Wednesday, November 04, 2009

first authors, first books, first agents, first deals--and avoiding first mistakes

Aprilynne Pike posted this excellent essay this weekend, and I strongly recommend all aspiring authors read it.

The central point: remember what you're writing for, and don't get caught up in the "must get published" fever that has caused more than one person to make a decision that actually hurts their career in the long run.

I've wanted to post something similar myself, but couldn't have done it this well--plus, Aprilynne is uniquely qualified to say it. I hope everyone reads it, and leaves their thoughts if they are so inspired.

14 comments:

Emily Cross said...

Thanks Moonie! excellent essay, may have to bookmark it

Lisa Dez said...

Thanks for the link! This is a timely post as my agent has my first novel on submission.

Honestly, I don't think most authors realize how in control of the process they are. Just because you get an offer (agent or editor) doesn't mean you have to say yes.

Crimey said...

Invaluable essay! I absolutely agree with her point on setting goals to reflect where we want to be as writers.

Ann Victor said...

This is EXACTLY what I need to read right now. Thanks Moonrat!

Dana King said...

Thanks for posting that link. I left a comment there, and will summarize here. I wish I'd thought of what she mentioned before signing with the agent I recently left. She's a good agent and I have no complaints with her efforts, but we had differing goals for my work, and it caused some acrimony later. I didn;t know any better when I signed up, but I'll take the rap for that one.

Now I know better.

Chris Eldin said...

One of the best posts I've ever read...Thanks for the link!!
:-)

Lyn Miller-Lachmann said...

Thank you for linking to this essay. It's valuable not just as a warning to those who might settle for a small press to get their beloved manuscript published but even more so for all of us writers to clarify our goals before we take that first step. The small press may in fact be the best home for a niche literary work, but that doesn't preclude writing more commercial fiction. However, one may have to use a different name (i.e. a pseudonym) for the more commercial works.

Kristan said...

What a FABULOUS post, thank you!! I just commented and favorited that.

Jemi Fraser said...

Thanks Moonrat! You're right - yeah, as usual :) - that was a great post for us aspiring types!

Mark said...

I totally agree with your point! Really One of the most excellent posts I've ever read...Thanks for the link!! :-)

Have a good day.

======================
Book Publishing Firm

Jill Edmondson said...

You are spot on; the attached essay really nails it!

Write the best book you can and then get to work on the next on (an even better book) and the next...

Singular focus on getting Book #1 published can lead to pitfalls and can ruin what may have been the start of a beautiful and rewarding thing.

Cheers, Jill
"Blood and Groom" will be available next week!
www.jilledmondson.com

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Really well said. It took me eleven years and four mid-grade manuscripts to find an agent. Holding on to one story and refusing to move forward, it just doesn't work.

Jolie said...

Thanks for the link, that was indeed a great post. I have to admit that it terrifies me to think that the novel I'm working on, dear to me as it is, will likely not be my first published novel. The only way I can keep myself calm when I remember this is to say to myself: "It might not be the one that gets me published or 'breaks out,' but maybe it will eventually see the light of day later in my career." Maybe it'll be my fifth novel! Maybe I'm delusional. But the alternative is to accept that I might have to sacrifice my metaphorical first-born child. Woe!

Shelli said...

yes but how do you know if you take it or not? wont it burn a bridge> piss your agent off? what if you dont get another one?