Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Who Rules the Fiction Roost?

I sent the novel out again last Wednesday to a small independent publisher in the UK. It came back just short of 12 hours with a 'Though you write fluidly with well-drawn characters and an unusual and intriguing plot...we have to decline at this time.' Blah, blah!

I no longer want to kick small furry pets or throw things at the wall when I hear this. I kind of expect it and I would give up were it not for a half dozen full ms reads by agents who were full of praise for it but subsequently turned it down with varying excuses basically blaming today's marketing climate. In other words, the industry is at the mercy of the big book chains.

Robert McCrum in his article in The Observer writes:
How can good new writers be published when the industry is ruled by people who aren't interested in originality?

How indeed? And, okay, maybe I am deluded and like many an X Factor contestant I should give up the dream...but I can't.

PS No furry pets were harmed in the making of my novel - only offspring and Himself.


Martin H. said...

Hi Sue

Frustrating isn't it? Two friends of mine have been trying to get their novels published for ages. I suggested that they might want to upload their first few chapters to the Harper Collins Authonomy site at http://www.authonomy.com/

Once there, your work is basically peer-reviewed by other budding writers. The more people who put you on their 'virtual' bookshelves, the closer you get to being spotted by an agent or one of the Harper Collins editors.

Both friends have found the experience to be a positive one. In fact one was offered a deal by the Darley Anderson Literary, TV and Film Agency.

Food for thought?

Teresa Ashby said...

You're not deluded, Sue and I'm glad you're not going to give up the dream.

Melissa Marsh said...

I hear ya. It takes tenacity to stay in this game and when I get the rejections, I sort of breeze right by them anymore. It's such a tough market...I try to keep in mind that when the time is right, that's when it will happen. It's all up to God. :-)

Paula Williams said...

That's tough, Sue. Huge sympathies but don't give up. I've heard talk of that Authonomy site before - sounds worth a try.

Sue Houghton said...

Martin - I tried Authonomy and did reach the top five for a few weeks but my lack of critting meant I dropped off the scale. Plus I was amazed how many writers shelved EVERTHING they read.
I was on YouWriteon in the early days, came first in 2 cats (comedy romance) and got my professional crit which was very useful and I did follow the advice - still no luck placing the darned things though. Ah, well!

Sue Houghton said...

Maybe I'm wrong, but I've noticed in recent years that the ones who get novels pubbed seem to be fairly new to writing. The ones like me who've slogged for years seem not to score - is that because our writing's tired? I need a good dose of self-belief!