Friday, December 12, 2008

A Lovely Side Effect

So, you all know that I resigned my position on the Board of Directors of Pikes Peak Writers. Only one column was submitted directly to me. A couple were sent to which meant I got one and the new editor got one as well. After this issue, that one won't forward to me any longer. Lots less hassle. With the exception of a flurry of activity the first week or so while the new editor asked questions, I sent extra articles I had on hand and information about the reporters, she asked me for the information I sent again, I sent it again, she asked again, etc. Funny how I never received any notification that my email didn't go through. Oh well.

The new editor seems like a nice person. And very optimistic. Yes, I remember being optimistic when I first started, lo these many months ago. I would no longer be working with aspiring authors who had poured their very souls into this master work of under 2,000 words. Their sad little souls. Their sad little, poorly written souls. No, I would be working with reporters. Hard-nosed, hard-drinking, tough-talking reporters.Serious-minded fact-based writers who took pride in their work, but weren't personally invested in it. Reporters. And then I woke up. The reporters were aspiring authors. This reporting gig was waaaaaay down on their list of priorities. As well it should have been. But that meant some less than best efforts. There were exceptions, of course. Linda and Fleur were always reliable and on time and polished like a new penny. And Deb C. really stepped in and stepped up toward the end of my run. Maybe the new editor will have more of those in her future. I hope.

But the lovely side effect of resigning? Loads less email to wade through. My name is now off the BOD and Steering Committee lists. It will drop from the Volunteer list soon (because I'm no longer allowed to volunteer for ANYTHING). But even better is that the email I do get because I'm a member still and on the PPW loop doesn't have to paid attention to if I don't want. I don't have an obligation to keep up with topics and make sure I send congratulations for every announcement. And that means more time.

I resigned because of time, I know. But I was thinking of the schlepping to meetings and reading submissions and editing and looking at layouts and scrambling to get more content to fill up the issue and all that good stuff. I didn't think about less email and what that would mean.

Are you on any email loops that you don't need to be? I'm thinking of another one I'm on that may be the next to go. Hey, I've got to do something so I have time for Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Gloom & Doom

Several of us have blogged before about all of the crappy economic news that we're hearing. "Everything's horrible." "Financial apocalypse." I actually heard that last one over the weekend. And many of the blogs written by writers and agents are taking a gloomier tone as well. Many publishing houses are laying off staff and one recently was reported to have put a "hold" on adult manuscript acquisitions. Of course a day later they announced an acquisition of a debut novel. Then the announcement that the "hold" announcement was erroneous, etc.

So, I just went through the Weekly Deal Lunch from PM. Just in fiction, here are the breakdown's of books sold last week (using PM's genre breakdowns, which I don't necessarily agree with):

3 Debut Authors (one was a 3-book deal)
2 Inspirational
2 Mystery/Crime
8 Thrillers
16 Women's/Romance
6 General/Other
2 Children's Fantasy
3 Middle Grade
9 Young Adult

53 books (and there may be more multi-book deals in there)

That doesn't take into account the Non-fiction, UK, Canadian, Film, or Foreign Rights sales. PM's count is 185 deals last week. And there are 3 already for today.

Remember that the publishing industry moves slowly. So that novel you just put "The End" to will take time to find a home with an agent. And you'll probably need to do additional rewrites based on agent feedback once you're signed (ask Fleur). Then the agent needs to sell it to a publisher. And they'll want rewrites. I believe the last figure I heard for time from selling a book to it being on the shelves is 2 years. Who knows? The economy may be booming by then.

And also remember that readers read no matter what the economy is doing. They may not buy as many hardcover new releases, but they still go to the library and used book stores. Mass market paperbacks look more interesting. And there are those, like me, who are more selective in the new books they buy, but still want to read that new release while there's buzz about it.

Don't let the negativity swirling about get you down. And if it does---write about it! That's what we do, after all. Write about what's happening to us.

In the words of Henry Gibson: Keep a-going!