The Business Side Of Getting Published

One of the questions I think all writers need to consider is who am I writing for? Limebird Sally is talking more demographic, which is also pertinent, but I like to have a specific person in mind when I write anything. To me it keeps writing from being completely self-indulgent (or masturbatory as I usually say). That is what journals and some blogs are for.

Limebird Writers

When it comes to writing an agent’s submission, amongst other things your cover letter will need to include the following key information:

– The genre and target audience for your book

– A concise summary of what this book is about – its overall theme and the central plotline i.e. why is your target audience going to love this book!

If you have one, think about your current work-in-progress. Imagine by some strange chance you find yourself sitting next to an agent actively looking to take on new writers in your genre (and as this is make-believe of course they’d be happy to wait until you’ve finished it). You’re two minutes away from the train’s final destination (eurgh after those nasty films that sounds so ominous, but I’m just talking about Kings Cross, or your main terminal here!) and this is your big chance to pitch your work.

Nervousness aside…

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Categories: Write On | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “The Business Side Of Getting Published

  1. limebirdsally

    I think your description ‘self-indulgence’ is spot in! Writing a novel is essentially a self-indulgence exercise. You’re creating a whole world. You get to give your ‘good’ characters the kind of traits that you personally respect, give the physical attributes to your good looking characters that you find attractive, and you get to dictate everything that’s going to happen to these people you’ve created. I find a lot of books have little tell-signs on what rocks their author (and it does make me laugh that every Stephanie Meyer film has a Muse track in it – that would definitely be one of my indulgences if I was in her position!)

    It feels a little strange to think about an imaginary reader might want to happen rather than what I want to do as a writer, but I actually think that can help the creativity rather than hinder it. I know thinking about writing in business terms can make a lot of writers feel uncomfortable as it doesn’t sit well with this being a creative exercise but publishing is a business!

  2. I once told a student that his writing was like he was throwing a party to which he only invited himself. Unfortunately in writing the implication is that you want other to enjoy the party as well. What finally got through to him was when I said he didn’t need to hire a planner and make party favors, he just needed to put out a bowl of chips and some dip for the rest of us.

    Writing is, at its core, a creative process. However, when a writer does not consider a reader and how they might interact with the text, I feel that something is missing. Certainly writers shouldn’t just write to sell, but instead they write to be read.

    Thanks for the excellent post.

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