I might be a writer

I’m not sure.

I realized a short time ago that I might not totally suck at this. I mean, I don’t think I’m fantastic or anything. But I have the tiniest, weakest, barely-sprouted kernel of confidence now. It’s one of those “the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know” kinds of things. So I still accept that I mostly do suck, but have some hope that I might not suck forever.

SOCRATEScopy

I’m working on a new story. It’s very different for me, and it’s going well. Not a different type of story (still a m/m paranormal romance where the paranormal is pretty normal and the two leads are madly in love- my usual M.O.), but a different way of telling it, for me. I’m trying to write it better. Trying to spend more time developing the characters. I’m trying not to rush, and not to “tell”, and to be more careful in my word choices. I’m about 40k into it, and I’ll probably add another 10k before I’m ready to think about serious editing.

I’m not a fan of doing snippets or sneak peeks, but for Valentine’s week I’ll be posting a short that is related (uses the main characters), and so that will be a glimpse I guess. For the “House of Manlove” blog hop 🙂

Meanwhile the other story (“night vision”… still not sold on that title, though) is in limbo. I think now I will try to have it published no matter what. I just want to know what it’s like to work with a publisher. What will they do? How will they help? What will the editing and cover be like? How will my sales be? I should know these things, I think. See how the other half lives, LOL.

Thoughts? Anyone like working with a publisher better than self-publishing? Anyone have any advice regarding the endless journey toward “not-sucking”?

6 thoughts on “I might be a writer

  1. I recently had a book come out with a publisher (Loose Id). I’d self-published a couple of things last year, but in the run-up to the release date for this novel, I started thinking maybe I should get a few stories out there that were along similar lines, to kind of build a nascent audience ahead of the novel. So I put out a story, and then another one, and then realized it was like eating Cadbury Mini Eggs. So I’m definitely sold on self-publishing—it’s fast, I can see what’s going on real-time, and I have All The Control. A couple weeks ago, I submitted my second novel to a publisher, though, because I had a good experience with Loose Id. Love my editor, and the editing experience I think helped improve the stuff I’ve written since going through those edits. The cover art had a problem (in that it depicted something that wouldn’t ever happen with these two characters), and I had no problems getting Loose Id to correct that. Thanks to the publisher’s built-in audience and their own marketing, it reached more readers than my self-published stuff does (based on Amazon sales rank and the number of reviews/ratings on Goodreads). And the aftermath of the release bumped sales for my self-published stuff. So it was a win all around. (And hopefully my self-published stuff got some extra sales for the Loose Id book it wouldn’t have otherwise had too, which would mean we both won from my hybrid approach.) I’ll continue being a hybrid author for as long as it keeps having benefits.

    The endless journey toward not sucking is probably what keeps me interested in writing, I think. Oh, there are all those stories to tell too, but if it were to reach a point where telling stories was on par with doing laundry (a skill I have probably topped-out on, though I’ll never be a champion laundress), then I’m probably going to look for more engaging things to do with my time. (But thankfully the endless journey is endless!)

    So did you submit “night vision”?

    • I did submit it, to Riptide’s open call back in October. And it took soooo long to hear back. And when I did hear back (last month) it was rejected 😦 But they sent a super nice rejection letter, and asked to see work from me in the future, so that was cool.
      But the thing is, I worked on that story for those 6 months while I was waiting, and I refined it a lot. I added 6k to it, and I improved so much as a writer in that time. So although the wait was irritating, it helped me. I think being self-published, when you can do everything so fast, it is hard to control that urge to hit ‘publish’. The process of subbing helped me slow down.
      And so I sent the refined, way better, MS off to Dreamspinner last month. We will see what happens! I really want to know what it is like to work with a publisher, so I am hopeful this will work out. And even if it doesn’t, I’m going to keep submitting until I find a house for my stuff.

  2. Last month? Wow, it did take a long time to hear back. I got my super-special Riptide open-call rejection in January. Now that it’s been rejected by a couple other places, I’ve taken it back to the drawing board (because when everyone spots the same problem….). I had someone I trust do a developmental edit, so once I have the stuff I’m currently working on out of the way, I’ll be tearing it down and rebuilding it, thanks to the plethora of notes she’s given me.

    Good luck with Dreamspinner! I recently sold a story to them for an upcoming anthology. They seem very organized, post-acceptance. (Not that Loose Id wasn’t. We had some computer issues and a bit of a rushed schedule at the end, but overall the process went smoothly.)

    I started reading Love You Forever before I took off for RT Booklovers earlier this month. (But I’m also reading a jillion other books, and my reading time these days basically amounts to “while I’m cooking dinner” (which is how I end up reading so many books at once: I’m bristling against how many books I *used to* read back when I had tons of time to read, so I start whatever catches my eye despite how many I’ve got in progress), so I’m *still* reading it.) From what I’ve read of it, I have no doubt you’ll find a house for your stuff.

    • I know right? I actually had to e-mail them 2 weeks after the “hear by date” to check on it. I thought they forgot me! But I guess it was a matter of some editors wanting to say yes and some not, so they were arguing my story’s merits. Which is terrifying thing for me to imagine.
      I’m hopeful for Dreamspinner, everyone seems to like working with them. Fingers crossed!
      Thanks for picking up my book, I hope you like it.
      How was RT? Are you going to GRL? It will be my first con, I’m hoping to find some friends 🙂

      • RT was so much fun. I missed half the panels I’d planned to go to, most of the evening events, the Loose Id breakfast, and most of the breakfast some people on the forum I hang out on had planned…but that’s what happens when they hold a con just outside the French Quarter. (Or, at least, that’s what happens to ~me~ when they do that. I love New Orleans so freaking much.) I did make some great friends, and I talked to tons of readers and writers. (I feel so bad, though, for that one woman who looked at my name tag and said, “I’ve read your stuff.” Because my response was a super-incredulous “REALLY?” I’m sure I sounded like I thought she was lying, and I was so flustered that I just went on with what I’d been doing (heading into the goodie room to collect some free books). So that’s on my list of Things I’d Redo If Someone Gave Me a Time Machine.) I also got to go to a drag show, where I fell in love with half the performers…which was way worth missing whatever party they had going on at the con that night. And I got to go to Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo with someone who’s book I read last year and really loved (but then I was too self-conscious to take the opportunity to gushingly tell her how much I love that book…so if that time machine ever shows up on my doorstep, maybe I could do that too).

        I’m not going to GRL, alas. I’d already signed up for RT and Authors After Dark and didn’t think I could afford to go to Chicago on top of all that. (I’m not even sure I’m going to make Authors After Dark, because now I’m weighing between “Do I want to go to a con, or do I want to get that much closer to being able to quit my day job?” The day-job-quitting is kind of winning.) I’d love to go to RT again next year, but I’m already signed up for World Horror Con in Atlanta right before it, so 1) I don’t know if I can afford RT again on top of WHC if I want to go full-time writing, and 2) my husband tends to get himself into creative situations when I’m not around, and going to both back-to-back would mean being gone for two weeks. He says he doesn’t want me to worry about what trouble he’s getting into when I’m not around, and I tell myself that, really, any hot water he gets into is ~his~ hot water, but still. It tends to mean stress of some form or another when I get back.

        So maybe GRL next year instead of RT. I’m looking forward to hearing where GRL 2015 will be held.

      • Yeah, I can only afford one con per year. People had fun at RainbowCon this year, so I was thinking of that one for next year? Which would mean no GRL, unless it is close to me and I could drive. The airfare is the killer!

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