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Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Writer With A Perfect Plan

Today I came across a post by my good writer friend Anne Riley who is agented and has exhausted all options of submitting her novel to publishers, but she is not losing hope. Sometimes even an agent can't get your book sold. It happens, in fact, it happened to me. But Anne decided not to accept the idea of shelving her novel. She spoke with her agent about self-publishing and guess what? Her agent said go for it!

Why do I think someone self publishing is so wonderful? Because, Anne's book has been thoroughly edited over and over again and it is good, good enough to land an agent. When you get an agent they go through the book with you thoroughly enough that it is highly polished for a publisher. But then it's up to the publishers and they, like agents, are often looking for something specific. Your book can be fabulous and not make it onto their list. Many of the editor (publisher) rejections I received myself were glowing about how they enjoyed the book but it just wasn't right for their lineup at the time. And you know what that means. A lot of really good novels are passed up.

Anne's novel, The Clearing, is one of those novels that is more than good enough for publishers, it just didn't make the cut due to specific wants of the publisher at the time. I hope you'll join me in ordering a copy when it becomes available. This is going to be a fantastic book! You can check out Anne's post on it here.

26 comments:

  1. Sounds like a perfect plan to me, too. I wish her much success and will definitely pick up a copy!

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  2. TK, it really does! In fact, if things don't happen for me this year I might seriously consider it in 2012. I know Anne would be touched to read that you're picking up a copy! Thank you!

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  3. Self-pubslihing is a great option for writers, and it doesn't carry the stigma it used to, either. I hope she does well!

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  4. Tell Anne that when her book becomes available, I will order it. We bloggers have to stick together. James Joyce and T.S. Elliot were both self-published in a sense when they began.

    George Bernard Shaw couldn't give his book to publishers when he started. Then, thirty years later, he could publish whatever he had written in his youth.

    I wish Anne good fortune -- and you and me as well. It's a tough publishing market out there now. But in a sense it always was. Let's hope changing technology will work in our favor right now. Always an insightful post. Roland

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  5. Talli, that's very true! I know she'll appreciate your good wishes. :)

    Roland, excellent pionts! That's something that has been on my mind a lot lately too. We must remember there are always options!

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  6. Count me in. I read her summary on it on her blog and it sounds awesome...and she mentioned you will be able to download onto your kindle. Yeah for that! Good for her and best of luck to you, Heather as well. :)

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  7. Morgan, it does sound excellent doesn't it?! I can hardly wait to read it!

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  8. Never give up on a good story... that's how I feel. As you said, Heather, it could be fabulous, but the publishers still don't buy it.

    Self publishing is a great option.I think we all will go that route with our work if we still can't get a publishing contract. That's what I plan to do. Let the readers judge if it's good ... NOT the publishing house.


    Michael

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  9. It's great that we so have so many options now!

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  10. Best of luck to Anne, and good for her! There just comes a moment in a writer's life when they realize that the publishers can't take the book because of whatever their needs are at the time. It is too bad, but this is the way it has become now.

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  11. Michael, very well said. After exhausting all my options in a year or so I may do exactly that.

    Elle, it really is!

    Lorelei, I know Anne will appreciate your kind words. You're right, often it's not about whether the novel is good or bad, it's about the publishers needs and desires.

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  12. I agree with you that this is an instance where self-publishing makes sense. I'm off to read Anne's post and find out more about her book.

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  13. Thanks for a thought-provoking post, Heather. I was just reading about this today on the Publishers Weekly site. PW is supportive of self-publishing now, and has even started a self-published list of books that they've reviewed. You can read about it by going to the site, then going to PW Select from the home page and scrolling to the articles on self publishing. After all that vetting and polishing, Anne is smart to go this route!

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  14. Alissa, you know me, I'm an old fashioned traditional publishing girl all the way. It really does make sense in Anne's case though, you're right.

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  15. Linda, that's excellent news! With PW embracing it who knows, it may become a more viable option for authors. Thanks for the tip!

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  16. With all the options available now days, it’s nice to know that an authors hard work will not go to waste, and like you’ve said, this is no iffy book being sent out into the world at large, rather a fine edited piece. Glad Anne is not giving up!

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  17. Wow... so interesting that an agent would recommend that!! I'll be curious to see how that goes... thanks for keeping us posted on stories like this. :)

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  18. I've seen some great manuscrips end up being shelved just because they didn't find an editor (I'm talking about agented writers, too). So I'm glad your friend is taking the leap and will self publish so we can read her book! YAY! :D

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  19. My name will be added to all those above who will order Anne's novel.

    I wish her all the success in the world.

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  20. I wish Anne much success. You know what? These days there are so many options. Why limit ourselves? My thoughts are hey, we're writers. Let's get ourselves some readers. This is awesome news.

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  21. Lindsey, I'm glad she isn't giving up to! It may just be the start of a new era.

    Krissi, I know huh?! It looks like even agents are aware that publishers pass up really good novels.

    Monica, me too. A lot of great novels never see the light of day and all because they didn't fit the mold of what a publisher was looking for at the time.

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  22. Wendy, hooray! Thank you so much for your support of Anne. Her novel will be well worth your time, I know it!

    Julie, I love that, why limit ourselves indeed!

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  23. Heather, You can bet I will order a book when it's published. I love her agent, too. When you do all else... don't shelve it. Thank you for sharing this story. I'm off to tell her to keep me posted when I can buy a copy!

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  24. A friend of mine is going through the same heart-breaking submission process - but for the second time. :( So nice of you, Heather, to post this. Good luck, Anne!!
    erica

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  25. Karlene, I know, I love her agent's attitude too! I wish mine had been that way. But each of our paths is different. You can bet I'll keep you posted!

    Erica, I know that feeling all too well. That's where I'm at right now in fact. I wish your friend the very best of luck.

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  26. Thanks Heather, and thanks everyone else, too! I just made it over to read this and I am so encouraged.

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