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Thursday, July 14, 2011

In the Throes of Thursday--Guest Post by Megan Curd

When I asked MEGAN CURD to do a guest visit  here, I said, "Whatever you want to post is fine with me." I had no idea she'd come up with THE PERFECT one, but she did. You'll get a sense of her wit and her style from what follows and that should whet your appetite for her YA novel, BRIDGER.  Oh, and it's available in Kindle. Be sure to visit her website and don't pass up a chance to read more of this excellent YA writer.

Thanks for stopping by, Megan.

TRUTH: Good Books Get Overlooked

I know, I know, that title makes this sound like a Debbie Downer post, but I promise it's not. Totally on the contrary! I hope this post makes someone out there even more excited to jump into the publishing literary waters and get wet. If you need floaties, I have them. :)

Here’s the ugly truth that none of us writers want to admit: good books get passed up. There just aren’t enough publishing houses, enough agents, enough time in the day to make every good book into a New York Times Bestseller through a major publishing house the way we all want them to be.

HOWEVER.

That doesn’t mean that we should be any less excited about writing, or any less passionate about our books. Think of how many hours we sit, typing away, scribbling notes so we don’t forget plot lines while out to eat with a friend… who now thinks we’re certifiably insane because we’re excited about imaginary people. Wait, maybe that’s just me. Ahem. Anyway, you know what I mean. We’re emotionally invested in our books, and we love our characters like they’re family members or lifelong friends.

Then comes the day that you slaved for: the day you have put “the end” on your manuscript. You’re giddy, and completely convinced that every New York agent will be salivating over it. You send out your queries with shaky hands and a stuttering heartbeat.

And you get a rejection. Then another one. And another.

I’m here to tell you, friends, it WILL happen. I have experienced it first hand. It sucks.

I’m also here to tell you, that if you are truly dedicated to the craft, you CAN make your book a success. I’m not saying it will be overnight, and it may not even be this particular manuscript you’re currently trying to pitch. It might be the next one, the fifth one, or the fifteenth one. All I’m saying is that if you are dedicated, your book will find a home.

Good books get overlooked. Agents simply have so much going on, so much slush to sift through, that’s it is a justifiable phenomenon. The biggest thing that we as writers can do is polish, polish, polish. Sending a query about a manuscript that has not been line edited, beta reader tested, reworked, and beta reader re-tested will deliver sub-standard results. Heck, self-publishing a manuscript without going through the culling process will result in a sub-standard product for our readers.

That, my friends, is the point I’m long-winded, circling around. Good books get overlooked. It doesn’t mean they shouldn’t ever see the light of day. I can tell you from personal experience, I had an agent. We parted ways. I had many friends give me crazy looks for letting an agent go. Do I have regrets about the decision? I won’t lie, some days I wonder if the right decision was made, but I can tell you this: I don’t regret the decision to put Bridger out on my own, and I definitely don’t regret having the opportunity to publish Bridger through Soul Fire Press and Christopher Matthews Publishing. Good things can happen via small publishers, just like they can via big publishers.

Good books may be overlooked by what we consider the “Big Six,” but that doesn’t mean you can’t go with a smaller house or go Indie. All are viable possibilities, and if you do your homework and pursue the avenue that is best for your book, you will see results.

No matter what option you choose to go for personally, going Indie was probably the best decision I could have made for my books and myself. I can still be involved in the process and share in the production. I love that. I can interact with my readers and set the prices for my books the way I prefer. That’s a win for my readers as well.

Good books get overlooked. That doesn’t mean yours has to be one of them. Sure, writers such as Amanda Hocking, John Locke, JK Rowling, Stephenie Meyer are all either Indies or traditionally published exceptions to the rule. That doesn’t mean that we can’t strive to excel as they have. Exhaust all your options. If you miss out on one opportunity, go for another. Remember this, also: it only takes one yes to make your book happen. One. So take the rejections in stride, and know you’re one rejection closer to getting your yes. Don’t let your book be overlooked, and do everything in your power to give the best reading experience possible to your readers. We owe it to them. After all, they give us our livelihood. 

13 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading that (though it's sad to think about all the books that probably bite the dust instead of going on to be published). I doubt the business of writing would be anywhere near as compelling if getting published was a breeze.

    I enjoyed your TV interview too, and your book sounds great. I knew I'd heard 'las pulgas' somewhere -- I kept thinking 'pulgas' were seals, but fleas are even better.

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  2. Awesome post, and yes uplifting! Thanks for being another voice, giving a great example of an author making their own path! :)

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  3. Great encouragement! "it only takes one yes" not a word about what her book is about though - well, maybe that was clever because now i am curious to find out!

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  4. I feel for you, Megan, and wish you well with your book. Great cover!!!
    I also fired an agent, and it was quite traumatic, but I have no regrets. I found an agent who better fit my needs. Sometimes one has to take big, yet calculated risks.

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  5. This is so true! Right now, writers have so many publishing options. For me, nothing is off the table (except putting out a sub-par book). But still, I think we're writing in the best time ever.

    Congratulations on your book!

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  6. Great post! Congrats on your book. Returning a follow.

    Trilingual Children's Author
    http://mysisterismybestfriend.blogspot.com
    http://marieandherfriendtheseaturtle.blogspot.com

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  7. What a great post! Definitely something every writer needs to hear.

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  8. A timely post! Thanks for encouraging all of us to follow our dreams.

    And Lee, great interview!

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  9. Very inspiring post. I love reading it.

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  10. I didn't see a place to comment about the interview...love it...great job!

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  11. Thank you for the encouragement! I think this important to remember. It may not happen the way you imagined, but it can happen. And things do seem to happen for a reason. You might be better off in the long run. :D

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  12. Megan, you just said the perfect words that I needed to hear. It is sad to let a story you love collect dust on a hard drive. It's nice to know there are other roads to follow. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  13. Thank you for the encouragement in the post that you left on my blog. Reviewing is a new love for me, but a love nonetheless.
    I will be reading "Sliding on the Edge" so that I can familiarize myself with your work.
    I have added myself to your bloglist via GFC. If you would like a review done at some point(in addition to the one that I will do on Sliding...please let me know here: xstitchnmama@gmail.com)
    Yours in Books,
    Frishawn

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Please say something to me, anything. Well, not anything, but a kind word will do.