Thursday, January 19, 2006

Fame and Glory

Today's mug is Chicago, and I am in a rush to get this out before the acountant comes to go over how much money I lost last year (maybe she will help me find it?). I didn't fire yesterday, I worked on the books to the tune of the neighbor's barking dog till 10:30 last night. The figures were... impressive. And I will say no more (except that I will not be endowing any universities any time soon).

As I have been in a business frame of mind for the past week I thought it might be a good idea to get references on my new business partners, the illustrious "Publisher". So I looked on their website at other books they have published in my field and in the same format they proposed to me (8.5 X 10, hardcover, project-oriented, 128 pages) and found one that came out two years ago for stained glass. I ordered it from Amazon (authors of the world unite and buy each other's books!) and when it came yesterday, I eagerly went to the author's bio. Lo and behold, she had a website! And the website had a phone number! I called and left her a message. She called me back in the late afternoon and we chatted for a good long while. She gently helped me to set my expectations for this experience. As I was not born yesterday I did not figure this would be a walk in the park with a pot of money at the end. It is about what I figured it would be: an incredible, chaotic lot of hard work with a modest advance being (probably) the only remuneration for years (maybe forever). Why do we do it? Fame and glory, fame and glory. You get to see your name in print with a dedication to your loved ones and you don’t have to pay in money, just sweat, to make it happen. I didn’t even have to ask her, she offered it up: Yes she would do it all over again.

Finally, while perusing another friend’s blog (yes Bill, I now have you bookmarked and hang on your every word) I found out that my latest book series find, The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, is going to be a series on the Sci-Fi channel this year. Thank heaven it’s not on Fox! They butchered (no pun intended—really) Firefly badly enough they should *never* get anything heavier than “That 70’s Show” or something else I wouldn’t watch even for a cute butt (to see one, not to have one). The internet being what it is, I followed the links from the blog and ended up here. It is worthwhile to read down through how he got started in writing and what he had to go through to get published. For everyone out there who has a novel, or a screenplay, or a set of short stories (or a non-fiction crafts book), it is a very good guide as to who you have to sleep with to get your work out there.

3 comments:

Bill Paley said...

He slept with someone to get published? That's funny, since I'm hearing from several unrelated people that his books are pretty well-received...

Brenda Griffith said...

If I wrote *he* slept with someone it would be libel--and probably unfair and mean to his wife. No, this is who anyone else should sleep with. And no, I am not slandering Laurell K Hamilton either (even though her characters pretty much *do* sleep with anyone/anything) (and, yes, I am an avid fan). But I just don't know if I could put that much work into it.

It looks like he was accepted by the same people who had already rejected him *just because they met him*. Who you know rather than how good you are. Same as in anything else and damn depressing for it.

Bill Paley said...

It's a strange world we live in. There's a lot of material being written at any given time, but only so much capital available to lead to publication; the winnowing process is patently unfair. I'm glad for someone if they manage to get published in any fashion. I'm very surprised that there isn't more material "published" on the web, to be honest, but I suppose that folks who think that they can actually be published won't generally use the web because they won't get paid for their work.