Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I Wish That I Knew What I Know Now (When I Was Younger)

What Three Things I Wish I Knew About Publishing at the Start
 By Tracy Kiely

1.     This is a business. Publishers are people, too and, as such they need to make money. Your book is an investment. They need to – if not outright KNOW – then be pretty damn sure that your book will bring in revenue. Therefore, rejections are not personal. They are a part of business. An editor can LOVE your book and still not be able to justify investing the money to print 3,000 copies of it. Think about it, your little darling brings home a watercolor giraffe formed out of his handprint. Do you love it? Yes. Will you keep it?  Yes.  Are you willing to shell out $50,000 dollars to have copies made in the hopes that this adorable hand giraffe will sell like hot-cakes and cause Oprah to come out of retirement just so she can dub it her new “favorite thing”? Probably not.

2.     This is a job. When you first (bashfully) tell someone that you are writing a book in your spare time, it’s like the beginning of a love affair. You can’t wait to see each other, you happily ditch other activities to spend time together, and being together is a non-stop thrill. But one day, it’s no longer a “little thing you do on the side” – it’s your job. You still love it, but now there are deadlines and days when you really don’t want to write and days when you simply can’t. That can suck some of the fun out of it and is why so many great authors seem to drink their feelings* (*this statement has not been proven, but is widely regarded as fact in my head).

3.     You will want more. Have you every watched an interview with a movie star and heard them say, “Well, I’m really hoping to direct one day,” and thought “God, you are such a putz!”? Well, when you first start writing, usually your goal is (after finishing the book) merely to get it published. That is your crowning achievement. Until you actually get published. Then it’s “please let me get a good review” followed by, “please let it sell well.” From there are such hurdles as “Well, an award would be nice,” followed by “I’ve been signed to write 12,908 more,” and then the “I made the New York Times Best Seller List again!” and lastly, “Oh, did you hear? Paramount is making the movie.” In a way this is good – it means you keep moving, keep pushing yourself. In another way this is bad, because you forget to stop and enjoy what you’ve achieved. So, my advice? Remember to stop and enjoy. And maybe not be so judgmental when an actor starts talking about his dream to direct.

1 comment:

Susan C Shea said...

Camille Minichino, who writes cozies under that and about 5 other names, once told me the same thing as your #3: First, you just want to see your book between covers, then things ratchet up!