Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Book That Sold and a Book That Didn't: Saturday Links

I read two fascinating articles this week, one about a book that sold and one about a book that didn't. Over at Poe's Deadly Daughters: A Blog for Mystery Lovers, Jeri Westerson describes what happens after an author gets signed with one of the big publishing companies.
Even as more books are becoming self-published, the world of publishing continues to be a mystery. So for all the would-be authors out there, I'd like to tell you the truth, the naked truth, of one author's story of what to expect when publishing with a traditional publisher. I had a lot of expectations myself once I signed that book contract for the first time, six years ago. And even though I was networking with other mystery writers through Sisters in Crime and learned a lot, there were still some things that I didn’t count on. What can you expect? What will happen next? And what should you be doing in anticipation? (read more)
In stark contrast, Corinne Purtill writes a winsome story about a book that none of the publishing companies would take.  Her column, "My Book Was a Bad Idea," explores the question: what are you writing for? Is it for the love of writing itself, or for the fame, the glory, and the money?

In the beginning of 2008, writing a book did not sound like a terrible idea. I was a newspaper reporter with the dumb luck to stumble across an interesting true story for which I can claim zero creative credit. I went to New York and easily landed an agent on the strength of said story. I went to Southeast Asia and squatted in the dust for months gathering interviews and research. Then I came back to New York and set about writing, a thing I believed I loved to do. 
I was wrong. I liked having written things. Writing them was the worst. I wrote and wrote, and could not believe there was so much still to write. I read and reread drafts until I was no longer sure they were in English. I cut pages of useless and boring exposition that amounted to days of work. I was at one point concerned that I had not given enough detail to the process of cashew farming. You don’t need to know what the book was about to know that this is a bad sign. No one, ever, since Gutenberg, has closed a book and wished they’d learned more about cashew farming. (read more

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Just a heads up for authors and historical fiction book bloggers--Holly over at Bippity Boppity Book is doing a historical fiction giveaway hop. If you'd like to give away a historical fiction book at the end of August and maybe get some new followers in the process, head on over there to link up your blog. And historical fiction readers, take note! Here's a great opportunity to win some lovely literary loot.

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