Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Destination Life : : Forking Paths

Anne McAllister is contemplating the new world of publishing.   Got answers?
lifes journey bigger_thumbBack when I was a newbie in publishing, all the answers – at least all the ones you could expect  to find – were in Writers'  Market, that doorstop of a book that was too expensive to buy (and why would you want to when you were only going to use maybe a page or two from it?).
So when I wanted answers I went to the library, checked out the book, brought it home and sat down to read about the various publishing houses that were in the market for short contemporary romances.  There were a handful. 
I dutifully read books by authors published by several of them and decided where to aim my submission.  Three chapters and an outline (that’s a synopsis).  I know that now. I didn’t know it then. I didn’t even know what a synopsis was.  My editor thinks I still don’t. She might be right.
Anyway, I did the unthinkable and finished writing the book before I sent off my first three  chapters and the outline (beginning in chapter four. How did I know it was supposed to start from the beginning?)  And I sat there beside my mailbox and waited for a reply.  It was like waiting for Godot.
I won’t bore you with the details, but two years later Harlequin bought the book. They bought the third one at the same time. They’d bought the second one a few months earlier for another line.  Life moved at a slower pace in those days.  No kidding.
And now?
Now I don’t have a clue. 
I still write my books. Still sit in my little garret from which I watch the world passing by both inside and outside my brain – and I read about self-publishing which used to be a no-no and now seems a definitely smart idea.  I read about people who have never worked with a print publisher and people who still use typewriters and people who are social networking savvy and people who can’t be bothered.
And I think, Huh?
So I’m asking . . .what do you think?  I admit to having little information at this point. I am woefully under-educated about the new paths one can take in my profession.  I am the old dog wondering if I want to learn new tricks. 
So here’s your chance – and mine. Educate me. Give me advice. I promise to listen.  I’m definitely curious.  I’d like to make some informed decisions about my future. 
So, what’s your take on the various forking paths of publishing today?  I’m listening.  Thanks!
Anne’s upcming book, Breaking the Greek’s Rules, will be out in December from Mills & Boon Modern.  It seems to have been eaten by the Black Hole Of Rescheduling as far as being released in Harlequin Presents, but presumably it will be available worldwide postpaid through BookDepository, and those who like Presents can get it there and pretend it is one


  1. My top tip: don't get involved in social networking unless you enjoy it, because I don't believe it sells books anywhere near as well as actually writing them... And if you do enjoy it. BEWARE! It can suck the time out of your day faster than it takes to say Twitter!

    On self-pub and epub and the like, I'm still in the dark myself, but very excited at all the new possibilities out there. I just wish there was more time in the day to explore them all (and I wasn't so addicted to Twitter!)

  2. Thanks, Heidi. Good advice. I'm not really much of a facebook person. I don't do Twitter. I, too, think the possibilities beyond paper and print are intriguing. I wish I had enough time to explore them all. Sadly, not enough hours in a day. I fall behind without even trying!

    Write on!