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Preview: Comments on Scribbit | A Blog About Motherhood in Alaska: Losing the Lottery (or: Publishing the Hard Way)

Comments on Scribbit | A Blog About Motherhood in Alaska: Losing the Lottery (or: Publishing the Hard Way)





Updated: 2015-08-17T14:09:30.612-08:00

 



Hi again, everyone!Sorry, I went to a conference a...

2008-07-31T11:21:00.000-08:00

Hi again, everyone!
Sorry, I went to a conference and missed some of the later posts, so I'll answer them here (as well as announcing who won the signed edition of The Tunnels!!!)
The Shafers: I draw inspiration from a lot of sources. Boneyard developed from both an autobiography of Ted Bundy that I read (cheerful, I know :) ) and from a chat with a FBI agent friend of mine who described a phenomenon known among law enforcement as the "missing missing," people whose disappearances are rarely reported. Then I build out from there, it's hard to say exactly how since each book in the result of dozens of smaller ideas.
Mile high mommy: I'm lucky to have a part time nanny, because i'm definitely not one of those people who can write at the crack of dawn or at midnight. But I have friends who do exactly that (like Allison Brannan, who has a ton of kids and still manages to produce at least a book a year!)

Christie o: I don't know that I chose a genre so much as a genre chose me. You really have to write whatever story seems to be flowing the most easily. There's a publishing adage that says if you try to follow the market you'll never catch up, because even if vampires are hot this year, even if your book about the undead sold today it'd take a year or so to get to market, at which point princesses might be the big thing and vampires passe. So you have to write the book you want to write and hope for the best (a good book is a good book, and will usually sell no matter the subject matter). That's doesn't mean you have to lock yourself into just one, though-maybe that means you work on a few books at a time, and they all advance piecemeal. But I can say that at the moment chick lit is not selling well, thrillers are.

Thanks so much for hosting me, Michelle! If there are any other questions, I can always be reached at michelle@michellegagnon.com.
And congrats to j @ www.jellyjules.com, you won!



Really, really appreciated this one!

2008-07-24T16:23:00.000-08:00

Really, really appreciated this one!



wow, michelle. thanks for sharing all of that! i h...

2008-07-24T04:44:00.000-08:00

wow, michelle. thanks for sharing all of that! i hope it's not to late for a question -- i just found this wonderful post.

it's along similar lines of what other people have asked -- but a little different. i too have a million different storylines in my head. but they are such different genres. i have chick-lit, mystery, and suspense and they're all quite different. i know you answered someone in response to how you pick story lines to write (by combining a lot of them -- which was actually a lightbulb moment for me, thank you!), but how do you pick the genre of book?

sometimes a write a few pages, and instead of continuing, think maybe i am making a mistake in my choice, abort, and start fresh. you know what? typing that is actually making me realize my mistake.

anyway, i guess i know the short answer (keep going!), but i really am interested in how you pick the genre in the first place, if you still have time. :)

and once you pick the genre, do you write out all the characters, their names and their qualities in an outline before writing, or do you just let that all hash out by itself?

thanks for all of this wonderful information!



Great advice, thanks for posting this!

2008-07-23T19:49:00.000-08:00

Great advice, thanks for posting this!



Process question: Do you edit and revise as you go...

2008-07-23T10:47:00.000-08:00

Process question: Do you edit and revise as you go, write the entire rough draft and then revise, or something in between? I tend to work on revising at the expense of writing new content (or new chapters), and then it feels like my progress is so little.




2008-07-23T09:26:00.001-08:00

This comment has been removed by the author.



Sorry - I just realized that Tabitha posted a ques...

2008-07-23T09:26:00.000-08:00

Sorry - I just realized that Tabitha posted a question almost identical to mine! Yeah, I better quit "speed reading" those comments! :)

Thanks again for all your insights!



Thank you so much for such an informative post! T...

2008-07-23T09:19:00.000-08:00

Thank you so much for such an informative post! This is exactly what I needed to read this morning - "syncronicity" strikes again! It's encouraging to hear that somehow from a non-literary background can become a successfully published author. I was beginning to believe that I'd need to go to grad school and win the "publishing lotto" that you referred to. I'm definitely going to take your advice to heart.

My question is a bit more personal, but I’m curious how do you schedule your writing time around being a mom to a toddler? Do you mostly write after bedtime or do you have nanny/daycare scheduled for you to carve out some writing time to yourself? I desperately need to figure out a schedule for my writing – and my two kids are the biggest obstacle. Any ideas/suggestions are greatly welcomed!



I've been writing that elusive book contract for y...

2008-07-22T19:42:00.000-08:00

I've been writing that elusive book contract for years now, and could relate to so much of what you said. Thanks for the great information. As I write this, my middle grade manuscript is being considered by an agent, and am keeping my fingers crossed. I think it's great how you touched on rejection, because I think often, it's that very rejection that makes the manuscript better in the end. Thanks!



I loved Michelle's comment about not reading what ...

2008-07-22T16:49:00.000-08:00

I loved Michelle's comment about not reading what you've written that day - wait until the end of your story. That is so my problem with writing stories - I get to critical of myself. This was such a special treat to have Michelle on your blog -Michelle. Thanks for this!



I would love to pick Michelle's brain and find out...

2008-07-22T16:19:00.000-08:00

I would love to pick Michelle's brain and find out what her creative process is like:
What inspires you? How long does it take you to write a novel/story? How do you start and when do you know that you have something that that might interest people? (You don't have to answer all of the questions in order or even at all)



Outnumbered: Always get your money up front in the...

2008-07-22T14:40:00.000-08:00

Outnumbered: Always get your money up front in the form of an advance- publishers can hold onto royalties for a good long time since they usually only pay them out twice/year. It can occasionally be a few years before you see a dime! I did get a small bump with the second book, but tend to sign contracts that cover two-three books at a time. We'll see what happens with the next one!



I'm not a writer but I'm a big fan of them...

2008-07-22T12:27:00.000-08:00

I'm not a writer but I'm a big fan of them in general. My dad was a elemtary librarian so I've got the bookworm gene bigtime. I was the preverbial kid with the flashlight under the covers :)
Even though I don't plan on writing a book any time soon (or ever) this was a very interesting post. I love learning about how things work & this was a neat post to read.

And I had no idea that Khaled Hosseini went through that to get his book written. And I'm so glad he did, it's one of my favorites! How cool that he's your friend :)



Lisa: Publishers love a great hook, and a teen wri...

2008-07-22T11:36:00.000-08:00

Lisa: Publishers love a great hook, and a teen writing for other teens definitely qualifies. That being said, getting an agent requires following the same advice I've written in other comments, it's all the same process. The author of "Eragon" was a teen success story, read up on what they did for more info. And good luck to her!



Stacey: Where are you finding the names of agents ...

2008-07-22T11:34:00.000-08:00

Stacey: Where are you finding the names of agents you're querying? I would make sure they follow AAR guidelines (which requires no fee up front). Really narrow your focus to agents who represent what you're trying to sell, and start with four or five of them (steer clear of any you already contacted, they probably won't be interested if they already passed, regardless of whether or not the manuscript has been revised). Also, try targeting a newer agent at a larger agency rather than approaching the head, often the younger agents are actively trying to build their stable of writers.



Jane: Check out "Julie and Julia," this was a book...

2008-07-22T11:32:00.000-08:00

Jane: Check out "Julie and Julia," this was a book that evolved from a woman posting about her attempt to make all of the recipes from one of Jule Childs' cookbooks within the span of a year. I don't know of any others, but I'm sure they're out there.



tamy 3 sides: There's an excellent book called...

2008-07-22T11:31:00.000-08:00

tamy 3 sides: There's an excellent book called, "The First Five Pages," written by agent Noah Lukeman. The same agent also has a free download on Amazon entitled, "How to write a great query letter," find it here:
http://www.amazon.com/How-Write-Great-Query-Letter/dp/B00122GU86/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1216754967&sr=1-3



tjhirst: I'd love to say that you don't need to wo...

2008-07-22T11:27:00.000-08:00

tjhirst: I'd love to say that you don't need to worry about having an audience, just write the best boom you can. But sadly, that's not entirely true. Publishing is a business first and foremost, and the sales and marketing people (who generally help editors decide which books to acquire) are very concerned with demographics. Who will this book appeal to? If it's aimed at a small audience, it can be much tougher to find a publisher willing to print it. It helps greatly if your book can be said to have universal appeal.



I just wanted to thank you for all the helpful adv...

2008-07-22T08:51:00.000-08:00

I just wanted to thank you for all the helpful advice and tips.

Once you've published your book, do you receive royalties?

And, did you notice a significant pay increase with your second book?



I'm not a writer but my best friend is. I'm sendin...

2008-07-22T08:22:00.000-08:00

I'm not a writer but my best friend is. I'm sending this link to her.



I have a teenager who started writing a book over ...

2008-07-22T08:02:00.000-08:00

I have a teenager who started writing a book over a year ago. Her life is busy and the book has been moved to the back burner. I have read most of it and think it is a great idea. She had parts of it on a blog at one point and kids were reading it, but has since taken it down.

Any advice you would give to a mom encouraging her teen. Or to the teen herself?



Thank you so much for your encouraging advice. I'...

2008-07-22T01:55:00.000-08:00

Thank you so much for your encouraging advice. I've queried about a dozen agents, got accepted by two. The first did absolutely nothing and after some research I realized that they were not legit, and the second wanted a lot of money from me up front. Five were rejections. My question is, out of the ones that I have not heard back from, do I write them again and sort of check in or do I let them go and move on to my next group to query?

Thanks!



Great advice. Thanks for taking the time to write...

2008-07-21T20:58:00.000-08:00

Great advice. Thanks for taking the time to write the original post and answer the questions.



This was an informative post, thanks for the neat ...

2008-07-21T20:09:00.000-08:00

This was an informative post, thanks for the neat titbits:)



Hey Michelle,Congrats on 'Boneyard'. My dream is t...

2008-07-21T20:03:00.000-08:00

Hey Michelle,
Congrats on 'Boneyard'. My dream is to one day write a book. I'm not into fiction, but lately blogging has become my passion. Has anyone published all their posts as a book? Could it be done? If so, what kind of writing would be ideal?
Nice to have got all those tips from you.
c u around, tc.