Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Galley Pages

I’ve finished doing them.  Not many mistakes at all.  I felt very cranky having to do this.  What will I be like if I have to go back to work again?  And what will I feel like if I don’t have to go back to work?

Still no news.



Olen Steinhauer said...

Sandra, I know the worry of waiting, but it seems to me you're in the same position I'm in. Just sent in the galleys, which officially ends the contract. For some reason I'm not worried. I'm only worried they'll offer less next time around. Looking back over your posts, I'm not sure why you're so stressed. The numbers are important, not just for the publisher, but for *you*. I always expect (unrealistically) that the next one will sell well, and I'll be able to demand gazillions. My hope is always to wait as long as possible to make my position as strong as possible. Just how I look at it. I'm with your agent--don't worry. It's utterly and completely out of your hands at this point, and all you can do is start thinking about the next one.

Maybe I missed something crucial in the previous posts, though, so let me know if there's really something to worry about, and I'll worry too.

Sandra Scoppettone said...

Hello Olen,

I, too, fear the offer will be less if there is an offer. Stressed? Moi? Where'd you get that idea?

I'm concerned because they wanted to keep on this one book a year published in late June with the preceding book in paper. There's no way I can keep to that schedule now. They must know that. So why don't they care? I can only think of one reason.

You're right, it is out of my hands. But how can I think of the next one as this is a series. I'm not writing another in this series unless I get a contract. And why start a different book if I'm going to get a contract?

But I can start to think of a new stand alone without actually writing.

I don't think you missed anything, but worry anyway.

Thanks for your support.

Olen Steinhauer said...

I see, it's the time thing I didn't get. I understand your anxiety better now.

I guess the question is--for the moment ignoring the financial fear--what do you want to write next? Series or standalone, or a new series?

My advice, poor though it might be, is to just dive into whatever you really want to write next. If they come back demanding what you don't really want to work on, tell them to seriously consider the new thing. Haggle. That's your agent's job: to work according to your desires, in your interests.

I just don't like to hear writers feeling completely at the mercy of the publisher's whims. Not healthy for your writing. You write because you want to write, not because one publisher decides you should write this or that--or at this time. And, honestly, a book a year is rough as hell.

That said, I sympathize completely with your worry. The fear is a terrible part of the business. But I stick to my advice--get excited about a new book, and simply go with the belief that, because it excites you, it will excite an editor--the one you have now or another: whoever's perceptive enough to snatch it up!

Sandra Scoppettone said...

Part of the problem is that I don't know what I want to write next. I've written and published about 20 novels, which doesn't mean I don't have any ideas waiting to get out of my mind. It's just that I don't have a direct route to any of them at this moment.

If I write something new, saying no to the contract offered to me for the next book in my series isn't an option. Publishing isn't like that anymore.

I think you're much younger than I and haven't been at this as long as I have. Therefore you haven't witnessed the change in publishing.

Agents have changed, also. They're really working for themselves, not to help the client sell a book that the publisher doesn't want. Your description of what an agent should do is lovely but it hasn't been that way for years and years.

I am at the mercy of publishers whims. I know what hell it is to write a book a year. I hate it.

I've reinvented myself as a writer quite a few times. Only once have I written a book because I thought that was what publishers wanted, not because I wanted to write it. It was, of courese, terrible.

I write because I can't not write but I also make my living this way and have for years. I don't have an alternative.

I appreciate your thoughts and I hope you can do what you suggest for me...but it isn't going to work for me. Unless I don't get a contract and come up with something else.

The series about Faye Quick was something I wanted to do and I thought I'd have to do at least 4 books. But if it's over with 2 books well, as I said to someone else, I'm a firm believer in "things happen for a reason."

Olen Steinhauer said...

Well stated, Sandra. It's the usual thing where one's advice is often only best for one's self. You're right, I am new-ish to this, and you've got tons of experience that certainly give you a clearer view of things.

In my brief time, though, I have seen some of the problems in the industry and am far from starry-eyed about the path my own career is taking now, 4 books in. I, too, live solely off of my writing, and live in a place where a "day job" isn't even an option (Hungary, and I don't speak Hungarian). So there's fear here too, no doubt.

Sadly, I'm addicted to handing out advice to any and all! So here it is: get a stiff drink (keeping the bottle nearby) and wait until Monday, when everyone gets back from holiday. That advice, too, is probably best for myself!

My thoughts are with you, but like you said, things do tend to happen for a reason, even if they seldom feel that way. Best, O

Sandra Scoppettone said...

I don't mind any advice that you give me. I love to hear from you. So don't stop...you never know what might click.

I wish I had your email address. Why don't you have your email on your blog?

Again, I appreciate your support and interest.