Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I promise I'll only make a small scene...

Ha ha - so you know how they say be careful what you wish for...I wanted something to happen and it did. Its a good thing - a short gig working with some intermediate age children on their writing. I've wanted to do this for some time and this particular opportunity fits the bill perfectly: great age, excellent group size, and of course, my favourite subject at a local school. Whats more its a paying job although i've sent back details of my pay rate and haven't heard back yet. I guess cost may be a stumbling block but I'm hoping we work it out. I realised a while back that i wasn't going to earn enough money from my books alone (ha ha ha ha) and I had to diversify if I wanted to earn a bit more. I'm really pleased that I am making progress on this front, although I have such a healthy cynicism I never believe anything is truely happening until I'm actually there or the contract/book is in my hand or...you get the picture.

So something changed but secretly i wanted the change to involve one of my manuscripts. It still may happen but as time waddles on I get further and further away from my last manuscript acceptance and the old self-doubt creeps in, exacerbated unpleasantly by the reducing nature of the current publishing industry. I am most saddened by my manuscript Made With Love which people seem to like but publishers don't want to publish. I think it compares well (yes, yes I know I can't be objective but this is different - I've had serious careerist writing folk praise this one) to other picture books in the bookshops so I'm a little heartbroken over that story. I really hope its time will come. Cos i know you would like it too.

I've been mulling over one other aspect of publishing the last day or two. How much of all of the crap thats get thrown at us should we accept? I'm famous/notorious (you pick) for my impatience. I know I'm not alone on this one but I am frequently told that this is the nature of the business and I must accept it or go do something else. Okay - I kind of get (in my more lucid moments) why certain things take time. If they are not getting back to me its because they haven't made up their minds yet. Its not because they are afraid to say no to me, its never stopped them before and I have shown myself to be a person who doesn't make an awful scene or threaten violence if things don't go my way. But this is not the only crap we must endure. I am SURE we each have a secret list of things that happened to us and our writing that drove us mad. My list has been growing like a bug in a petri dish recently. And i just have to accept it all and go write some more stuff that they can screw around with and mess with my head over. Does this seem right to you? Would people just STOP mucking me around please! Its starting to affect my writing. I may just have to channel all this pent up emotion in to lobbying for an educational lending right.


5 comments:

maureen said...

Don't forget to take copies of your books into the school especially the older age ones...
Do a little flyer for the kids to take home...offering to donate a couple of signed books to the library if they all buy one of your books...which you will sign of course...-this is what the authors do in the states as well as charging $1000 a day appearance fee... If you tell them that writers get a pittance...(nice little maths problem) they can feel sorry for you...Can you arrange books from your publisher at a reduced rate... which you can sell at slightly discounted price...
win win...
I'm trying to get the second book published while the gate keepers
are saying... we love it we think it should be published just not with us....

The Scarlet Tree said...

Hi I tried to get a copy of Were Nana today and they said that stocks were depleated and I couldn't get it till mid December.

Fifi Colston said...

I think I love posting on my blog so much because its so instantly published and I can put up there all the stuff that no one wanted to publish but everyone wanted to read. O.k so theres no money in it but... After declaring at the start of the year to my patient other half that I would spend the year writing and not pursue other paying work (other than my beloved TV spot)I had the worst time ever- down big black holes... It was all about acknowledgement- there is none in writing until it is in print and that all takes such a bloody long time you could die waiting.
Odd thing though- the last piece I wrote for a magazine that got accepted for publication late last year, I got paid for but they never ended up putting it into print! How strange- the money was nice, but the words on the page would have made it sweeter!

Melinda Szymanik said...

Maureen - I think my publisher frowns on me selling my own books. But I had these nifty postcards made up with the Jack the Viking cover on the front. I'm hoping they'll result in a few sales. And how stink is it that the manuscript is good enough to be a book but the timings wrong, there is no suitable gap in the list, the economics are wrong, the publisher got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning, the cat looked at them wrong etc...etc...etc.... Its just WRONG! Okay I feel a bit better now.

Fifi - I feel a great deal of satisfaction in writing a story but it does not compare to seeing someone else's satisfaction at reading it in a book. I am addicted to having my words in print - I need another fix.

Scarlet Tree - oh that the stock depletion meant another print run but my inner cynic thinks its probably just administrative sluggishness. Apparently Scholastic Australia will be selling some of The Were-Nana in OZ and I will try and find out who will stock them.

cheers
Melinda

maureen said...

HI Melinda,
I am devouring the latest children's writers marketplace book from the states. There are some great articles in it. One of these looks at author visits.
The school librarian/author writes about sending a flyer to the school before your visit.

On the flyer is your bio
the awards the books have won or why you think it would be a great book to read....
Would you like to buy _ copies @ $10....
Who would you like it dedicated to...

The librarian then orders the books from a local bookshop and the author signs them when they get to the school....

Now a little creative thinking and a friendly bookshop could help you
in marketing said book....along with the... are you a viking at heart quiz... answer ten questions from the book win a prize....$2 shop toy sword signed by you.....could be a collectable when you are famous....
At the very least you will be known as the lady with the sword!
such street cred!

happy visiting!!!!
maureen