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Available Now - The Leviathan Chronicle: Revelation

In May, I published The Leviathan Chronicle: Genesis , a story set in a war-torn land inspired by the Medieval Crusades, and following the...

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Shared Post: "Writers Are from Venus, Agents Are from Mars" by Erica Verrillo

During my long and hard road to try and get published - and more importantly get sales for my work and begin making a living - one blog has been my constant ally and bulwark. "Publishing...And Other Forms of Insanity", a blog run by children's book author Erica Verrillo. I've shared her work on my own blog before, and it's that time again. This time, it's a post of hers from December 2012,

As the title suggest, it highlights the differences between authors and agents, which are very different from authors. While authors are creatives, agents are salespeople and want both a saleable product and a face to act as a promotional tool. To quote...

Writers, especially fiction writers, focus on crafting our work. After a long and difficult labor, we give birth to novels. The last thing we need while in the throes of contractions (no pun intended) is for the midwife to ask, “What kind of diapers would you like? Cloth or disposable?” As far as we are concerned, our job is finished when we push out the last line.

This is simply not how the publishing world works. Before contacting an agent, you must not only have a finished work (edited, proof-read, and ready for the printer), you must understand the industry. That means knowing what is going on in the publishing world, knowing what is going on in the book selling world, and knowing what is going on inside your agent's head. In order to do that you must go to your local library and pore through issues of Publisher's WeeklyWriter's Digest, and The Writer. You must read blogs kept by agents and editors in order to familiarize yourself with the lingo of the trade: proposal-to-publish forms, subsidiary rights, and promotion potential. You must become vertically integrated.

I had my own introductions to the publishing world, but soft and hard. Now I'm ready for what may come. Any aspiring author needs to face this at some point. But don't let that stop you. It's these kinds of challenges that make getting yourself established as a writer earning a living worth the effort.

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