Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Writer's Wednesday: Teamwork

Sharron McClellan says it takes a team!

I was reading one of many blogs (avoiding writing, of course) and in one, the discussion worked its way to an author's work status. Some authors think they are they employees of the publishing house and agents. Others feel that authors are independent contractors.
Frankly, I find neither option appealing since both insinuate that we work for them or they work for us. Both options are limiting and for me, set a wrong tone. So, I am offering a third option. I am part of a TEAM. Yes, it's true and a little Pollyannaish. But so what? It's my blog I can be Pollyannaish if I want.
Anyway, I consider myself part of a team when it comes to my writing. Not alone. Not writing in a vacuum. But a valuable member of a group of people. Here's the breakdown in my world (or as I call it: TEAM MCCLELLAN):
1) Product Production (books in my case)--Me. A very important part of the process. If I don't produce (for whatever reason), there is no product and the team fails. On a side note, my critique partner is essential to this first step. Not every writer has one or wants one, but I couldn't produce decent product without her input. Seriously.
2) Sales--My agent sells the product. If he slacks and doesn't send my book out, then there is no sale and the team fails. For those without an agent-they are the agent and hey, the rule still apply. It's just a helluva lot harder.
3) Quality Control--My editor helps me polish the product and make it better. If my editor skims the book ,and makes no edits then I publish crap and get bad sales and the team fails. I am NOT a perfect author and my writing is NOT gold. I crave a "hard" edit. I yearn for my editor to help me become a better storyteller. If I had a book published with no editing, I'd be pissed beyond belief.
4) Production and Distribution--My publishing house produces the product and distributes. If the publishing house doesn't print or distribute then I have no sales and have to go back to work in the real world...and hey...we're back to the concept of team failure!
Perhaps the team concept seems a tad simplistic and I won't even go into PR and marketing and who is responsible for what, but I would hope one would see how all these pieces are interconnected. If one member of my teams fails, we're all left poorer and in my case--sitting in a cubicle and running spreadsheets for some executive. And no one wants that!

Sharron McClellan is an awardwinning Romancti Suspense author. Vist her website to learn more about her work as well as reading an excerpt from her latest book and her upcoming novella -- Blackout at Christmas.

1 comment:

  1. Sharron, this is certainly a novel concept... (excuse the pun!)... but an intriguing one. The bit where you said you want a 'hard edit' really got me thinking. Cos I'm definitely one of those authors that loves to moan about her revisions (and boy, can I moan for england) but you're right, better to get the revisions and end up with a better book... Of course, I'm still gonna moan about my next set, but maybe this time I'll moan more discreetly!