Monday, February 15, 2010

hopeful words for fiction debuts in this time of trouble

Paging through my blog feed this morning, I came across Marie Mockett's essay about her experience as a debut novelist last fall (during the a terrible hardcover fiction sales period, and against tons of big names the big houses were dropping in in a last-ditch effort to make some cash). Marie talks about how all the traditional approaches she tried and hoped for went wrong and disappointed her, since the system was crumbling around her. But she doesn't care--her book was successful despite falling short against the traditional markers, and she accomplished her goals without them.

I was touched by the essay, which is full of hope for what fiction publishing is becoming and for what we (bloggers, moms, writers, readers, knitters, dog-walkers, whoever "we" is in your case) can accomplish together.

Yes, times are tricky. But they're not hopeless. Yes, things are changing. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

19 comments:

Tawna Fenske said...

What a terrific blog post, thanks for linking to it! Not only did I come away feeling inspired, I added a fabulous sounding book to my to-be-read pile.

Tawna

Kimberly Kincaid said...

Thank you.

Thankyouthankyouthankyou!

I am knee-deep in a multi-colored schedule (awesome idea, BTW) that maps out not ONLY my Olympics-watching, my job, my kids and poor-yet-wildly understanding spouse, but shows in vivid detail all of the agents who have been strategically researched and are about to receive my polished-so-many-times-that-I-really-could-cry query letter.

*takes deep breath*

And I needed to hear (mmmkay, read. You get the picture) that it's possible, even if by a glimmer of hope that's tied to a shoestring, to find success in this strange and frighteningly dynamic market when you're a (ahem!) literary virgin, as it were.

Word verification: unfib. As in, "No, really. Honest, there's hope. Complete unfib!" :)

GalaktioNova said...

Thank you so much for your words of encouragement! I was about to hurl my own manuscript against the wall realizing I stood no chance against all the brilliant fiction that comes out every year. Now I feel a bit better :-)

Yes, and I will be adding the book to my list, too, just to make sure I know what it takes.

Thank you so much!

JES said...

Love it, Moonie. Thanks for the link.

It echoes, rather eerily, some of what Janet Reid said in her most recent blog post.

JES said...

Whoops, duh:

...what Janet Reid said.

Sorry!

(Word verif: fixediz. Indeed.)

Sandra Gail Lambert said...

I've saved Mockett's post under my (always hoping I'll need it) "promotions" file.

What does she mean by "off the page" pieces?

moonrat said...

Sandra--I'm assuming she means "off the book page," which is an expression we use to mean print publicity that isn't a book review (ie not in the Books section of the newspaper). For example, an author event that gets covered in the Huffington Post would be a good example--HuffPo is covering the event because it's interesting, and usually isn't commenting on the content/quality of the book. However, it still serves as publicity for the author.

Same would apply to newspapers that print author interviews (not a book review, after all), or authors who get coverage for some other feat (Marie, for example, gets some pretty attention by teaching/lecturing about Japanese fairy tales).

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Look forward to reading. Being on submission during a recession is stressful, too.

Any bit of connection I can get with others on the journey is encouraging.

Claire Dawn said...

Thank you your Mooniness! It's great to hear there's still a place for us newbies.

Nancy Coffelt said...

This is great! Thanks! As a fall 2009 debut novel person, I jumped on this. I guess a good thing about everything changing so fast is that I'm getting better and better at adapting.

Viva La Evolution!

David L. McAfee said...

Wow. What a great essay. Thanks for sharing that, Moonrat.

Whirlochre said...

This is a great call to arms, thanks.

behlerblog said...

Here here, Moonie. When I speak at writer's conferences, I bleat the very same thing like a goat on crack.

Rebecca Knight said...

This was lovely, and much needed :). Here's to a new era of word-of-mouth driven sales!

Karen Mahoney said...

Thanks for the great link - I've been over and commented. Also added her book to my wishlist. It's looks wonderful and I've never head of it.

Cheers! :)

writtenwyrdd said...

Hope is a good thing, and a positive reality check is even better.

By the way, I have nominated you for an award on my blog.

WendyCinNYC said...

Thanks for the link--that was a great post. Her book was fantastic.

Lee Ee Leen said...

that's a great essay, very inspirational.
its about waiting for the pendulum to swing the other way, for now.

Andromeda Romano-Lax said...

Great post Marie, and thanks for sharing, Moonrat.