publication. The conclusion I’ve drawn is the answer to that it depends on whether or not I want to get an agent.
That’s a good question. Do I need an agent?
Well, I know I would really like an agent. It seems to me that for someone who is serious about his or her career, which I am, an agent would be a really good thing to have. I can think of several reasons why that’s true even for someone who’s self-publishing, although that’s a different blog post.
But do I really need an agent? Based on the class, I kind of don’t think so. It went like this: you definitely need an agent if you plan to publish with the big six. I don’t. You might need an agent if you plan to publish with a small press. I probably wouldn’t do that either. Missing from the discussion was the hybrids that are popping up. Places like Entangled Publishing that are digital first. Do I need an agent for them? Based on my own research, I kind of don’t think so.
So I guess the answer is (drum roll) I don’t need an agent.
At least not yet.
But I don’t know – it feels kind of risky. Kinda dangerous.
I guess I should just follow my own advice, man up, and go for it then, right?
Frak. I hope I’m right!
So I’m gonna do this:
I did something similar a few years ago – a class at the Loft that focused on writing pitches and queries and the process one goes through when trying to get published. But a lot has changed since then. When I mentioned self-publishing back then people looked at me like I had a third arm growing out of my head but now even traditional publishing has been changed by the digital revolution worming its way through the industry.
Jane Friedman has been paying even more attention to these changes even longer than I have. I’ve been following her on Twitter for a while now and she’s one of the few who are really plugged into both how things used to be and the way they are today. I’m really looking forward to this.
I had an epiphany while editing New Chapter 4 this evening – this new piece of awesomeness is going to be Chapter 1. Move over, Coltrane you handsome stud, you’ve been bumped from your high and mighty perch by an old woman! But do you just shift down to chapter 2 or do I bump you to 3? Hmmmm… must think on that.
So did you all see my last Scribblerati blog? If not go check it out.
So here’s what being dangerous means.
Chapter 9 is gone. I’m ripping it out.
I did what I said in that blog. I stepped away from the expectation that I could fix the issue and freed my self from the want of a simple fix and it came to me. Just rip the frakker out! It was a slow chapter anyway and there wasn’t anything in it that I couldn’t replace with a few well placed sentences in the following chapters. Turns out that was even easier than my other options.
Very Jedi like, eh?
But wait! There’s more!
I’m also adding a new chapter. Out with 9, in with new #4!
So what brought that on? Concerns with chapter 10, with a big ass fight in 7, and lingering questions regarding my outline for Moon Sister.
The last thing I want is to write a new chapter but this is a good thing. It will mean a few changes in chapter 7 and a substantial tone shift in chapter 10, but again, it’s all good.
So there you have it.
Now I gotta quit blogging and finish my leftover ham and bean soup before the Lovely Leann gets home!
PS Finished edits for Chapter 11 – woot!
Hey, peeps! It’s been a while. I’ve been busy – more on that later.
Here’s something to tide you over. Check out my latest on The Scribblerati Blog: Be a little dangerous.
Winter’s coming. For realz. It’s the latest sub zero temp ever here in Minneapolis. And who says global warming is bunk?
Worked on Chapter 9 yesterday before the Scribblerati meet up and then a bunch tonight. I’d put that bad boy out of its misery but I have to put in a new ending and I’m way too tired to be elegant tonight. So tomorrow. You hear that Chapter 9?
Oh, and everyone’s favorite writing group met last night. We’ve been working our tails off these last few months. It started with me feeding them 1/3 of my book at a time. Now Mark is doing the same. That’s a lot of material for 4 people to get through in 2-3 hours and it really cuts down on our BSing.
There’s usually a LOT of BSing.
But it’s not all bad. All this hard work is turning us into one mean machine. Another couple months of this and we’ll be ready to take on any critique group.
And you know what that means?
Of all my characters in To Kill the Goddess it’s Kaytlyn who I pick on the most.
I’d love to be kind to my characters, but I can’t. Think back to all the good books you’ve read or movies you’ve seen and there isn’t a single one where the main characters don’t get put through the ringer. Kaytlyn goes through the ringer alright, and Chapter 8 is no exception. Although, in this final revision, I’ve decided to bow to the Scribblerati’s wisdom and let her strut her stuff a little bit. I still kick her ass, but she gets in a couple of good punches before she goes down. It’s a good change.
Also on deck this weekend was Chapter 7. I ripped right through that one. And then there was more on Chapter 4, a partial rewrite in the middle that should alleviate a number of concerns people had with Chapter 7.
All in all a good, productive weekend!
I even did a whole bunch of critiquing on Mark’s Blackheart.
Who’s your daddy?