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The roller coaster of publishing

I was discussing writing disappointments on an email list, and wanted to repeat my part of the conversation here. So, for anyone who's interested, here's a quick rundown of some of my bigger writing-world letdowns. This does not even count the hundreds of rejection letters I've collected--some of which arrived a year or more after my query.

- Circa 1999, a small publisher offered me a contract on a novel. Hurrah! I mentioned that offer to an agent, who quickly signed me on. Double hurrah! She then read the proposed contract and noted that the publisher wanted ALL rights--film, TV, all media that's not yet been invented, etc. And they wouldn't budge on it. So we passed on that publisher. Oh, well. She'd find someone else, right?

- Wrong. After about a year, during which time I heard almost nothing from her, she closed the agency, admitting to all her clients she couldn't handle the work and stress. Okay. Back to square one.

- I wrote a screenplay based on that novel. I sent queries to filmmakers. One guy, an indie director, called me and said he liked it. He wanted to option it. He'd send me the contract. OMG!! Hurrah! Only...he never did. I never heard from him again, except when months later he mailed back the script with no explanation. Plus I had to pay the extra postage due before I could pick it up from the post office. You suck, Hollywood.

- In 2002, with epublishers appearing on the scene, I took my chances and queried some. I got a novel published with one. And a different novel published with a different one. Hurrah and huzzah! But a few years and not many sales later, both epublishers folded. I was back to being unpublished.

I still don't have an agent. All the stories mentioned above are still unpublished (in any and all media). But at least now The Wild Rose Press has one of my books out (which is now an Eppie Award finalist), and another in edits, so my spirits are much improved. Maybe someday I'll get an agent too, and Hollywood will come begging for my forgiveness. But even if not, no way are those afore-listed setbacks keeping me from doing what I love. And thank you, publishing world, for helping thicken my skin and force patience into my unwilling temperament.

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Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
girlspell
Nov. 18th, 2009 07:26 pm (UTC)
I'm not a writer, but I do know that getting published is very difficult. Publishing houses are looking for a profit. Some topics (vampires?, etc) are very hot now. So it might not be what you write, but what genre you write.
mollyringle
Nov. 19th, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think the fact that THE GHOST DOWNSTAIRS was paranormal romance (which is hot right now) helped its getting published. Not sure I can ever do vampire fiction, though...it's being done to death! (Undeath?)
girlspell
Nov. 19th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
Are you familiar with a LJ poster hwimsey? She started out writing (well only one) H/G fan fic on PS The coven of the echoes. It was a terrific story. Well, she ended up writing a ghost story (novel) set in modern day San Francisco (her home town) Her novel sold. She has not been on LJ for almost a year now. I've lost touch with her. I think the novel sold recently.

I understand these modern day ghost stories are really hot now....
mollyringle
Nov. 20th, 2009 08:40 pm (UTC)
Cool! Yeah, ghosts, vampires, werewolves...it's all pretty "hot," evidently.
kenshi
Nov. 23rd, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC)
You and K8 need to commiserate on this. She just had a "sure thing" $10K option turn into a lawsuit. *sigh*
mollyringle
Nov. 24th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
Ack! Hopefully not with K8 as defendant...or even plaintiff. Hollywood sucks for writers even more than the book world does, I'm thinking.
kenshi
Nov. 24th, 2009 06:23 pm (UTC)
Plaintiff.
ailujaim2
Dec. 8th, 2009 11:50 pm (UTC)
It is wise to never give up dispite consequences. Some people dont have a choice because of the Law. And even if they are forced to, they may still decide to never give up anyways.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )