Art vs. Commerce

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/TBVvpn6I7WI/AAAAAAAAD58/rGvsUBVeGtU/s320/no+pets.jpg We’ve been talking about contradictory messages all week, so for our last day, I wanted to address a topic that is integral to the life of anyone trying to create something artistic – and then sell it. There’s a constant tension between art and commerce, isn’t there? How do you balance the amount of time and energy you devote to learning the business of publishing vs. perfecting your craft? Do you have set times for each? Which takes more time? Which is more important? Have a good weekend! Rachelle Gardner, Literary...
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Good News/Bad News

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/TBaUMwj77fI/AAAAAAAAD6c/ybvK5R4G1vw/s200/Preacher%27sBride+cover.jpg Guest blogger: Jody HedlundThis post originally appeared on Jody’s blog, but I thought it fit nicely into our Mixed Messages theme this week. Enjoy! ~RG As writers we’re on a continual seesaw of ups and downs with the praise and criticism we receive. On the one side we long for affirmation in our writing, but on the other end we want constructive criticism. How can we find a balance with these two conflicting emotions? The Praise:We all need validation in our writing. At least I’m constantly craving it. But since writing is very subjective, we often have a difficult time sorting through feedback. I see two traps we can fall into with how we view positive remarks. 1. Cling to the praise too tightly. When we get feedback we usually evaluate the negative comments before we decide...
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Differing Advice on Signing with an Agent

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/TBVbFRYGjgI/AAAAAAAAD5s/7YmkHIVaoKc/s320/stop+no+stopping.bmp Yesterday we started our week of discussing mixed messages, so today I want to continue by addressing some contradictory advice on signing with an agent. With so many agents and others writing blogs, it’s natural that many of us are saying things in opposition to one another. As a writer, it must be hard for you to know what to do sometimes. Case in point: I often tell people that I like to represent a writer, not just a book. To me, this feels like the right way to run my agenting business. I believe I can serve people better if I’m thinking of them as people, not just products; and I also think it’s important for me to keep in mind each writer’s long-term goals so that I can guide them in a way that will help get them there. Well. I just read an article about...
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Dealing with Contradictory Feedback

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/TBVCJwwg7oI/AAAAAAAAD5k/15Id_yA84tc/s200/contradiction_small.jpg I frequently receive questions about all the “mixed messages” writers get in the course of writing and publishing their books. So we’re going to spend this whole week talking about it. One of the kinds of mixed messages we have to deal with is getting contradictory responses to our work. You may hear one thing from your friends, another from your crit group, and something different from an editor or agent. Agents experience this too: A project out on submission often elicits barely any response from some editors, while others are jumping up and down with excitement. Or you may enter your work in a contest and be completely befuddled at the judges’ responses. My client Katie had this experience: “I got my contest scores back. One was a perfect score of 100 and...
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