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The Writing Life

Got a question/comment about the business of writing or about the publishing industry? Here's your place to post it!
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cw gortner
Bibliophile
Location: San Francisco,CA
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The Writing Life

Postby cw gortner » Thu August 6th, 2009, 11:31 pm

I found this articletoday and it seemed meant to be, given recent conversations with EC and others on our WQ thread about Bookscan, writing, etc. Though this is a year old article, it's very amusing and relevant. Enjoy!
THE QUEEN'S VOW available on June 12, 2012!
THE TUDOR SECRET, Book I in the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles
[B]THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI
THE LAST QUEEN
[/B]

www.cwgortner.com

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Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Fri August 7th, 2009, 5:03 am

Funny - and wise - article!

Capitalism as a system for the equitable distribution of goods is troublesome enough; as a way of measuring success it is useless.


This is true of life in general, not just the writing/publishing business.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

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juleswatson
Avid Reader
Location: now Washington DC
Contact:

Postby juleswatson » Fri August 7th, 2009, 7:56 am

Great article, CW, I am just trying to figure out if it makes me feel better or worse :D Or both
Author of Celtic historical fantasy
New book "THE RAVEN QUEEN" out Feb 22 2011: The story of Maeve, the famous warrior queen of Irish mythology.
Out now, "THE SWAN MAIDEN", the ancient tale of Deirdre, the Irish 'Helen of Troy'
http://www.juleswatson.com

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SarahWoodbury
Avid Reader
Location: Pendleton, Oregon
Contact:

Postby SarahWoodbury » Fri August 7th, 2009, 6:43 pm

I think worse, maybe. Kind of hopeless because I actually do want people to read my books and like them, and maybe buy them eventually, and none of that is happening at the moment. I try not to post any of those 'despair' emails, but sometimes they pop out . . .

User avatar
Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Fri August 7th, 2009, 8:02 pm

I think that with every unpublished book one writes, one becomes a stronger writer and comes closer to reaching that goal of finally writing a book publishers and readers will take to their hearts (even if they don't send you to the bank with a big wad of cash!).
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

Chatterbox
Bibliophile
Location: New York

Postby Chatterbox » Sat August 8th, 2009, 12:55 am

Was it ever any different, however? I understand all the points this guy is making, but what really stands out is how young he is. It's like having that first relationship in high school or college, when love is pure and all-consuming. Then you realize that love isn't a relationship, and you have to work at it and there are tradeoffs. I think implicit in his ruminations is his belief that there was or should be some golden age of writing, where the writer's abilities are recognized for what they are by the marketplace and there are no compromises. While I may wish that to be true -- and for all writers to receive the respect they deserve, and for income to be correlated to quality rather than just the ability to peddle kitsch -- I don't think it has ever been a realistic phenomenon. We all choose which tradeoffs to make. (And this guy doesn't have a family yet... That will redefine it all yet again...) At the end of the day, we can only trust ourselves and a few other to make the right decisions about what is of 'value' in what we produce; if the world recognizes it, either in plaudits or filthy lucre, well, that's like winning the lottery. (Or maybe I've just been reading too much Camus lately?)
And yeah, he was sitting there with his swollen finger; I'm sitting here with my swollen jaw, making exactly the same calculations about what to do -- irony indeed!

User avatar
Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Sat August 8th, 2009, 4:21 am

Well, it is true that someone like F. Scott Fitzgerald could personally stop by an editor's office with his handwritten manuscript, and the editor not only read it but labored over the major revisions that were necessary to make it publishable. That would never happen today! But I don't think F. Scott Fitzgerald ever made a comfortably secure income from his novels.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

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theredsoldier
Scribbler
Location: Loveland Ohio
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Postby theredsoldier » Sun August 9th, 2009, 7:35 pm

People write books because they love to write.

If you make something you love a job you'll hate it, because it;s no longer fun, it's a job. ergo, unless you're pulling in so muhc money that it demands you step away from your actual job to help promote - why would you ever try to live on it?

Common sense is what ultimately matters here. Tell a good story - if others enjoy it, that should be payment enough.
WWII Eastern Front Action Novel
http://www.theredsoldier.com
Stalingrad, as only the Russian soldier could know... available now


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