M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Publishing, Better the Second Time Around?

The Read ...
Mid-list authors get no respect.  At least, that's the impression you get from many of the writing blogs and forums -- but there are exceptions.  Writers who persevere and end up writing a popular series.  Their publishers reward them by reprinting their back list.

Okay.  A second chance happens to best-selling authors and people who get back their e-rights all the time.  [But, that's another story.]  

Today, the read's about Masques, Patricia Brigg's first published novel which had gone out of print.  Her introduction is well worth a trip to a mortar-and-brick store to read the introduction where she discusses the process.  Her Mercy Thompson series [about a coyote shapeshifter caught in a world of European werewolves, vampires, and fae] opened the republishing doors for Briggs. She revised Masques and was rewarded with a pop onto the New York Times best seller list.

Oh, the book.  Imagine the damaged son of a power-mad mage finding a magic-wielding mercenary who helps him defeat his father before he destroys their world.  Actually, the book is written from the mercenary's viewpoint and was a good read deserving of being on the best seller list.

Problem:  She gave me an excuse not to market.  I need to revise.  Yeah, I do.  See "progress" below.

Web and Other Stuff ...
Promotion has been pushing to the top of my mind for a while, so all the articles about book promotion ... and other writing too.  Arielle Ford, a publicist and writer, recently did an article on "The Rule of 5 for Book Promotion." in the Huffington Post.   Bottom line: she likens promoting your writing to a marathon rather than a sprint.  --  This is courtesy of Writer's Beware who listed it on Facebook.

If you think an agent will solve all your post-writing problems, think again.  Rachelle Gardner (agent blog Rants & Ramblings) ... talks about what happens when an agent fails.   Actually, the blog links to a series of blogs by Wendy Lawton, another agent, in Books & Such who had the courage to tackle the ticklish subject.

More on promotion:  Author K. C. May give a nice idea for using Kindle to promote your book in her blog:  Writer in Training.

Progress ...
Write?  Market?  Promote?  All three at the same time?  
After realizing my first attempt at fiction -- written to amuse myself --  was over 400,000 words that could be cut into three books [the Far Isle Half-Elven] plus leftovers, I went on to write three more self-contained book manuscripts.  The YA/MG stuff which is laying around in various stages of revision.  

Even developed a nice writing pattern.  Draft a manuscript in the first half of the year.  Revise the manuscript in the year.  Then, I discovered the usefulness of critiquing and beta-reading, where I played with the manuscripts, changing them over time.

Problem:  My writing skills for long stuff kept improving.  Now, I'm staring at four manuscripts wondering how I'm going to retool.  [Plus, I have all that draft material lurking in the computer files.] --  I think I've found my excuse to a void marketing.  *heh.  heh.  heh.*

What makes me think I'm not procrastinating?  Well, There Be Demons was very nicely beta-read, thank you.  Lots of revision done.  Thought it really was ready to market.  Even have been compiling a list of fantasy-liking agents who might like the kind of fantasy I write.  Then, I happened to revise the first 300 pages of the Prologue.  After it was reduced to 250 words, I read so much better.  --  I think I've found a wondrous Mobius strip to play on.

Trivia ...
Something's wrong ... major big time wrong.  The last three books I've read showed up on the New York Times best seller list on Sunday.   [Dark Slayer (Feehan), 61 Hours (Child), and Masques (Briggs)Things I like usually don't become main stream popular.

Oh, I've made it to 300 Tweets.  [@kaytheod]


B. H. Morrigan said...

I don't feel so bad about my 247,000 word manuscript now that I've seen someone with a higher wordcount than me. :)

My overweight masterpiece is lying on the floor begging to be revised even as I type this.

Speaking about marketing, though, I've been getting rather depressed while researching agents since most of them declare in all caps that they are not accepting "high fantasy" or "epic fantasy" submissions. It's been giving me a good excuse to avoid marketing for months.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Ah, the old write, revise, or promote question. It's the never-ending debate. Right now I'm trying to pull back from some of my activities so I can focus on submitting one novel and starting to write a new one.

Kay Theodoratus said...

B. H. -- Congrats. Don't feel bad. You probably have the first two parts of a trilogy drafted there. Maybe the whole thing.

Pat -- I think one of the reasons I'm squirming is that with my "back load", I can't see me doing a new work at the beginning of the year ... unless maybe I *shudder* outline ... or drop all the social networking ... or ...

Think it's time to set priorities?

Anonymous said...

I've read 61 Hours - love the Jack Reacher series. Can't wait for the next one to come out.

Stephen Tremp