Busting Publishing Myths

Busting Publishing Myths One of the  best things about the Internet is that it’s so easy to find information. One of the worst things about the Internet . . . is that it’s so easy to find information. Much of the information is misinformation. So let’s bust some myths. Myth: Getting published is a catch-22. You need to be published in order to get an agent; but you can’t get published without having an agent first. Truth: You don’t need to be published to get an agent. Getting published is hard, but is not a catch-22. We need fresh voices, so there are always new authors getting published. Have you noticed that most agents accept queries? Query letters are most often from unpublished authors, since published authors will typically come through a referral or personal relationship....
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I Did Everything Wrong…

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-w2QCU5JYWSE/TYGLGvwHYaI/AAAAAAAAEbk/6kV56UoUDlc/s200/Branded.jpg …and Still Got a Contract(Another Myth Busting Post)Guest Blogger: Tim Sinclair In January I read Rachelle’s 2010 Stats in amazement. According to the blog, WordServe Literary received about 10,000 unsolicited queries last year but Rachelle signed exactly zero authors from queries alone. Not one out of a hundred. Not one out of a million. Zero. (She clarified that she did sign authors for whom she’d received referrals or connected with in some other way besides just a query.) I am an eternal optimist. I can see the bright side of a burnt marshmallow. But statistics like those are hard to spin. Zero is zero, whichever way you slice it. If you feel somewhat defeated by that thought, consider me your voice of hope. Not because I’m so great or anything. Quite the...
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Myth Busting – Our 3rd and Final Day

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-5RoNgAaK2Vg/TYAYnLgL6LI/AAAAAAAAEbc/1whoDLOCU7M/s320/dollar+sign+eyes.jpg Money! Marketing! and More! Myth: It’s all about the bottom line. Truth: Yes, in the end, the publisher exists to make money. And the people who have the most say in whether your book gets published are the directors of sales and marketing. Everyone is looking for the books they can sell. And yet…those on the front lines of acquiring books are typically people who love… great books. They didn’t go into this business to get rich. It’s a living yes, but not usually a lavish one. They went into publishing because they love the written word—yes, as much as you do. And let’s face it, you’re hoping to make money on your book too, right? So have faith—while publishing is indeed a business, it’s a business populated with people who care about more than just the bottom...
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Myth Busting – Day 2

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-D1HQUdYuVkM/TX7iwh4E5rI/AAAAAAAAEbY/eVGa0YpbB6g/s320/dragon.gif Myths About Agents Myth: Agents don’t read submissions. Truth: Most agents who are accepting queries actually read and consider them. If they don’t want to read queries and they don’t need new clients, they’ll usually close to queries (like I have). Myth: Agents have reading software that scans query letters. If the query contains a tag word, then the software flags the query indicating it needs to be form rejected. Truth: Honestly, I’ve never heard of this. I’ve heard that large companies use software to scan resumés in this way, but I can’t imagine agents doing it this way… except perhaps to automatically dispense with queries that are outside of the genre they represent. Of course, we could use Outlook to do this if we wanted. In any case, I...
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Myth Busting – Part 1

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-fYntny7kcSE/TX19IhqUDEI/AAAAAAAAEbQ/qJiP4hZucqI/s320/mermaid.bmp One of the great things about the Internet is that it has made it so easy to find information. But the downside is that it’s just as easy to find misinformation. With authors, agents, and publishing people out there on blogs, loops, and forums, constantly talking with one another and often contradicting each other, it’s sometimes hard to discern what’s true and what’s rumor. So this week I’ll take some time to bust some myths you shared with me in the comments of my March 4th post. Today we’ll start with… MYTHS ABOUT GETTING PUBLISHED Myth: You have to have an “in” to get an agent or a publisher. It isn’t what you know but who you know. Truth: While having an “in” helps, and networking can be quite effective, it’s not...
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Myths We Believe

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-2pMNfDgQP2M/TW8F3W97d8I/AAAAAAAAEaQ/_9YtBLHWMjg/s320/unicorn.jpg Next Friday I’m teaching “Breaking Through Publishing Myths” at the Northern Colorado Writers Conference. What myths about publishing did you believe until somebody set you straight? What are some things you’ve heard about publishing that you think might be a myth? I want to address real concerns of writers out there today. And as a bonus, I’ll address your myths here on the blog, too. Thanks, and have a great weekend! Be Sociable, Share! ...
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Heard it Through the Grapevine

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SyhyeXIy-FI/AAAAAAAADUA/KD_11HoCONM/s320/telephone-game-300x300.jpg (Repost)I’ve been extra busy lately, what with all the holiday activities, and I haven’t been preparing my blogs in advance like I normally do. So yesterday I was sitting at my desk pondering the 177 emails in my box, and the manuscripts that needed reading, and the proposals I’m preparing for submissions, and amidst all that I began to wonder what the heck I was going to blog about today. Right about then the phone rang and it was a client needing help with an issue. She was a bit, shall we say, freaked out. So I listened to her venting for a while and then I was quiet for a moment, and then I said, “I’m so glad you called because now I know what to blog about tomorrow.” (My client totally appreciated her problem being reduced to blog fodder.) So what...
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Mythbusting

(Encore presentation.) There are always myths floating around in publishing, so today I’m going to try and explain just a few of them. Myth: Publishers & agents know exactly what they’re looking for.Back in 1964, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart was wrestling with what defines obscenity and pornography, and in his famous quote, he said he couldn’t quite define it but “I know it when I see it.” Sometimes that’s the way it is with publishers and agents. They know they’re looking for books with certain sensibilities that fit their audience; they know they’re looking for great ideas, great writing, and authors with great platforms. They usually have generalities that help them make decisions, such as “We have enough marriage and...
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Myths vs. Facts of Publishing

The comments on Friday’s post confirmed that myths about publishing are alive and well, as they always have been. Of course, every myth has its basis in some kind of fact, and it’s not always easy to tease apart the truth from the lie. I’ll address a few common myths here, but just realize, for everything I say, there’s going to be an exception. I’m saying this from my perspective based on what I’ve seen. 1. Getting published is a catch-22.I hear this all the time… it’s probably the single biggest myth about publishing and it drives me CRAZY because it’s so untrue. People say, “You need an agent to get published. But you can’t get an agent if you’re not published.” Writers believe this lie and then spend all...
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Q4U: Gossip, Rumors, and Myths

Almost everyday a writer tells me they “heard” something about the publishing industry – something they don’t like, something that scares or discourages them, something they’re not sure is true. In an age where so much is being shared on the Internet, you have access to a lot of great information but also a lot of myths. Today I’d like to see if we can identify some of these myths or rumors, so that in future blogs I can address them. Q4U: What have you heard about agents or publishing that scares you, discourages you, or makes you mad? What have you heard that you’re not sure is true? Overall, does the incessant online “conversation” about publishing help you or discourage you? I look forward to your answers. Have a great weekend!. Be...
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