Slush Piles Stories
A universal guide to very problem ever found in a slush pile story can, on occasion, be a real treasure. This is actually a mixture of humor, advice and… other things, but it seems pretty good.
Warning: it is slightly crude, so if you don’t like that kind of thing, don’t read it.
I saw this a while ago, and actually found it really interesting. Although I’m not necessarily looking for an agent right now, I didn’t realize that an agent did so much.
So, this article is from writers digest about 5 Myths You shouldn’t Believe about Your Agent.
Question of the Week, 5/16
I know. I’m actually writing this a little on the late side of Sunday. But I’m now on what is called mid-spring break, the week break between spring break (in March) and summer break (for me, in July). So we might actually get some awesome posts this next week. (I have a few titles in mind that may prove interesting.)
Before getting to the question, I’m going to do a slight modification to the question of the week that I’ve been toying with for a few days. I’m just going to keep the question here and not worry about any summarization and the like. Reason being is two fold. For one, I’m not really get any responses (yet) and for two, I get so many google hits from different and random searches that this way, people who find these posts in say, October, can still get their two cents in.
That all being said, here is this week’s question of the week:
Do you want to be published and if so, why?
Not really related to writing but close enough. (And, if you care, fame and fortune, if your honest answer, is a fair one. :) )
I”m honestly trying to be upbeat about this. But it’s so hard. It really is honestly hard.
See, if you remember I entered the Agnes Hyde writing contest last January with the story “When Darkness Swallows“. I also entered an autobiographical essay. IN all honesty, I was really, really excited and curious. I was also hoping that this might be a way that I can get money for a clinical I have in May.
Well, the results of the contest are in, and not only did I not even win first place, I didn’t win anything. Nada. Just, poof! No Abigail entries.
I know that it wasn’t that great. When Darkness Swallows was rather long and not that great. But I had hopes for Flashes of Inspiration. I mean–my English teacher thought it was good!
But apparently not good enough.
Alas, I’m sad. I was hoping that I’d be able to post that I won and all instead of posting that I lost.
Well, at least I finally lost a writing contest that I tried for. I just wish he’d give me comments on my story.
goals for my writing
This being spring break, of course I have goals. I’ve been looking forward it too much for there not to be goals involved.
That being said, I think that I should outline my goals, so anyone who wants to can check in on me and see how well I did when I say in May that I failed.
First off, with Dragon Slayers. I know, you haven’t read it. There are some parts of it that are really…. erm, yeah, but I’m going to finish that hopefully today (Tuesday) and give it to an English teacher at my school who I work with for her to read and comment on. If she comments on that quickly enough, I’ll input her commentary. If not, well, I’m going to do this anyway. At the end of the month I’m going to send it to Writers of the Future contest. I don’t think anything will happen with that, to be quite honest, because it isn’t fantasy enough, but I’m going to give it a try anyway so I can say that I submitted something somewhere.
Also, I’d like to seriously get into editing Shad. But that doesn’t happen until….
April 30th is actually the end of my semester and with it, when I want to be completely done with Shad. I might have more people read it but with a) this being so soon and b) I don’t have anyone to read it really, I’ll probably just let it be. But April is when I finish my first novel completely and totally.
I don’t think I’m going to have much time in May, because I have summer classes. However, I’m going to write a synopsis of Shad and that I will get proofread. The reason why is I need that to submit Shad to a publisher.
I’m sending Shad off. Obviously, it won’t be titled Shad by then but I have to do something. I keep writing and writing and writing and nothing ever happens. At least once I send it off, I have something to say that I did. It’s not a case of, “I wrote a book, just like the thousand of millions of other Americans who want to write a book but get distracted after the first draft is finished with ten thousand plot holes involved,” but “I wrote book that I thought to be good enough to send to a publisher and guess what? I got rejected. But at least I did something. ”
I can do this. I like Shad, a lot. It’s not because it’s the first novel I wrote either, because I wrote Hope before Shad and I know that Hope is bad on so many levels. I like it because when I read parts of it, I get excited. I like it because the characters are good, the plot is good, and the ending is unexpected.
So, that’s my goals. We’ll see together if I get them accomplished. I haven’t heard from the writing contest either at school. I wish they at least gave me a clue about when they would be done judging them.
I started reading news articles and I came across one about how positive the recent amazone/apple/ipad/kindle/ebook/Macmillan is for book readers and authors as well. This article started me thinking about how ebooks are effecting things for writers.
Right now, we have many devices for reading ebooks that we didn’t used to have. Many people own an ipod touch or an iphone. I don’t know how blackberries or androids compare, but if they are similar enough, you might be able to read an ebook on there. Almost everyone own computers and fast interent. Then you have all of the currently released ebook readers, from Kindle to sony. Now, we have an ipad, and who knows what will come out the near future.
Also, there are hundred now of self publishing places that let you publish the book without costing you much, if any, money. Yes, you get pennies for your book depending on what you set your price to, but it is possible.
The question comes then why not post books as ebooks? Obviously, as writers who are hopefully activity trying to find a market to sell their books, we don’t want to make them fall flat. However, I think I can see a few good reasons. Now, I don’t know the publishing business that well so I might be totally off my mark, but it makes sense to me.
First of all, if the purpose for writing is so others can read and (hopefully) enjoy your work, then it makes sense that by putting it on the internet would make it possible to reach a larger group of people than just your close circle of friends. (That is partly why I started this blog.)
Secondly, although this is highly unlikely, if you create a large reader base, it could be possible that publishers would see actual money in publishing you. You aren’t just a random no name. You’re [blank] who wrote [famous ebook].
Baen did this actually. They said that it made sense to offer a few choice books to readers online, so they could see what they might be getting into before they committed to buying a book. If you are really certain about what you wrote, then why not share it?
My greatest fear with putting something like that online is I don’t see the logical holes within my story. Not really. I would hope that if I were published, the editor would tell me, “Abigail, this part really stinks and makes no sense.” I just don’t know. By publishing them to the internet so that way everyone could download them whenever they want, I might actually be publishing something very bad.
Then again, don’t we all not really know when we send something to the publisher whether it is good or bad? It’s all a gamble.
So I’m thinking about putting Shad up for download once I finish editing it. I originally planned on posting it here, decided that it would not work because how poorly Giant’s Wife came out and went over, and changed my mind. (If I did post it, I would make a separate place, such as shad.alwaysawriter.wordpress.com, if I can do that.) So I don’t know. I’ll have to look into this when spring break comes.
Anyone have any other opinions about ebooks?
I’ve been reading a lot about the problem with ebooks. To summarize, publishers like hardback books because they can make them for almost the same price as paperback books (slightly more) but can sell them for much more. People buy them because they don’t want to wait for the paperback to come out in a few months. People with money. People who can buy kindles, ipads and iphones who now want to buy ebooks.
Suddenly, publishers don’t have any secret good mine, because everyone wants to have ebooks for very little money. After all, why should an ebook, which doesn’t have paper and ink and presses, cost much of anything? Ebooks should be maybe $2, if that, and publishers aren’t the ones producing ebook readers, where all the ebooks go. (The answer is that the writers and the editors need to paid too.)
So, my solution is that publishers sell hardback books, yes, and with these hardback books they give a free ebook that they can download in almost all formats. (I’m questioning kindle, just because I know for the long time it was difficult to get a kindle book.) This way, the person who has the money to spend on both the hardback book or the ipad gets both for the price of one, publishers are still happy because they are selling thier hardback books (And really, how hard is it to make an ebook available?) and it gives whatever company who does this a bonus over the other companies.
Obviously, there are a few details that still needs to be worked out, such as how do you know that I don’t buy the hardback book and let my friend download my ebook. But I’m not the one being paid to figure these things out anyway.
Now, if there are any publishers out there reading this and think it is a really good idea, the proper thing to do would be to look at my manuscript. :)