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Only 529 words today, but I spent quite a bit of time trying to… - Silicon Rose [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Silicon Rose

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[Jun. 14th, 2005|09:16 am]
Silicon Rose
[Current Mood |worriedworried]

Only 529 words today, but I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to handle the situation. I'll bet this scene is going to need revising for facts -- what is it with me and hospitals these days? -- but we'll see how it goes. One of my failings is that I just don't like action scenes; I'm not good at describing action, and I usually just want to get it over with. It's something I'll have to improve on in the future.

I picked up a copy of Writers Market yesterday, kind of as an incentive to keep writing. I was quite surprised at the variety of publishing houses in there, and the differences in their submission mechanisms. It's a crazy hodgepodge. Some want you to send sample chapters, others want just an outline, others only accept complete manuscripts, some want you to send a query letter first... Bwah. Some are VERY specialized.

I guess I knew, intellectually, that there were Christian/Jewish/African-American/Asian/etc. publishing houses out there. Intellectually, I suppose I should have figured out that there were a bonanza of places that only accepted very thin sets of books, like ones on cooking or self-help or whatever. It makes a lot of sense, but somehow I managed to miss it. And I didn't realize there were so many publishing houses that only publish a handful of books a year. It's going to take some amount of research to figure out whether a particular publishing house would even accept something like what I write. And then, after that, I'll need to edit the manuscript according to the edits they send back, in a reasonable amount of time, while still working my day-to-day job.

Bwaaaah.

It's kind of unnerving.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ketsugami
2005-06-14 04:56 pm (UTC)
It's important to realize that some vast majority of the books that get published are from a minority of publishers; as you said, a lot of the small ones do only a couple of books a year.

I'm not sure if this is unnerving or reassuring, but it's better to think of it like this: instead of looking for the perfect house that publishes exactly your stuff, you should probably submit to everyone who *might* publish your stuff. The hardest challenge is getting past the first firewall, the poor underpaid slushpile readers, and from everything I've read that's mostly a numbers game.

So, don't worry about editing, at least not yet, and don't sink too much research into any given publishing house. Just make a list of all the ones where acceptance would be vaguely plausible. After all, if you send them something they don't want, all it means is you get a form letter back, which is what happens 99% of the time anyway.
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[User Picture]From: siliconrose
2005-06-15 05:24 am (UTC)
They won't put me on a list of "never read anything by this person again"?
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[User Picture]From: ketsugami
2005-06-15 12:16 pm (UTC)
There is no such list. Remember to picture to proper model of the publishing company: a bunch of lowly interns who are given enormous stacks of manuscripts each day and told "reject all of these except maybe one." The chance of the same person even still working there by the time you submit again, much less happening to look at your piece again, much less happening to remember it, is on the far side of remote.

If you get to an actual editor, who might actually remember you, you're already way ahead of the game -- it means they liked you enough to give you serious consideration, so he's definitely not going to put you on any kind of blacklist.

So, take heart. You're basically completely anonymous. (The goal, after all, is to climb out of that!)
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