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:
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!