Sunday, March 8, 2009

Forced into Nothingness Equals Learning about Somethingness

I haven't done any writing in a while, or any organizing of my writing in a while, but I have managed to read and digest a lot about marketing my writing.

It's daunting. But it's also forced me to think about a lot of ways to approach this process when I return from our vacation. For several years, I'd not considered E publishing because too many people said there wasn't any money in it, or it would not be recognized by RWA as valid. I focused primarily on HQN, AVON, and other largers houses' red lines/steamy lines. But I'm rethinking it all.

Why not go for the two or three e publishers, one in particular, who are recognized by RWA and who are just now branching out into the print world? The truth is, I can't see why not? As long as I see some of these e publishers in the first sales section of the RWReport, then they are recognized. And isn't that the point? Getting published is part of the writing process.

The other thing that occured to me is that if I can get my foot into one door, then there's a good chance I can get my foot into more doors and swing them open as well. It is a numbers game. And my numbers for attempts at publication have dropped to zero in the last twelve months (with good reason--hello? can we say move?). Now I need to amp them up.

If I can get my goal of 3 working first drafts going per year and increase my production levels, then I'll be able to work in three levels of the business, four including the classes I will continue to take throughout the year.

Level 1: Write New Books--it's key. If I don't produce, I have nothing to sell
Level 2: Revise Existing Books--an important ongoing element that is very different from first draft writing.
Level 3: Market/Query/Enter Contests: I consider this the selling element of writing. But I am cutting down on the contests. The contests must provide great final judges, editors in the final round I am targeting, and/or an opportunity for excellent feedback. Querying is essential. I must do it more often and to more houses. Marketing is querying along with polishing what I submit.
Level 4: Learning to Improve My Writing: always a must. On-line classes, bootcamps on PRO, attending as many chapter meetings as I can if the topics are relevant.

If, out of all this hard work, I get published by the time I am fifty, I will be very pleased. I have four more years to achieve the goal. Then I'll have done it for ten years. Actively for five. At that point, much will depend upon finances. Do I continue chasing a rabbit without compensation just because it is my dream to write? Well, I don't know. I am driven to write. I want to write. But at a certain point, I may reevaluate where to put all this talent and energy.

Or I may not.

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