This week, I slipped into a moment of fear and doubt. Fear and doubt is common in my Adventures in Romance, but I’ve tried to keep myself from using the market as an excuse. I’ve pretty much heard from Day 1 how hard it is to try to go outside of the tried and tested boundaries of romance, but this week agent Nathan Bransford reiterated that fact in his post about the current recession and difficulties in the publishing market:
Nathan Bransford – Stepping up your game
I enjoy NB’s blog immensely and have developed a bit of an agent crush on him. (Which is nothing against my lovely agent! It’s just an internet thing.) His tone is thoughtful, even-keeled and optimistic — while also being realistic. He’s super knowledgeable and open with advice. So when NB expounded on my deepest publishing fear, my heart sank a little.
According to NB: “Publishers right now want the surest of sure things that are so sure it beats surety over its sure head. And agents have to adjust what they take on accordingly.
I don’t know if you’ve heard this news either, but there are very few sure bets in this business. So editors have to be really really really really really really convinced that they want to invest in a project in order to take it on, particularly for debuts, and particularly particularly for previously published authors with a mixed track record.”
It’s nothing I haven’t heard. Nothing that everyone isn’t saying, but — *sigh*. If I was writing something tried and true, I could just as easily bemoan that everyone says they want something fresh. It’s a losing game. The only way to win, is not to play.
Nathan did go on to say as writers, all that should tell us is that we need to step up our game. I like that part. I’m going to stick to that, put my pollyanna attitude back on, and ignore how hard it’s supposed to be.
Stolen from Dumb and Dumber:
Jeannie: Just give it to me straight! The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?
NY: Not good.
Jeannie: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?
NY: I’d say more like one out of a million.
Jeannie: So you’re telling me there’s a chance!
Jun 06, 2009 @ 11:50:35
I think many folks have an agent crush on NB, moi included. He’s just super intelligent, thoughtful, and seems like an awesome well-rounded individual. It’s that type of professionalism that people admire and he’s extremely kind when it comes to sending queries. I think he’s one of the few agents who personally responds even if it’s a quick 2 sentence rejection.
As far as NY goes, you have good a chance as any. Believing in your story and your writing will get you sold because your enthusiasm will come across. Besides, it seems people are eager to read something outside of their usual and that’s a good thing for you!
Jun 06, 2009 @ 19:12:53
Re: NB crush — plus he’s super nerdy in person which, I must say, kind of does it for me. 🙂
Thanks for the pep talk, Jax! I know you totally understand about writing stories outside of the norm and sticking with where your inspiration takes you!
Jun 07, 2009 @ 21:25:21
This post totally made me laugh. We are SO there. Dumb and Dumber is just classic and hey, we’ve already beat the odds by making it this far, right? RIGHT.
Jun 07, 2009 @ 22:15:29
It’s much better to laugh. It’s good to have a horse in the race, isn’t it? I can’t say I have too many complaints.