Thing 1: I am sad to announce that, barring a miracle from the heavens (which are mostly passing out snow these days), my book will NOT be out by the end of 2009.
*moment of sniffle-y silence*
However, like many things in life, this continued delay comes with an unexpected benefit. Here it is:
This is a group started by my good friend Amy to help promote authors who are being published in 2010 and 2011 by smaller presses. One of my regrets with Flute was that I wouldn't be able to be a part of a promotional group like this, and now I can!
To find out more, you can visit their site.
Thing 2: I don't often comment on some of the popular blogs I follow, mostly because by the time I get there, there are so many comments that I'm intimidated. But when Rachelle Gardener posted a rant the other day, a commenter said something that I felt needed to be addressed, and I thought I'd share my reply with you.
I believe there is a misconception in this statement.
"He writes great stuff... but never gets any feedback from the people who matter (agents, editors)."
The people who matter are not agents, editors or publishers. The people who matter are the people who buy books. The people who matter are the readers.
The readers are the ones who determine the New York Times Bestseller List.
The readers are the ones who fail to buy the struggling midlist author's books, thus making it hard for them to sell another.
The readers are the reason that the books on the shelves are there in the first place, crap or not.
The whole publishing industry, good and bad, is based on selling. Agents try to find authors they think they can sell, publishers want books they think will sell well. But the people who are BUYING BOOKS are the ones with the power.
Now, it's true that readers can't always tell you why they put down a book, or what didn't work for them. That's why writers need other writers. That's why they need to study craft, read writing books written by people who have sold books, and why they need to keep practicing.
But I don't think your friend, or any of us, would be well-served by looking to agents and editors as the ones who matter. Because you can get a great agent, sell to a huge publisher, get all the marketing support you could ever want, and still not hook the reader.
The readers are the ones who matter.
So that was my thought. There's been lots of talk lately about the future of publishing, and I see a lot of writers getting angry, frustrated or despairing. But for me it helps to remember that ultimately it comes down to one group of people, one final test.
Can you hook the reader?