Writing & Publishing

I’ve Got a Guide, But I Need a Compass

Am I crazy?

I mean, am I really crazy?

I follow literary agent Rachelle Gardner‘s blog, and she has a post about how to write both a fiction and a non-fiction proposal. I skipped over the non-fiction proposal for obvious reasons, and just read through the fiction prop. After reading the 11 part proposal outline, I found myself sitting here in front of my computer with my head in my hands laughing hysterically.  I have so, so, so much to do! Notice the triple emphasis of those words; do not let it be lost on you.

Let me tell you what getting published is not.

It’s not toiling away at your keyboard in a coffee shop and coming up with a story that just pours out of you like an avalanche down a mountain, facing the trepidation of letting someone else read and criticize your work, pulling your hair out trying to make it better and then finally sending it away in a tidy little package to every publishing house you can think of allowing the chips to fall where they may.

You would think – I had thought – the hardest part of this journey would be actually writing the novel. And believe me, it is really hard to write a book and it takes a lot of dedication. But when you type that last period, the battle isn’t even half over yet. Writing was the fun part. Writing was the part where I escaped from the real world into this parallel universe I had created where everything went exactly as I wanted it to.

Getting published is facing a hard, blunt reality where almost everything I am told, is something I don’t want to hear.

Just look at this excerpt from Rachelle’s blog about the fiction proposal (I’ll highlight the part where I started to crack up):

Author marketing: This is where you’ll talk about yourplatform. How are YOU able to reach your target audience to market your book? This is NOT the place for expressing your “willingness” to participate in marketing, or your “great ideas” for marketing. This is the place to tell what you’ve already done, what contacts you already have, and what plans you’ve already made to help market your book. A list of speaking engagements already booked is great; radio or television programs you’re scheduled to appear on or have in the past; a newsletter you’re already sending out regularly; a blog that gets an impressive number of daily hits. This is NOT the place to say that your book would be terrific on Oprah, unless you have documented proof that Oprah’s people have already contacted you.

And that’s just one of 11 points to focus on. For just the proposal!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not doubting my ability to do this. I’ve already started down this path, and when I fix my mind on something I really want I will do whatever it takes. What I’m doubting is my sanity; the fact that I really believe that I can do this and that I am going to try it. 

When I started down this path, I imagined it as a long, and winding road that would take me through hills and valleys and probably a couple circles and dead-ends. What it is turning out to be, is a steep and treacherous hiking trail up Mt. Everest. We’re going to need oxygen, people!

Maybe I should change the name of this blog to The Delusions of a Crazy Psycho Person.

And yes, that is a clinical term.

6 thoughts on “I’ve Got a Guide, But I Need a Compass

  1. Well, I'll tell you that I don't even know what that means. Hahaha! When it comes to technical and internet stuff I am not the sharpest stick in the drawer. I took your advice and got registered with Technorati so I'm hoping that will start to generate more traffic. What is this viral business you're talking about?And yes, you are right. Curly haired people are off their rockers. I got a family full of them to prove it!

  2. Its the same thing as signing up with Technorati. There are tons of sites like that, and you just have to do a bit searching on Google to find them. Viral is the spread of information, mainly through the internet, from person to person. Either by word of mouth, or like the share on Facebook button you have on the top right. In essence to spread like a virus.Also, who keeps sharp sticks in their drawer? You are weird.

  3. Oookay gotcha. Thanks for clearing that up! Yeah so all I got going virally is Technorati, sharing this on Facebook, and Twitter. I'll try and find some more ways to spread this around….I need more followers!And when you live with another person, having a sharp stick available is very useful. 😉

  4. You should take advantage of your Facebook friends. Advantage is not necessarily a negative word in this sense. Using that alone would get you at least 50 followers I would think(based this off of having 150+ friends). Granted you could mass post it as your status, but you should also start conversations(being DIRECT!) with them about your blog. If they are interested, ask them to follow your blog to show support. Ask if they could let other people know. Promote yourself. Thats part of being viral with your blog. Replicate this by posting on different "literary" forums and other sites like Technorati. VIRAL VIRAL VIRAL, its a huge promotional method in our age. Whats the best part? Its free.

Leave a Reply to Bobby Warpaint Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s