Mark Terry

Friday, July 27, 2007

Miscellaneous Publishing & Writing Thoughts




July 27, 2007

--Jodi Picoult commented in a Writer's Digest column recently that the primary difference between the publishing industry and the movie industry is that the publishing industry says, "We hate you, we hate you, we hate you, we hate you," and then grudgingly lets you in. The movie industry says, "We love you, we love you, we love you," and does nothing. I think she's probably right.
--It's relatively easy to make a living as a writer, but damn near impossible to make a living as a novelist. (And if I may buttress this point by paraphrasing something Jonathan Kellerman said about his first Alex Delaware novel, "When The Bough Breaks": "The advance came to something like $1.09 an hour."
--To which I might respond, "By the standards of most novelists, you were rolling in it even then."
--John D. MacDonald famously said that being published is like dropping a feather down a well. Of course, JDM said that before the Internet and blogs, which allow us to hear the feather's echo (or perhaps that's just the sound of one hand clapping...).
--if getting an agent is hard, and getting a publisher to publish your novel is harder, it seems to me--and I base this on the number of authors being dropped by my own publisher as well as numerous others, as well as the increasing emphasis on promotion, promotion, promotion (Yes, you too can spend $5000 promoting a novel for which you received a $1500 advance), as well as the number of small presses over the years that have folded and publishing lines killed--that staying published might even be harder.
--I think there's real truth to the not-really-funny joke: How do you make a small fortune as a writer? Answer: Start with a large fortune.
--I think there's something magical and rather glorious about getting lost in a book you're writing (or reading).
--I asked this on the Inkspot blog the other day, which is, what makes anyone think writers are sane. Can you answer this question: Do you spend a significant portion of your day in the company of imaginary people?
Cheers,
Mark Terry

4 Comments:

Blogger spyscribbler said...

I've had tons of people tell me that it's easier to get published than it is to get an agent. (But those were romance authors talking.) Has that been heard in thriller circles? Everyone's path to publication is SO different, though!

About the people in our heads, yes! When I was growing up, I had about three worlds I'd visit nightly, with a complete cast of characters and long storylines that I spent years watching in my head. I still pop by now and then, just to check on them, see what's up. :-)

8:16 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

I've heard people say that it's easier to get published than to get an agent, but I don't happen to agree with it.

8:47 AM  
Blogger BMACK said...

I finished the The Serpent's Kiss, I enjoyed it. I loved the ending when Stillwater killed Voldemort with the sarin gas... oops, hope I didn't ruin it for everyone.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

bmack,
Aw, you ruined it for everybody!! :)

Glad you enjoyed it.

6:34 AM  

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