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Be Honest: Why are you Really Not Published Yet?

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Philip Overby, May 8, 2012.

  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Severin:

    I agree with you. Technology is evolving, yes, and as it continues to evolve it will push traditional books more and more to the rear. My young niece (less than two) already knows how to manipulate a tablet and is read to from eReaders. All of us grew up with books and have a nostalgic attraction to them. It won't be long before, in places like North America, much of Europe, Japan, etc. you'll have a population who has grown up with electronic books. Those will be the "normal" books for them.
     
  2. The Dark One

    The Dark One Archmage

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    On the subject of second hand books, I hated seeing my book for sale on ebay, until my publisher pointed out that the more people who read it, the more people will buy the sequel straight away. It's all about continually getting new product out that gradually ramps up your sales and keeps sending new readers into your backlist.

    My publisher says that the industry rule of thumb is that for every book sold, four people will read it. It rings true because I've had quite a lot of fans send me emails telling me how much they enjoyed the book but confessing they'd bought it off ebay, or borrowed it and promising to buy the next one.

    On top of that, it's just a nice feeling to be able to multiply your sales by four and realise that's how many people have read your book. Quite inspiring really.
     
  3. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    Just submitted:
    Fantasy Writing Contest

    Fantasy-faction anthology "The World's Greatest Fantasy writing contest."

    Submitted with 11 days to spare.

    It accepted works up to 8000 word, I submitted 2900 words.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  4. BeigePalladin

    BeigePalladin Sage

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    because I am too much of a perfectionist to ever admit I'm done and too much of a lazy ass to ever reach a stage were I'm out of ideas and have to say I'm done :p
     
  5. J.P. Reedman

    J.P. Reedman Scribe

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    My friend, a scriptwriter (pro), asked me this question years ago. Finishing things was a big problem, and getting too caught up in editing the first chapters to death while the end was still very sketchy--I often ended up with what read like 2 different books! I'm not a quick writer either, it takes me a minimum of a year and a bit for a novel length book. I can't do 2 or 3 stories at once like some of my friends--my brain would explode!! I did have a lot of short stories/poems published in small presses in the 80's but I am not keen on short stories...only did it to get feedback/writing credits. Rejection letters affect me weirdly too...I don't get depressed, I just kind of lose interest in the project and want to move on to something else!
     
  6. Shockley

    Shockley Maester

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    Two reasons:

    1. I am perfecting my craft to the best of my ability. Too many authors rush their work out at a young age and the lack of quality shows (I'd argue that the only author to have reached a pinnacle of skill at my age would be Asimov, and he's substantially smarter than I am) and I don't want to be one of those guys. I don't want to be Paolini, so I work at this like it's a second job.

    My training method: I spend a lot of time reading, and I can usually finish off a good size book in one day (or maybe two, if I'm not on the top of my game). I then sit down and go through the book again, underlining sentences that I find particularly beautiful and prose sections that spoke to me on some primal level. I then go over the book a third time, but this time with a notepad, computer or my typewriter (my preferred method for composition at this point) ready and I type out every sentence I've underlined. It's slow going and the ultimate grunt work, but I feel that my prose has become sharper.

    2. I'm not the best at making a coherent plot, so I'm never satisfied with the flow of the story.
     
  7. Alex97

    Alex97 Troubadour

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    Two reasons for me as well really

    Firstly I haven't finished writing what I'm working on. Not much more to say about that.

    Secondly I write more so as a hobby, the only real people I share what I've written with are freinds and people on forums. Whilst getting published would be great I write for enjoyment more than anything else and it's not my chief ambition although I wouldn't mind slowly writting for a living as a sort of side job.
     
  8. Stuart John Evison

    Stuart John Evison Minstrel

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    It is only relatively recently that I worried about not being published and started to do something about it after 40 years of writing and illustrating mostly just for the joy of it. (I made my living carving wood and occasionally working in the music industry). I've always been a bit of a "I'm going to do it my way" type of person so when I came up against the "submission guidelines" that those in the publishing world throw at you I naturally gravitated to the idea of doing it myself and with the help of friends that's what I'm doing. E publishing is a godsend.
     
  9. Guys and gals, have to admire your ambition. I've got a whole novel-length manuscript I haven't yet polished at home, and one short one that I have thought would make a nice book. I can have those sent off to publishers by the end of the month if I push myself. I will also continue my world-building and expanding my ideas. I tried these ambitions last year with some success, but time got away from me. Not in 2014.
     
  10. kennyc

    kennyc Inkling

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    Best of luck to you!
     
  11. Malik

    Malik Auror

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    I am published, just not in fantasy.

    I'm going to submit my first manuscript maybe a dozen more times. In the meantime I'm working to build my online presence, finish the second book in the series, and am lining up a blog tour. This year I'm going to hit the writers' conferences locally, as well. I just started working with a pair of published authors as their technical consultant for a military sci-fi series (no pay, but they know people), and my first article comes out on MS in two weeks. If I don't get a solid bite this year I'll self-publish.

    I think that my hangup about self-publishing is that -- and this is vain as hell but it's who I am -- there's a validation in getting a book published. Quite literally, anyone can self-publish. (And, based on what I've been reading lately in self-published fantasy, anyone does, and that's the problem.) I'd like that notch in my belt that says that I write well enough to get a publishing deal. It probably won't happen; I missed the boat on this by 10 years. Which, ironically, is when I threw up my hands last time and put my manuscript in a box and moved on to other endeavors.
     
  12. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    There's one simple reason that I'm not already published....

    I'm not ready yet.

    Maybe after I complete the current WIP. I'm thinking it may be worth submittal or even self-publishing this time. We'll see.

    The others didn't measure up to the standard I want, though I learned a ton in writing and finishing them.

    Still, I refuse to put work out there just because it's been completed. It needs to be really good...beginning to end, and everything in between. Not perfect mind you...just really good.
     
  13. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    This is actually sort of necro-posted. I wrote the OP back in 2012. :)

    But yeah, my goals are still the same. Write things, complete them, and submit them. My goal is still for this year, 2014, to really crank something out and submit it. I do believe it's better to know when you're ready, but I feel like if I wait too long I'm letting the world pass me by.
     
  14. T.Allen.Smith

    T.Allen.Smith Staff Moderator

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    Noticed that...seemed appropriate with the new year I suppose (though I despise the idea of resolutions).
    I agree Phil. Personally, I think I've reached a bit of a plateau in my writing. I learned so much, so fast from my first completed work to now. If you compare my first finished, novel length work to my current project, it's night and day. Honestly, the early works make me shudder. I keep them as proof of growth.... My eyes only.

    Now though, I feel I'm making choices in my writing rather than writing clumsy words that just happen to be good or bad. I think both my style and voice have matured. The gains are coming along at a slower pace now.... That's why I'm now thinking I'm ready, or close to ready. My work now sounds more like the vision I have for my stories. The gap between vision and execution has narrowed..... I hope.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  15. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I was writing something the other day, stopped and said, "Wow, this is actually pretty good." That's not a reaction I've often had to myself, but I think this is definitely a good sign as a writer. To be able to recognize growth is a huge deal. I keep a lot of old projects to remind myself of that as well.

    I know that not everyone will think I'm great or even good. Hell, some may think I suck. But I'm closing in on my 33rd birthday and I feel like I can look back at myself when I was 30 and I said, "This is the year I'm going to submit things and get my work out there." I can only say that to myself so many times.
     
  16. Kit

    Kit Maester

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    I too have had those "Damn, this is pretty good," moments.

    Additionally, I was cleaning out some boxes of old papers last week, and found writing from high school and college with teacher commentary on it talking about how good/gifted I am. I had forgotten the college English course wherein the teacher (a published author himself) called me up to his desk after about two assignments and told me that we were wasting one another's time... that I should get out of his classroom, and finish the course by writing whatever I wanted and sticking it in his mail slot every once in a while. :eek2: :dance:

    That was over 20 yrs ago, and one would hope that there had been some improvement in the interim. It was a nice boost of encouragement to see those comments. I really wish I could get off my ass and get over my terror of rejection. I *know* my stuff is good.
     
  17. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    Rejection is like getting stung by a bee. The first time it hurts. Then after you're stung about a dozen more times, you become numb to the feeling. It just becomes, "Oh, another bee sting" or "Oh, another rejection." I can see how if you're getting rejected at every turn it can be dejecting, but if writers are treating their writing as a job or a career, they have to be ready for a wide spectrum of reactions to their work.

    If someone is confident that their writing is ready, there really is no other excuse. You're going to get rejected. It's going to hurt. You'll get over it. But if you know you're ready, chances are other people are going to recognize that same aspect of your talent. Those people are out there. Waiting. They actually are begging you to send something to them.

    I personally don't fear rejection anymore because I never get attached to any one thing I write. Sure, I am passionate about it, but if someone doesn't like it, they don't like it. I'll find someone who does. And one may grow to be a hundred and then a thousand. Who knows?
     
    Kit likes this.
  18. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    Sheer laziness.
     
  19. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    I'm *hoping* to be published in a literary magazine this year... if my short story wins the contest I wrote it for. Sadly, I won't know until February whether I even have a chance. If I don't win, I'll see about making the story better and maybe longer, and submitting it somewhere else. ^^
     
  20. The Dark One

    The Dark One Archmage

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    I suspect few writers have been rejected more than I have. (Literally over a hundred times, before I hit the jackpot.)

    Rejection is important for numerous reasons, but the main two are these:

    - rejection forces you to become the writer you are capable of being; and
    - rejection forces you to think like a publisher.

    This second point is really important. Just because your writing is good doesn't mean its publishable. Publishers have their own ideas about what the market wants to read and for every book published there will be hundreds of mss considered technically good enough, but not on the money re the market.
     
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