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:~: Thursday, June 15, 2006 :~:

Reflection

I've been doing a lot of thinking during this down-writing time while painting. About where I am and where I'm going. I recently hit my three-year writing anniversary - still without a sale. I think it's safe to say any naive expectations I had about the publishing world being a piece of cake have all but flown out the window.

In a recent post at Romance Worth Killing For, Joan talked about writing being more than just writing. That it encompasses things like critting, research, study, classes, and a keen eye for the market. I agree. And I've been doing those things. Especially studying the market.

There have been a lot of first sales on the loops. It's hard to read the constant barrage of "I sold!" and not feel a little melancholy at the state of your own publication endeavors. But when I look at what's selling, I have to admit to myself that the brunt of the sales I'm hearing about are erotica sales. Some young adult, a few paranormals. That's not to say nothing else is selling - I've seen a few contemporary romance sales to HQ, a western to Kensington, etc. - but the majority of what's selling isn't what I write. Most of the RS sales I'm hearing about are from established authors.

So that makes me look at what I write and say, "Well, why are you writing it?"

Easy. Because I love romantic suspense. That's where my heart it. It's what I read and what I like to write. Could I write something else? Sure. I could. Would it sell? I don't know. I know I'm as good as some of the people who are selling erotica and young adult. I might even have a better chance at making a sale if I wrote either of those, but do I want to?

The answer right now is no. And because it's not something I really want to do, I don't think I'd be working to the level I am now.

Where does that leave me? I want to be published in RS. I want my books in print. I want to sell to a major NY house. And I'm willing to wait for that to happen. It might not happen when I want it to, but I know deep down it will if I keep on going.

Last night J and I were chatting, and she said, "I guess there has to be a Plan B at some point." At the time we were talking about print pubs vs. epubs. I can sort of see her point. There's a lure there to sub to an epub. To get a little validation, to join the crowd. I know of a lot of people who are selling to epubs - a lot of good writers. I could do that too, but when I look at my goals and what I really want, being pubbed by an epub right now isn't one of them. That in no way is a reflection of one being better than the other, it's just my own personal wants and needs at the moment.

All of this is tumbling through my head as I plot my next book. It will be another romantic suspense. It might not sell, but I'll keep writing. I know I picked a competitive genre to write in. I also know at some point my persistence is going to pay off. I hope so, at least.

What do you guys think? Do you have a Plan B?

5Comments:

Blogger Paty Jager said...

I guess you could say I fell back to plan B. I'm e-publishing. Something I never in a million years thought of when I started writing romance. But I like the fact that Wild Rose Press does both e-pub and print.

My problem is I write stories people love, but they aren't formulaic enough for the big houses. I don't disect every book I like, I don't read every "HOw to" book out there. I've crafted my writing around the basics. GMC, watch the head hopping and then tell my story with characters my readers remember.

Three years - I know at this point it seems like a long time. I've been at it eight! I started writing westerns when they were starting their downward spiral. But hopefully they are headed back up from the sound of the sales lately.

You're a good writer. You have passion for your genre. Stick to it. You're going to knock the socks off an editor or an agent soon and then you'll be wishing you had a plan C!

8:03 PM  
Blogger MaryF said...

I've been having the same struggle, Elisabeth. And I've been doing this 12 years. I'm hoping my agent will sub my book this week - it's been 8 months of back and forth revisions. Right now I don't even have a chance.

Good luck!

5:50 AM  
Blogger Christine Keach said...

I've come to the conclusion that you have to write what you love, because you have to love what you're doing even if you never sell. Never regret the time you spent on somethinng you love. As for waiting, 3 years is nothing. And I totally agree, it's not IF we get published but WHEN we get published.

Oh, my plan B turned out to be writing a different type of book, but in the end writing this one will help me write even better RS stories. Like you RS is what I love the most.

7:18 AM  
Blogger Elisabeth Naughton said...

Thanks, Paty. You're very sweet. And you're great for the ego. :)

Mary - good luck with your submissions. I'm crossing my fingers that this is the one. BTW, when's your workshop at Nationals? I'll try to make it and stop by to say "hi".

And Christine, you're right. Doing what you love is never something to regret. I need to remember that more often.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Edie said...

Elisabeth, this strikes so close to my heart. I thought I'd be published by now and I'm getting depressed about it. My newest book is romantic suspense, but more high concept, so I'm hoping it will be more marketable than what I've been writing. In the meantime I'm still sending out my last one with a kiss and a prayer.

8:31 PM  

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