Saturday, April 9, 2011

Time to find myself a celebrity!

The Internet is just filled with... um... I'm not even sure what to call it, really...?

Like everyone else, if I have a question I tend to go online first. Even knowing full well that half (if not most) of the information that I'm going to find is going to be wrong, poorly researched, based on opinion and bias, or (of course) so not even close to what I searched for as I typed my keywords into Google.

Which is probably why I didn't even bother searching for anything on April 1, but that's a whole other story.

Anyway, so most of the past few months I have been on the Internet seeking out advice about writing, more specifically about how to get my writing published. Finding the names of literary agents and checking out tips and tricks, aka advice, about how I can get this novel finished after reading the winner's name of the recent Suvudu writing contest. (Finger's crossed, still a month to go!)

I did come across several pieces of advice that probably work well for a lot of people. But for a young(ish) girl living in PoDunk, Midwest - it just seems nearly impossible. So let's go through this advice.

First, there was attending writing conferences in my local area. According to this article, conferences are a great way to network and get to know other authors and publishers in the business. And of course, just like every other business, the more you network, the better chance you have of connecting with someone that can (and will!) help you out. Sadly, the only writing conference in my local area this year is a three hour drive away for non-fiction writers and - at least last time I checked - Sci-Fi / fantasy does not qualify. Perhaps in 60-70 years when it's all been invented, but as of now, no.

So, the next piece of advice was to attend a writer's workshop since, a lot of times, these workshops are offered by authors and publishers who have had varying degrees of success. Unfortunately, just as with the the hurdle of the conferences, there are none in my area, unless I wish to enroll as an under-grad at the local University.

Another piece of advice, and one that's much more doable for me, is to enter your writing into a high-profile writing contest. Well, I've already done this as I entered this year's Suvudu writing contest. However, I can't submit my writing to anyone else, in the very least, until after I have heard from them. So, at least for now, this avenue is closed.

And finally, get a celebrity to read your novel and give you a review to send in with your manuscript.

Well... Let me just reach into my pocket and pull out a celebrity! Much less a celebrity who has the time and desire to read a Sci-Fi / Fantasy novel written by a nobody. No... I won't look like a complete stalker or anything. "Excuse me, Mr. Clooney, do you think you could read this between takes?"

Okay, so this last piece of advice, though I laugh at it, might work for those of you in New York or L.A. where celebrities are much more commonplace. But here in PoDunk - not so much. And as much as I would like to have a celebrity read my novel and tell me how much they love it (thinking positively, of course - I'm awesome), how exactly am I supposed to pull this one off?

I'm not entirely sure this advice was meant for everyone... Clearly it doesn't work for someone living in the middle of Middle America. But, for those of you in places where there are more opportunities to make such connections, there you go. I hope that the advice I found serves you better than it can serve me :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Traditional or Self Publishing?

One idea that has been suggested to me several time is the option of self-publishing my novel. Of course, I have several friends that have gone this route. And there are certainly benefits to getting this done... Not the least of which is, you guessed it, you get published!

And I do have to admit, as an option it is intriguing. The more I look into traditional publishing and all the hurdles and steps that I will need to go through to realize my dream through this avenue, the harder it seems to be. Traditional publishing is like the writer's version of an awkward catch 22.

To get published, you have to already be published. It's an annoying, vicious circle that works well if you're already well-established.. The Stephen Kings of this world will never have to worry about whether or not someone will be willing to read and publish their manuscripts.

But when you're not a Stephen King - when you're just a Naomi living in a po-dunky state covered in snow with no real publishing houses any where near you... it becomes a huge obstacle.

So, yes, self-publishing definitely seems like a doable alternative At least I could get my book published, right?

But, that's not the extent of my dream, so I don't think I want to settle for that. My dream is to walk into a Barnes and Nobles or Borders and see my novel on their bookshelf... my name written along the spine in gold-plated letters... I don't even care if it only sells one copy (my husband has to buy one, right?) - I just want to see it there. And getting Barnes and Nobles or any other mainstream bookstore to carry a self-published book is nearly impossible.

So, at least for now, I'm set on going the much harder, much longer route of traditional publishing. I'll never be a Stephen King... But it'll all be worth it if I can see my name on the shelf at my local Borders store.