As many other (much more famous) people have said, this is a wonderful time to be an author. There are so many options open to us. We can self publish, we can publish with a digital-first publisher (of which there are many), or we can aim for a big New York publishing house (of which there are few).
There is no right way to publish.
Each person’s journey is just that; THEIR journey. Nora Roberts’ publishing journey is vastly different than mine (sigh), which is vastly different than, let’s say, my friend Kendall Grey’s journey. The thing is, no one way is “better” than another way.
If you want that contract with New York City, go for it. GO FOR IT. If in your heart of hearts you don’t want to be your own publisher, for God’s sake, don’t be. Write the best damned book you possibly can, and find someone else who will love your work enough to publish it. Then write another book.
If that is your dream, don’t let anyone tell you you’re wrong, or that the contract you’re so proud of signing sucks. In fact, be very careful who you share your contract with; make sure they are knowledgable about author contracts, can help you make a decision, and more than anything, make sure YOU know what you want out of a contract.
Be realistic, too. If yours is a first contract with a publishing company, and you have no track record at all, you’re not going to get the moon when you ask for it. I’m not saying don’t ask; just don’t be surprised if they come back with a simple “no,” and know what you’ll do when that happens.
Another thing. Just because you might have signed a contract with a publishing house that someone you know is also signed with, DOES NOT MEAN you have to share your contract details with them. (You shouldn’t ask about their contract, either.) And definitely don’t talk about your contract in specific across a lunch table with a bunch of other people listening in. Your contract is YOUR contract, and nobody else’s business. You don’t owe it to ANYONE to share details.
Contrari-wise, if a good friend is considering a contract and asks you what to be careful about, feel free to share your views. In person, and in private (which can happen in a corner of a ballroom full of people, believe it or not).
I guess this is my ranty way of saying, know what you want out of your career, and go for it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re doing it wrong. Whether you self publish, go with a small publisher, or hold that dream of an agent and a six figure deal with a New York publisher, that’s your decision and your journey. You may change your mind down the line, and there’s nothing wrong with that, either.
Know what you want, and go for it.
Don’t explain, and don’t apologize, for following your heart. Big, squishy hugs to you as you continue on the journey.
I’ve got an Author Page on Facebook now…it’s not very pretty to look at, but check it out and give me a “like” if you would!
Why has the blog been quiet? Sorry! So you see, it’s like this.
If we’re Facebook friends, you already know this, but a week or so ago I finally inked the deal with Boroughs Publishing Group for the first three books in the loosely-connected StarTide Agency contemporary romance series (the guitar book, for those of you following along). (Can I get a huzzah? lol.) I also signed a separate contract for a 12k short story called a Lunchbox Romance (something you can read during lunch).
Why sign a contract when the world is the author’s oyster right now with self publishing? Because I can’t do it all, and more importantly, I don’t want to do it all. I’m still learning. I have a long way to go before I send my work out into the world all by myself.
That said, I did not make this decision lightly. It was made after a month of discussion with Jill Limber, the editor who made the offer; contract dissection; soul searching; and then going to RWA’s national conference, and having a great time there with Michelle Klayman, Jill, and Chris Keeslar (the Boroughs honchos). I like them, I have faith in them, and the fact that Chris Keeslar had worked on contracts for my Dad back in the day (when Chris was fresh out of college and at Dorchester) gave the whole thing a symmetry that just felt right. Plus the quality of the stories I’ve read from Boroughs has been extremely high. (Which reminds me – In The Place Where She Fell is an AMAZING short story by Mary Beth Bass. Go read it!)
I am still a bit happily dazed, and am now facing the fact that I’m writing to contract deadlines. So far, it’s not as scary as I thought, and the deadlines are generous (though I plan to beat them by a mile). It’s nice, knowing that someone has the confidence in me to bring a three paragraph description of a novel into fruition.
There’s also this other book that’s waiting not-so-patiently to get edited. It’s done, but it needs to shine before I send it to an agent. So I think I’ll be doing that on my Sundays. Some writers take Sundays for their books not contracted; working on something different from their usual. (For me, that’s the ballet book.)
So, that in a nutshell, is why the blog has been silent. Things have been happening, writing has been getting done, and life has been being lived.
What’s been up with you, buttercup?
In these days of global uncertainty, it’s nice to relax with a bottle of wine that doesn’t break your pocketbook. I’m here to sort out the memorable from the truly awful, and each bottle is under $10 unless noted otherwise.
Today I’m talking about the pink wines, my favorites, the Rose´s. Not to be confused with White Zinfandel *shudder*. It’s not that you won’t remain my friend if you drink White Zin. But I admit that it will shift the way I think about you. Let’s call it my character flaw and move on, shall we? (And for those who love White Zinfandel, here’s an article telling you why you’re right to love it and I’m all wrong, lol.)
Trader Joe’s Petit Reserve Rose´ Mendocino County, 2012 Alcohol 14.5% by Volume; about $8
On The Label: “This lovely Rose´ is crisp and off-dry with notes of strawberry jam, raspberries, and stone fruits. It is full-bodied and well-balanced with a long lingering finish.”
My Take: Very pretty color, and a nice flavor. Not a wine I would drink with a heavy meal, but perfect for noshing and sipping while discussing movies with friends on a balcony nineteen floors up, the night wind caressing the heat from your skin. It has a steel Chardonnay characteristic to my taste.
My Rating: ~ Drinkable ~ Good for pool parties, chips and dips, and hanging out with friends and talking. High alcohol content, though, so watch that you sip water between glasses of wine.
Green Fin 2013 California Grenache Rose´ Made with organic grapes. Alcohol 11.5%
I couldn’t find a photo of the Grenache Rose´, sigh. This one is from Cellartracker.com
by Volume; about $5
On The Label: “Made entirely with organically grown grapes, this Grenache Rose´was gently pressed and cold fermented to maintain a true Rose´character. Sweet cherries and perfumed raspberries swirl together and blend into the palate where a refreshing finish rounds out the organically grown wine. Serve slightly chilled. Enjoy!”
My Take: Yet another label that gets kind of gooey. If you’ve been reading this wine blog for any length of time, you know that the more descriptive the label, the more snarly I get. Which is the main reason I never read labels before buying wine. Anyway – tasty? Yes. Less of a Chardonnay taste, and more of a gentle sipping wine taste. No food necessary, especially at the lower alcohol content, but good with noshes too.
My Rating: ~ Drinkable ~ and at this price you can get several bottles for that party you’ve been meaning to have. Perfect, again, for sipping poolside, or late at night with good friends and meaningful conversation.
As usual, this is just my honest opinion which will depend upon my mood, the weather, and what cycle the moon is in. Your taste buds will differ.
~ Until the next time, cheers! ~
My Rating System: Undrinkable; Barely Drinkable; Drinkable; Very Drinkable; and the ever-popular “Stay Away! This is MY wine, you Slut!”