Diana on Distribution

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Diana Peterfreund has a great post up on distribution, and the comments contributions are well worth the reading.
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Sela Carsen said...

Great discussion. Thanks for the link!

Amie Stuart said...

That was a great discussion but I'm not sure I agree on many of the points made.........

Jaye said...

CeCe, these things are always 6 of one, half a dozen of the other. Different things work for different people at different times/point of their writing careers. I was just looking at the whole discussion as food for thought.

Jaye said...

Ooops. Missed ya, there, Sela:

You're welcome. :-)

Jorrie Spencer said...

Thanks for pointing me there, Jaye. Fascinating and I agree with a bunch of thing. But I have issues, too. Especially when people with great book contracts (obtained, I know, through hard work, dedication, and talent) talk about other people's desperation. Cuz they're kinda sitting in different places.

I'd be curious to know what you disagree with, Cece, although you may well not want to get into it.

Jaye said...

Good points, Jorrie. Some would say, any experience is good, even a bad one (as long as it wasn't too detrimental) will teach a valuable lesson. I sort of hold with this. You may be with a smaller house, but you get experience meeting deadlines, working with an editor, marketing, etc. If you get burnt (god-forbid) somehow, it'll make you a bit more savvy with your next foray.

But I do see how you can get off track or 'stuck' or complacent (choose whichever word works).

raine said...

A VERY interesting discussion.
Yes, of course it's preferable to get an agent who's mad about your work, and a publisher who'll see that it's well-distributed.
Duly noted.
But I may also have issues with some of the comments made--not necessarily with whether they're true or not, but perhaps in the manner of expression.

Jaye said...

'K, Raine & Cece, y'all are being diplomatic/vague as heck. lol. Now, like Jorrie, I want to know what you didn't necessarily agree with-- whether it be specific statement/idea or phrasing/implication.

I guess as an unpubbed, I really feel as an observer in that whole discussion, you guys all have a more insider/informed opinion.

Amie Stuart said...

Jaye you're right it was food for thought....

Shan was right--it is hard to focus on epublishing and NY at the same time. I also agree w/the fact that Samhain is going places-or I wouldn't have encouraged four friends to sub there--two who made their first sales there, one who is doing her second round of revisions and STILL trying to sell there, one who has a book that will be for sale in stores soon =).

All roads lead to Rome, some roads just meander a bit more than others.
My goal in epublishing was and is to build a readership I can carry over to print. I think epublishing is a great proving ground, if you can make it there, well (forgive me) you can make it anywhere. Okay so that's a bit broad and tongue in cheek but I have a huge ass headache.

I think about writers like Cheyenne and Jaid Black and Lora Leigh (who has a newsletter list as large as Nora Roberts' which is damn near 5 times as large as the RWA membership) and I know it works. I would have sold BCC to an epublisher if Kensington hadn't bit. That's how sure I am.

I don't want to sound like I'm going epublishing rah rah rah because I don't believe it's for everyone, BUT I really and truly do believe that epublishing is to the publishing industry what category romance was 25 years ago when people like Nora Roberts, Kay Hooper, CAtherine Coulter, Sandra Brown and Iris Johansen started out.

That and 4 bucks would get me a latte at Starbucks.

Amie Stuart said...

PS sorry for the book

Jaye said...

No worries chica. I asked you to elaborate. ;-) All makes sense to me. Everyone has their own path to travel.

I do think Diana *has* a point that there are some writers so eager to be pubbed that they'll jump on any deal offer, adequate without research then find themselves maybe disatisfied with their lot, because they didn't just want to be published.

They want their work to be read/bought in sufficient numbers that it makes a real/meaningful difference in their income. Or they want their book on the shelf. Or whatever other 'thing' that *ultimately* comes with wider distribution.

You *know* where you want to be (NY), you're using epublishing, in part to get there. But you also know you want to continue to grow your readership within epublishing. And you're well on your way to achieve your goals with your Kensington contract.

On the flipside, there are other writers who would have gotten sidelined, if they were in your shoes. Ebook publishing is *very* time consumming, not just in output, but I've never seen marketing/promoting like I've seen in the ebook genre.

I think Diana's saying to take the time and think about what you want, and what you're capable of-- ie juggling the demands of ebook publishing and NY deadlines.

For some, it's an either or proposition. Nothing wrong with that. And absolutely nothing wrong with shooting for both; as you noted many ebook authors have taken the leap to NY.

You know, I'm not sure about the comparison to categories. I just wrote 'great comparison' then I realized that only holds true for erotic romances, doesn't it? And even then very mostly for certain storylines/elements-- ie, menages, paranormals, BDSM, etc. (Although, this last point begs direct comparison to the "secret baby/SEALS/Sheiks" that are so popular in categories. *veg*). Which in turn makes you wonder what will happen when the burn hits-- and it will have to. won't it? Every thing is cyclical. But that's all another blog post. :-P

raine said...

Ah, well, didn't mean to make it sound very vague, & my opinion isn't really any more informed than anyone else's...

I took exception with the "desperate to publish" reference. As I said--the method of expression may have been unfortunate. I'm sure there are people who are--but most of the authors I know (and most of them are e-pubbed) are, as was mentioned later, "eager" to pub.
And many of them chose e-pubbing (or small or obscure presses, whatever) because their work didn't FIT into traditional categories, probably wouldn't have been considered by a major publisher. It may be superbly written, brilliantly told. Should they remain unpubbed, or wait years & years to find just the 'right' agent/editor/publisher?
I've written full-lengths, but I also enjoy writing novellas. Very few major markets in NY searching for novellas.
Cece hit on a subject in her Once In A Blue Moon book that more than one NY editor told her they wouldn't touch. Should she still be searching?
I heartily agree that authors shouldn't settle for less than they want. But a lot of this is a learning process. You may land an agent who's VERY enthusiastic at first, but turns out to be a dud. You may get just the right agent, then find NY has no interest in the book you've poured your heart into.
If you get the right agent & publisher for you right away--bravo. But if you need to start smaller & work up--if it gets you what you want, bravo to that too. Just be sure, as the ladies said, you're not deluding yourself, keep trying to do your best writing, and know what you WANT, and make that your ultimate goal.

I mean, geez--how many of us start off looking for "the right man"?
Did we hold onto our virginity until we found him?
(well, we Puritans do, but that's another story...)

also sorry about the book. :-(

Jaye said...

Raine -- No, no. Don't apologize for writing a well-stated/ thought-out answer. I think we're all on the same page here. :-)

Yup. I can see how it would read like the implication of 'desperate to be published' was there. But I honestly don't think she meant to *tie* that statement into the pursuit of epubbing.

I think she was saying to, think about what you want and where you want to be. And to re-assess your choices as you go along so you don't get sidetracked or stalled.

*I'm* going to take it back to epubbing here: You would research *which* epub was reputable, had the readership, professional site, marketing support, etc., because you know these things are tied to your chances for success, right? You wouldn't just go with any ole epub *just to be published*, would you? I think she's saying to have that same attitude in general. My take.

Jaye said...

'K, so I just went back and skimmed the comments. *Desperate* does have a 'negative' connotation, doesn't it? Eager is probably a better word. Just a matter of degrees I guess. :-P

Amie Stuart said...

Not being able to sell a story to NY doens't mean you suck--just ask Jaid Black (and I use her cuz I greatly admire her and what she's done and how she's done it).

However, not being able to sell to NY doesn't mean you DON'T suck......

You're right...Raine and I would and did research our chosen epublihsers.......

HOWEVER, there are some people out there so desperate to be published (and I almost said this earlier but didn't) that rather than hone their skills they turn to epublishing and they usually find someone who bites. Someone commented over on Diana's blog that if epub A rejects them they go on to epub B and I think there's something to it.

The comparison of cateogry romance and erotia yes I agree 100%...the hotter and wilder the better and hell yeah I KNOW the genre is gonna burn itself out. Look at historicals. Look at Chick Lit! And maybe I shouldn't bite the hand that's gonna send my kid to college but they'll glut the market then move on to the next flavor of the month.

Very few writers will be left standing once the dust settles. I know exactly what I want and what my goals are and where I"m going (lord it's another book--sorry) but...BUT I also realize I only have so much control over how I get there (a good product and a great agent). After that it's out of my hands.

Again, we all have to walk our own path, in life and in publishing.

Ok how was that for philosophizing? LOL I know I know I'm preaching to the choir =)

Jaye said...

HOWEVER, there are some people out there so desperate to be published (and I almost said this earlier but didn't) that rather than hone their skills they turn to epublishing and they usually find someone who bites. Someone commented over on Diana's blog that if epub A rejects them they go on to epub B and I think there's something to it.

Bingo! This, is a problem. Not for everyone who epubs. Not by a long shot! But it is a problem, the issue of quality has been one that dogs epubs to this day.

How many times have you heard established writers say how much they cringe reading those earlier works of their?

Or how later on they tried to revise it for publication, once they got their foot in the door, only to find out much of the ms wasn't salvageable? Everyone has a learning curve. The more you write, the better you (should) get at your craft, but these days those first mss don't go under the bed, a number of them can, and do, end up at an epub. And depending on the epub with very little editorial imput.

Erm, just to be clear: I'm not shitting on epubs here. I have many, many ebooks on my pc, and many of my favourite authors, like Lora Leigh and Shiloh Walker, started, and continue to write, ebooks.

Why I haven't I pursued epubbing? Lord knows I've thought of it, and been 'gentle' ahem encouraged to try it... but I did that "assess/look before you leap" thing Diana talks about. I had to be honest with myself, *at this point* I'm not prolific enough to pursue epublishing, nor have the time/energy/enthusiasm to do the level of marketing required, especially when that time/engery is desperately needed to apply myself to the writing. (of course I'm flattering myself, that my mss would be accepted.)

Amie Stuart said...

FWIW....I have a friend that's been rejected twice from Samhain (same story/did the suggested revisions)--quality WILL out (whether it's print or epubbing....I think you could sell to a great epub and I'd encourage you to IF it's what you wanted, but I know at this point in your life, it's not.

Amie Stuart said...

PS no more writing long blog comments late at night when I have a headache. I'm SO embarrassed at the typos!

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