Monday, June 20, 2005

Slot me, baby, one more time!

OK, so just what IS the novel Beyond You & Me? Is it "chick lit" because it?s about a 24 year-old woman? Smut because it has several sex scenes that go beyond "... and then he made passionate love to me"?

It's human to classify, and the publishing industry, despite outward appearances, is eminently human. In fact, the profusion of descriptors is quite breathtaking. There's "chick lit," "hen lit" (presumably for older women who no longer view themselves as chicks).... Hey, it's hard to see oneself as a chick with grown children or after that first face lift. There's also "femoir" (a memoir by a woman), etc. Thanks to agent Katherine Sands for providing these and other categories at a recent writers conference at the Small Press Center in NYC.

Writers conferences. They tend to equal feeding frenzy by the wannabees in the minds of many in the business. Yes, all of us trying to break into book publishing follow the advice of the "how to" books and web sites by attending conferences. And one can only hope that you don?t get Joelle Delburgo or an agent like her, who was overheard at a cocktail party saying how dreadful such conferences are when attended by the unpublished.

I'm sure it's a bummer having writers trying to get you to represent them, only the publishers have made getting into print without an agent virtually impossible.

I hate conundrums, don't you?


Blogger Demon Queen said...

Awesome... I love this.

Thanks for sharing you gorgeous thing!

8:12 PM, June 20, 2005  
Blogger Deborah Woehr said...

In the beginning, I bought just about every how-to book out there. I carried my fledgling manuscript to an agent at a writer's conference and was told me that I was a "good writer." My ego was stroked until I heard him talk about the many "good writers" out there during a seminar.

I've learned quite a bit about writing and the publishing business since then. Getting published by a major house isn't the golden dream that I once thought it was. You still have to work very hard to market your book.

Here's something else I learned. A colleague of mine got his manuscript accepted at Leisure. But after two years, they still hadn't gotten around to publishing it. They were too backlogged.

Eventually, he pulled it and submitted it to another publisher. As far as I know, that book still hasn't been published. That was the clincher for me to start my own company.

As for writer's conferences, I don't know if I would spend the money to attend another one. Yes, you can learn a lot from the established writers that speak at these seminars. And the networking opportunities are there, if you know how to stroke people's egos. However, the the elitism and the cliques turn me off.

7:27 PM, June 24, 2005  
Blogger W. S. Cross said...

Writers conferences are a business, too.

The myth we all buy into is that being published means your work is good, and not being published means it's not good. The publishing industry is NOT a meritocracy. It's a business. That doesn't mean there's no merit to the writers who ARE published, just that there are probably too many good writers for the system.

12:08 PM, July 06, 2005  

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