Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Hodge Podge

Yet ANOTHER Better Idea or Two (expanding from yesterday)

I need to credit Helen Ginger for reminding me of this. She is doing a great series summarizing a Publishing Industry Predictions ( check three of her top four posts) and one of these gems has actually given me a reason I might choose an eBook over a hard copy—AND a way the eBook could be as valuable or more.

One ‘prediction’ is that the eBook comes with an instant link to talk to OTHERS currently reading the book—a discussion forum. Now most books I like to just absorb on my own, but SOME are difficult—literary fiction can be—I’m not a schlep intelligence-wise, but I was not a classics major, I didn’t study much history, I didn’t major in literature… there are references in literary fiction that elude me, and I LOVE the idea I could follow a discussion that would enrich the work for me.

Now for the FRESH thought (or, why they should put me in charge)

I ALSO love the idea of books written that allow the reader to make choices now and then. In fact I have a sort of memoir-inspired thing I toy with now and then… what if I’d done this instead… a book that follows through the readers choice to its consequences—that on a REread the reader could make a DIFFERENT choice and get a different story. RL Stein has been doing this for kids for years, and they are fun (though almost impossible not to end up dead), but can you imagine buying a book you could read half a dozen times, always a little different, depending on your whim? It would be a lot more work for the author, but what a GREAT use of the new media, and the dollar value would be higher, because it is something you couldn’t GET in hard copy (without all that pesky ‘turn to page 36’ stuff of the ‘Pick your own’.

In Query News

So I’ve sent out 9 eQueries this week and have a snail mail one ready to go. I will package up a few more this weekend (maybe 17 total—that number is seeming to strike my fancy *snort*). Of these, 5 went Mondy, 2 Tuesday and 2 yesterday. On Tuesday I heard back positively on 2 of the Monday ones (one send partial—VERY positive, one send a chapter, which might be positive or might be just that they felt the query wasn’t enough to decide on, but AT LEAST the query wasn’t enough to reject me on.) I thought I’d look at my trend, thus far.

April: 6 sent, 5 rejections, 1 no response (passive rejection) = 0/6
Shortened significantly
August, sent 11 initially, then another 4. One not taking new, one request for a partial, two passive rejections, the rest real rejections. = 1/14
I sent one in October and one in December on whims because I saw information about ‘perfect’ agents—the October didn’t reply and DOESN’T for rejects, so I can assume. December, I am still in range of ‘may hear’ but I also know many people said that was bad timing to send.
Anyway… Polished since last send, and tightened beginning…
January, sent 9 and ALREADY 2 partials, no rejections…

I’M MAKING PROGRESS! (and this is EXACTLY the way the wisdom of those agent blogs said it would go, though I didn’t believe that would be ME at the time… always confident in my cream of the crop status and all that…)

Speaking of Progress

Almost done with my NaNoWriMo fill in, though I've identified two dropped plot lines I need to work back in in the re-write.  That's okay though... by this time tomorrow, I should have finished my fourth book (with the caveat of the necessary rewrite, but all books need that to some degree).  And CONFLUENCE only has one more chapter to polish, though last night I realized a SECOND scene that shouldn't have been dropped, had been... in my mad shortening, I consolidated the last four chapters into two, and mostly it was good, but this is the second thing I've dropped that I needed to track down from last summer versions in order to reinstate it... err.... still, this ALSO should be done by this time tomorrow... ONE editing project done until I have REAL feedback from a professional, and ONE writing project moved to the editing pile so I can get back to my trilogy.

The Book Tour Fitness Plan

I am doing great. I’m on day 7, so official weigh in isn’t until tomorrow morning, but I have high hopes I managed to take the ‘holiday pounds’ back off—pathetic, but that is how it goes—it got ON there, it has to come back OFF, and to get it back off in only a week is progress.

I think for the foreseeable future, Saturday will be a fitness blog because it is weigh in day… not that it will all be about ME, but I like the idea of it—keeping that in focus for the day… just to give you a heads up… and then I won’t be so tempted to ramble about it on other days, when in reality, I would rather be blogging about either writing, trying to publish, or blatant silliness.

Synchronized Tartlet

My daughter is having her first Synchronized Swimming competition today. She started the year intent on swim team and water polo and was convinced by a swim team teammate to try synchro because it would teach her the treading skill needed for the water polo, but the coach has picked her out as one of the talented newbies, so she has gotten more excited (though one of her swim team teammates who is doing basketball instead calls her ‘water dork’ *snort*—all in fun). Anyway, this one is away—I won’t get to see her in a meet until next Tuesday, but send out happy water vibes, if you would!

Snow Job

Man, I wish. I got about six inches last night. I always prefer to get at least nine inches, but I can live with a wild, enthusiastic six inches. Enough that I can’t really do much the next day. This six inches that just lays there is NOT doing it for me. *cough*


Galen Kindley--Author said...

Your query success line is very interesting. It looks to me like it's up trending and you're meeting with increased success. That must feel great.

I just know the Tarlet will/has done well. With her genes, how could she not???

Best Regards, Galen.
Imagineering Fiction Blog

M.J. Nicholls said...

Great progress, Madame Tart. Keep us updated.

Here's a startling fact for thee: there are only nine independent publishers in the UK. The rest are agent-only multinationals.

No wonder so many Limeys publish overseas.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I love your ebook choose your story idea! It would be great for mysteries...I could have a different killer each time. Or maybe even a different victim! Cool idea.

Good luck with your queries! I wouldn't write off those December far as I'm aware, no one was in either of the offices of my publishers, or my agent's office for much of the month.

Mystery Writing is Murder
Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

Watery Tart said...

Thanks everyone! I AM feeling hopeful!

And Galen, thanks for the well wishes for the Tartlet-she'll do well--it is probably good her first meet is away--help to have a meet under her belt before she has one witnessed by friends and family. (at least in my past life as a gymnast, I always felt that way)

Mark-that is surprising on publishers! I think British have some pretty natural world markets though--I mean if I lived in a little country and could sell just there, or expand to the US, Australia, India, etc... (the latter 2 of which even speak the same language for the most part--that is me mocking American English, by the way)... still, it seems there would be more there.

Elizabeth-I TOTALLY agree on the application for Mysteries! Pitch it to your agent and see if there is any way to prod an ePublisher that way! I think it also works for something like Romance or 'Personal Growth' type stories too--thrillers (that is how Stein uses 'em)

Jan Morrison said...

Oh dear Tartlett (the elder) - you have so much on the go! I feel like a slug when I read your query plans...think I'll go have a snooze now...