Author: JamieKate
•2:03 PM
My post today, since I have been so tirelessly working on my manuscript and querying lately in preparation for my imminent return to college, concerns publishing. Well, that's a large topic, Jamie - how do you believe you're going to tackle it? Well, I'll tell you.

Publishing is a monster. It's huge. It devours entire people and spits them out as either major successes, minor successes, or failures without the blink of an eye. Daily. But the problem with the big Publishing Monster is that the people who don't willingly involve themselves in its literary ranks know nothing about it. Well, they know it exists. But they believe that it is soft and cuddly and willing to gather just any wide-eyed hopeful into its big, over-reaching arms. And this, my friends, as most or some of you will know, is simply not true.

I have written two novels. Well, two novels and one novel which I believed to be a novella when I wrote it in my poor little sophomore year of high school that actually turned out to round up to about 50,000 words. But, crushed adolescent egos aside, I have written two full-length books. I tell this to people sometimes, when it comes up in conversation, and the reactions I receive differ very little.

"I've written two books."
"Wow. And you're only nineteen?"
"Yup."
"Huh. Have they been published?"
"...No."

And this conversation chips away at my poor little heart each time it happens. These people believe that you can just walk into a publishing house, say "I want to be published," and it will happen. No. There is a strict hierarchy in place, one that takes tireless effort and heartbreak to plunder. You can knock on a publishing house's door all you like. They are likely to politely tell you that this is not the way publishing works before just-as-politely escorting you out the door and laughing as soon as you leave.

I have accomplished something in writing these books and receiving my meager partial queries. In learning all that I have, too. Sometimes this is hard to remember when I'm looking over a particularly shoddy passage in my book and thinking I should give up, or when I tell my parents I've received another partial request and I only get a "What? Oh, that's nice, honey," or when I'm talking to a publishing ignoramus who underestimates my seriousness in becoming published. But I am a sophomore in college, and I have accomplished something. And I will keep accomplishing things until I have had a partial/full request, got THE CALL of representation, edited my work extensively, waited through the grueling submission process, and got THE CALL of my book having been sold. Maybe even a cal about a multiple book deal (but optimism like that is hard to have).

For everyone out there trying to get published, I salute you. If your dream is true and passionate, and you work hard to make yourself the best writer you can be (and you follow submission guidelines), you will be published. You can do it. I can't promise you how well your book will be received, or if the market for your book will pay off, but once you've done all the work you can, it's out of your hands. I have faith in you.

Let's go battle the monster together.
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3 comments:

On January 22, 2010 at 4:43 PM , DL Hammons said...

Amen!

 
On January 22, 2010 at 6:51 PM , Kat Riddell said...

People are stupid. Just because you haven't been published doesn't mean you are not a good writer. Of course, there is a sense of validation that we get when we become published authors, but people should be impressed that you've actually finished two books and have edited them and are sending queries, because most people give up before they get as far as you. You most certainly do not suck, and I am glad you realize that. And I wish everyone else would too :)

 
On January 22, 2010 at 9:11 PM , Kristin Rae said...

Let's do it!!

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