Look at me! I have worked so hard that I’ve managed to get myself back on target for my Friday deadline! Yay me! And as a reward my tyrant husband is letting me have internet access this evening. How kind and good you are, dear sir.
There’s been some lively debate over this way. I confess that I was surprised by the force of Garth (author and ex agent), Patrick (editor) and Sharyn‘s (editor) response to what I thought was an innocuous post (stupid me). Fortunately Teresa (editor) explained the reaction (thank you).
In the end we all agreed: the writing is the most important part, as well as the second most important part, the third most, and so on. It is the day, the night, the morning, the evening; the dove, the crow, the sulphur-crested cockatoo, and every other bird in the sky, even the annoying myena bird.
It’s almost exactly three years since I became a full-time freelance writer. April Fool’s Day 2003 was the glorious first day of this new career. Ever since I’ve been trying to make sense of it and of the publishing industry generally. My post on a writer’s job was one such attempt. I’ve learned an awful lot in those three years. I’ve sold four books, published two, written four and a half, and edited one. I’ve found answers to many of my questions on various blogs around the interwebby. Patrick and Teresa’s Making Light is a fabulous resource (Slush Killer is probably my favourite post on any blog eva) and Anna Genoese‘s livejournal is fab as well. And there are many other excellent publishing blogs. And yet, I still have lots of questions about this industry:
- Why is the returns system still in place?
- Why does the wasteful stripping of paperbacks continue?
- Is the fantasy middle grade market really about to implode?
- Why is adult science fiction in such doldrums? Is it really?
- Why don’t short story collections sell? (We learned that this is also true in Italy, Brazil, Sweden and France. Are short story collections hot anywhere in the world?)
- Why do UK publishers consider it natural for Australian & New Zealand rights to be tucked in with UK rights? Are they unaware that the British Empire is over?
- Do men really not read as much as women? Is this true everywhere? Or just in Australia and the USA?
- Why do so many people who don’t actually read want to be writers?
- Why does the best selling genre—romance—have the lowest average advances for its writers?
I could go on. If you have any questions of your own add them to the comments thread. And if you have any answers, please, please, please tell all!