Monday, February 6, 2012

Help Wanted

It’s a lot of work to be a book writer. You need to think up a plot, figure out personalities for your characters, choose a setting, write a rough draft, which you then rewrite a few times before giving it a final polish. In the midst of those rewrites, you hopefully have somebody read it and give you clues where it needs work.

Now you’ve got a finished manuscript, but your work isn’t done. At this point you have to find an agent or publisher where you can send it. And if you find 3 or 6 possibilities, you have to decide where to send it first. Then you make sure it’s properly formatted and send it.

Time for the really hard work – waiting. If you’re lucky, they’ll respond quickly. (If you’re really lucky, they’ll love it.) But when they finally do respond, and if they didn’t choose it, then you have to repeat the paragraph above.

If/when it does sell, your work still isn’t done. You need to market, to let the world know that your book will be/has been published, entice people to be interested, tell them how to get a copy….

And hopefully, you’ve started your next project, right?

This comes up because I recently read an old blog about author’s assistants - or rather, training available for people who wanted to be author’s assistants. The blogger and most of the author commentors felt this MUST be a scam. They picked out particular phrases in the advertisement that – they felt – proved it was only an effort to relieve writers of money they could not afford to lose. These were fiction writers, in a genre where most authors also have a full-time ‘day job’; at least, that’s the type of website where I found the blog. They were so busy getting themselves worked up about this ‘scam’, they completely ignored that the training was aimed at assistants for self-published non-fiction writers who are experts in their field.

I love the ‘writing’ part of this job. But If I could find someone to research markets, agents and publishers, and make all those submissions for me, someone I could afford, I’d hire her/him.

No, I take that back. First, I’d hire a maid. I hate housework even more.

1 comment:

  1. My sentiments exactly...especially the ending. Now that's funny!

    --Cousin Roy