Tag s | The Writing Life

Why I’m Not Mysterious

I don’t believe in being mysterious, especially as an agent. Since I used to write books for publication, I know what it’s like to put your career in the hands of others. As a writer, I wouldn’t want to send off my precious work and then hear no updates or any word from my agent. I realize any agent will update a client when a contract offer is made. And I realize that, technically, that’s all the writer needs to know. After all, who wants to live through many, many rejections?

No one.

But keeping the author up to date on rejections does give her a perspective of what’s happening with her work. The project is being reviewed and considered, even if, ultimately, it is rejected.

When authors don’t know about rejections, they are missing out on valuable feedback. Granted, feedback from editors can be quite confusing. One editor may say the characters lack depth; another may say the plot isn’t plausible; still another may say the writing itself isn’t up to snuff. Do all these opinions matter when a different editor comes to the agent with, “I love this! Here’s a contract!” Ultimately, maybe not. But the rejections are part of the journey; and whether we like it or not, we all learn from rejections in any part of life.

So far, I haven’t met an author who said, “Submit the manuscript, and I never want to hear from you again until we get an offer.” If an author said that to me, I’d comply. But I’ve found that most authors want to know what’s happening with their work in a timely manner. So I let authors know when rejections come in, at the time they come in.

Then acceptance is all the sweeter!

 

Your turn:

Do you want to hear from your agent with any and all rejections?

Would you rather hear as responses come in, or would you prefer a quarterly report?

How often do you want to hear from your agent?

 

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How Authors Make Money

So, you’ve written a book. Good for you. Now the money will start rolling in, right? Not exactly. There are a number of ways authors make money, but writing a book is only one step in a long and arduous journey. And, though the details vary widely from one author …

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Embedded Writing

During World War II, one of the highest profile journalists who wrote about the war for Americans back at the home front was Ernie Pyle. Ernie was one of the first “embedded” journalists in wartime and he lived and wrote while among the soldiers. He focused his stories on individual …

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Four Myths about Fame

Being rich and famous solves every problem, right? Let’s give that some thought. 1)  Once I have my first book published, I’ll be famous and the journey will be downhill from there. We’re tackling two myths here. One, once you are published, it’s not likely you’ll be famous, at least …

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The Author’s Life in 39 Easy Steps

Someday I ought to write a book. Woohoo! I’ve just started writing a book! I deserve some ice cream. I’m so excited, things are going great. Writing is hard. No, writing is cool. I’m having the time of my life. Writing is hard. I should just give up. I’m almost …

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The Automatic Writer

My coffee maker is on a timer. My thermostat is programmed to different temperatures at night and by day. My computer screen even dims to a softer hue as the day progresses. I try to automate everything I can, believing that the fewer tasks I have to remember every day, …

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Same Message, Different Reader

When a published book is successful (sells well), the publisher and author begin pondering how to be successful again with the next book. Often times, the solution to the repeat-success puzzle in non-fiction is having a similar message but aimed at a different audience. You’ve seen it happen many times, …

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Problem Solved! — NOT!

Sometimes my office receives submissions for books that claim to solve a problem or provide the answer to a question that has been plaguing mankind since it was known to be an issue. To wit: Why the death penalty is Biblical. Why the death penalty is not Biblical. Why there …

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A Writer’s Beatitudes

In the famous “Sermon on the Mount” passage in the Bible’s Gospel of Matthew, Jesus presented a series of eight “beatitudes.” Each was a saying that turned conventional wisdom on its head, showing how in God’s eyes the oppressed are blessed and the despised are prized. No one can improve …

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