First of all, I want to thank Christine for inviting me over to her blog. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I’ve learned more from reading her posts than on any other blog! Through her posts, and sharing what she’s learned about the writing process, I’ve developed my skills as a story teller. Beyond that, well, she’s just a great person! Always there for me when I need a boost. Thanks Christine!
When people ask about my writing, and I tell them I’m on submission, they just sort of smile at me. It’s a lack-luster “Oh, that’s nice,” expression. It doesn’t bother me. I’ve learned that you have to be in on the process to know just what a rollercoaster ride this industry is.
I think back to when I decided to take my writing seriously. I’d fiddled with it for years, but talked myself out of ever pursuing publication. Then, one day, something snapped and I thought, I’m going to do it! The first book I queried did not do well. I’m not embarrassed to admit it was poorly written, too long, and perhaps not as well developed as it could have been. I had very few requests and almost no positive feedback. When I decided to shelf the book, my dad suggested self publishing. A few friends and other family members did as well. And even as the idea started to grow on me and I considered it a viable option, I ultimately decided against it.
There’s been a lot of chatter on the interwebs lately about the future of publishing. Will agents someday charge by the hour? Will the advance model be overhauled? And what about POD and e-publishing? The unpublished masses will finally have a voice! Publishing is about to change forever!
I disagree. Whereas print-on-demand and e-publishing is a great option for a lot of people, it is simply not an option for me and I’d be willing to bet thousands of other writers. Call it stubborn tenacity or bull-headed determination (I am a Taurus, after all), I will not be satisfied until my book is published by one of the glorious houses whose books I’ve read and continue to read with a hunger that keeps me from all things domestic! I grew up looking at the spine and copyright info before even setting my eyes on the first word of the story. These publishers are my heroes, putting books on the shelves—their sole purpose to transport me to another world!
I’ve dug in my heels. I’ve done my homework, listened to my peers, and kept my ear to the ground. I’ve been open to criticism, glutted myself reading in my genre, and learned to revise with an open mind. I wrote, and I wrote, and I wrote until my eyesight blurred. And I queried, and I didn’t give up, and I kept going when the nagging voice in the back of my mind urged me to quit. And—I signed with an agent! I revised my novel and we put it out on submission! My heroes are reading my work as we speak and I wait with bated breath for their responses. Have I been rejected? Yes. Will I be again? Of course. Will I hang up my hat and search for an alternative? Hell, no. I’ll talk to my agent, we’ll regroup, and we’ll start all over again if we have to!
The thing I love most about writing is the freedom that if offers. We are afforded the opportunity to open our hearts and tell a story, and that is a very liberating feeling. We get to explore our emotions and our psyches and live lives we’ve only dreamed about. And we have options. We can self-publish, e-publish, or seek agent representation. We are nurtured by independent publishers and large houses a like! And we can choose our own road. I doubt traditional publishing will go the way of the Dodo bird. There are many roads to publication in this wide world. And we, the writers, get to choose the road. I’ve chosen my path, and I wouldn’t dream of walking another one.
About my Guest Blogger:
Amanda Bonilla writes paranormal and urban fantasy for adults since 2007. She lives in Idaho with her husband and two children. When she is not writing, she can be found coaching high-school varsity volleyball or relaxing with a good book. She is represented by Natanya Wheeler of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency.