Friday, February 12, 2010

Learning

Whether it be a 100 word flash fiction piece or a 100,000 word novel, writing the actual story is the easiest part of the equation for me.

The hard part beings once the story is complete. Researching the market. Crafting a synopsis and query. Sending off a submission. Waiting.

A lot of writers spend years improving at their craft. They read countless books on the subject of writing. They attend workshops, conferences and online classes to hone their prose and wordsmithing. But far too many of us ignore the business side of publishing. Me included. Not only the submission side of the business but the dollar and cents side of what happens when your work is accepted.

I myself am guilt of thinking -- Oh I'll learn about royalties and electronic rights and the definition of remaindered stock AFTER I sell a novel. Sure writing is an art but for those of us who dream of one day turning our passion into a career we need to learn and study the ENTIRE business.

In recent years I've tried to do just that, and like most educations every item I learn something new I realize just how much more there is I need to learn.

If you are new or not so new to the world of publishing here are some useful links that have helped me learn more about the publishing world.

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY - This link will allow you to sign up for a variety newsletters about the industry.

Galleycat - Also available as a daily email Galleycat is a great source of current news on the business.

PublishersLunch

Duotrope -- Is a great place to learn of potential markets especially for shorter pieces and poetry.

Agentquery -- A great place to start your query process.

No doubt I've omitted some great ones. What are your sources for learning?

16 comments:

Janna Qualman said...

You're one smart dude. Hairy, but smart.

Thanks for the links! And HVD to you and your wife. :)

G said...

Actually, for the moment, most of my sources for learning about writing (on both sides of the equations), have come from blogs yours, an agent blog (Nathan Bransford's) and the Writer's Beware blog.

Eventually though, I'll need to hit that Agent query one and others like that, because I can't write a query to save my life.

I kind of feel like doing what my word verification says, and that's "cries".

Ricky Bush said...

There's an excellent forum here:
www.absolutewrite.com And some really fine folks hanging out.

Cloudia said...

Go Trav GO!



Aloha, Friend


Comfort Spiral

Angie said...

Kristine Kathryn Rusch (multi-genre writer, used to edit the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction) is posting a book she's writing about freelancing on her blog, a chapter at a time. This applies to anyone who works for themself, and since she's a writer, a lot of the examples and specifics are slanted toward writers. Definitely read this. I'm planning on getting it in hardcopy when it comes out.

Her husband, Dean Wesley Smith (multi-genre writer, used to own Pulphouse Publishing) is posting a series called Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing. He's not as consistent with his tagging as Kris, but this is an excellent series and worth digging for and reading from the start; I think it started last August. What he has to say about agents is particularly worth reading, and rather startling to folks who've started paying attention to the whole writer/agent/publisher relationship only in the last ten or fifteen years. Read the comments on the agent posts, and pay particular attention to the contributions of Laura Resnick (also a pro writer; father is Mike Resnick, so she pretty much grew up in publishing, in addition to having a career of her own).

Agents aren't useful on the e-pub side of the business, so that part isn't relevant to me right now, but I do have some New York aspirations and I'll definitely keep Dean's advice in mind when that time comes. Great stuff -- read it.

Angie

Lana Gramlich said...

I don't have anything to contribute to the writer's research list, but I agree with the idea of learning, regardless. I've done a LOT in the past 2 years to learn about the "business" of art, & I know wayyyy too many people who still know nothing about it & have no plans to learn. Like...hellOOOO?

the walking man said...

You are correct the business end is much much more tedious to navigate than the creative and in that ine really must define their ultimate goals. If it is publishing you can't, simply can't think of it as tedious.

sybil law said...

You're pretty much my go - to for info on the publishing business. So, don't steer me wrong! :)

Dawn Anon said...

Thanks for stopping by to say hi. That was a nice surprise.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Thanks, Travis,

Interesting links.

Terrie

Avery DeBow said...

I'm the same way, although I try to be better. Sucking it up and shelling out a hundred and sixty bucks for PW at the moment is an impossibility. But, I do get Publisher's Lunch and have used Agent Query a LOT.

I'm excited to check out those other links, as I haven't heard of them before.

Thanks.

dee said...

I agree completely. You can never learn enough about the publishing biz, and its changing so rapidly that you have to learn more all the time!

Phats said...

I admire you travis, I think it'd be really hard to write a book! That is awesome keep plugging away.

How about the Huskers talking about joining the big ten??!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

All great links!
I think the hardest part for me is the brainstorming. Ninety percent of the way is easy, the rest is a killer (for me)

Angie said...

Update -- Dean put together a TOC page for his Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing posts. All writers should read this, seriously. It gives you more data to work with and lets you make more informed decisions, even if you eventually decide not to go the same way Dean went. Be sure to read Laura Resnick's comments on the Agent posts, too.

Angie

Mr. Shife said...

Keep following that dream Travis. Your hard work is going to pay off some day soon. Your Saints pulled it off so no doubt you can do it as well. And I go to ESPN.com for all my learning.