Sunday, May 22, 2005

Patience.

I've been grappling with something huge lately...whether to push to get the book submitted while my agent is out on maternity leave or to just resign myself to the idea of waiting until she's back after Labor Day. While her assistant has been helpful - offering some very good comments (as well as some not-so-good ones) - I feel like she (and my agent's partner) don't really have any real vested interest in my future, or the future of this book. Christy, on the other hand, has always been a tremendous champion and fan. She's also a terrific critic, and I haven't even gotten her feedback (other than her general sense of how the book is working) yet. I have had to ask myself why I feel this intense need to get it done NOW ("Right Now!" as Kicky would say). I think it boils down to finances. It sure would be marvelous to sell the book NOW, but at what real cost? Argh.

A lot of what got me thinking about this is the book/signing event I went to at Politics and Prose the other night. Nicole Krauss ("The History of Love") seems to be enjoying the antithesis of what I have experienced with the publishing industry. She's on a huge book tour. Barnes and Noble just named her book one of the Discover New Writers books. THOL is the #1 Booksense pick for May, and The Today Show picked her book for this month's Book Club selection. Though she was articulate, bright, and (goddamnit) nice, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of envy. How much of my slumpy bumpy career is simply due to bad luck and bad business?

SO...I plan to revise like mad all summer so that the book will be waiting for Christy when she comes back. Patience. Patience.

In the meantime, we're enjoying this amazing spring. Today we're going to have a picnic at the Mall. The caterpillar should be emerging any day now from it's cocoon. Roses, irises, and peonies are in bloom. Patience.

4 comments:

Avid Reader said...

I've cruised your site for a while now and noticed no other comments. With your last post, it made me curious as to whether your blog/website are indicative of the type of marketing you have gotten from your publisher. Your website stops at 2002 (and with 3 of my own children - I'm sure I understand why) and your blog would be a great forum for fans. Just a suggestion, but you might want to not only edit this summer, but work on updating your webinfo and doing some marketing of yourself. Your posts are thoughtful, witty and carry your voice well. Your books have received pretty solid reviews. There is a huge market, especially in the 25 - 34 demo for your type of work. I would love to see if you could capitalize on that with some independant marketing. Start a fan newsletter that drives business to your website and then points them somewhere they can buy your books. Sorry to ramble but you come across great and you're obviously so invested in your writing - it would be cool to see some additional fame & glory (and money I'm sure) thrown your direction.

T. Greenwood said...

Funny, I know I've got a small audience for my books, but I certainly didn't think my little blog had any readers (other than friends I've neglected trying to catch up with what's going on with me). Thank you for the advice/encouragement, nods, etc... I actually maintain the website myself, hence the cessation of time on the timeline following my eldest's first birthday. I've been thinking of revamping when/if the new book comes out.

I am simultaneously attracted to and repulsed by the business aspect of writing. (I think a character in a Woody Allen movie said something to that effect about her response to male genitalia.) While I know that grass roots advertising is both integral and effective for smaller writers, I often feel resentful of having to take care of everything myself. I wrote the book, damn-it! What more do you want from me?? It also drains me...and makes me less inclined to write. I know, though, it's sometimes the only way.

Thank you again, though. I think that a fan newsletter would be a terrific idea. Not sure how many "fans" I've got, but hey!

Avid Reader said...

You need a friend with a sense of business who can run the website, do some grass roots marketing and put up a newsletter. You can "stop by" and give updates, "sneak peeks" into the new book, tips on writing, etc. I know it's horribly crass and commercial, but you could also join some of the web-rings that are for specific genre writers. Start chatting with some of the fans who are asking about the new book and see if you can spin up some interest. Have fun with the painting and best of luck with the tomato soup. In my new house, I painted a 12 foot wall in my kitchen a sort of pumpkin soup - it's daunting!

Lydiaparn said...

Still missing your books and wondering why your already-published novels aren't given the attention they deserve. I will help you push them any way I can. Want to come to NJ for the week-end and stay for free while you go from bookstore to bookstore and do signings? I have a small but comfortable spare room and live about 12 miles outside of NYC. Well, it's a thought. Patrick can take care of the girls for a few days. You are one of a about a dozen women authors who I check regularly to see if you've written something new. Will never give your books away if I own them but may buy some more to give to friends for Christmas. There's an idea! :o)