Saturday, January 23, 2010

When to Start Submitting? The Argument for Waiting Until You Have the Very Best Work to Submit

An unpublished writer's greatest fear is not getting published. But not many people think ahead beyond getting their name in print. If all you want is to have one book out there, that works. but if you want a career, you have to think ahead.

I'm not scared of not getting published. What terrifies me is getting published and having average sales, because then rather than being an unknown, "take a chance on me" (thank you ABBA) writer, you are a known quantity in children's publishing - the dreaded mid-list author with average sales. And that appears to be an even tougher sell. Yes, if your first book is your best book, and it is amazing and it sells, then you have the pressure of the sophomore book, and keeping up with or topping your previous book. But even best seller pros deal with that (witness Dan Brown's latest book in 2009, and the hype and criticism around any of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight sequels), and I'd rather have the opportunity to stress and panic and sweat over a sequel or a second title than no opportunity at all, which is what sometimes happens to mid-listers with average sales.

So, I obsess over what work I'd want to have published first, because it will be THE make it or break it book. A colleague recently told me that I should just get something out there to get submitting, but I hope to get practice with more rejection and submitting by doing less make-or-break pieces in magazines, etc., all the while working on my WIPS to figure which is best and has the best chance of being sold and bought. You only get one chance to be a debut author- what work will you put forward?

No comments:

Post a Comment