Friday, October 14, 2011

WRAP UP FRIDAY: What car do you drive?

Hello world,

Here comes another Friday ending another busy work week. It's been a hectic week, one also full of distractions for me, but also quite productive. For one, I really enjoyed having Chicki Brown over this Wednesday. All the authors I interview inspire me in sometimes not so little ways. Like Chicki said, she's had some close calls that almost landed her on the lap of a New York publisher. I believe that once she told me she had an agent (or two), who took her so far on her career, until finally she had her epiphany and found her path.

I remember once reading an article about how women can tell a bit more about the type of man they've just met by looking at the car he drives. I think that rather, an equally important factor is to see HOW he drives it. The car, in a writer's world, is the novel, perhaps the book of the writer's heart. It's important to have a neat looking, easy flowing book that strikes a reader's attention. If it's all messy, convoluted and repulsive, it's not going to go down well.

Once you have the car, however, you have to know how to drive it. So you have the book, and you've just written THE END on the last page. What now? How will you take off with it? Where will you take it?

Chicki made her decision after years of agonising and focusing on the big New York dream. What writer doesn't dream of seeing "NY bestselling author" printed across the front cover of their novel? What author doesn't dream of holding their book, with their name stamped on it, in their hands?

But there are many kinds of dreams - and those that succeed most are those that are firmly planted in the real world. I think that sometimes we lose sight of the forest for the trees. It's not about holding a physical book, after all, it's about being read and enjoyed by many across the globe. How that happens is not important - it's just crucial that it does.

The world is changing. Perceptions are shifting. Lifestyles are evolving. Some events create sadness and nostalgia - Borders closing business, traditional bookstores struggling. But not all changes are bad. Technology has insinuated its far-reaching tentacles into practically every sphere of our existence, including reading. Writers must keep their fingers on the pulse of these changes and recognize when they are supposed to adapt to something altogether different than they expected. No matter how they feel, they must walk with the times or they'll be lagging so far behind that the ultimate goal will always remain a speck of light in the distance.

I think that all of this is exciting because a writer's options are so many today. Avon, Harlequin, for instance - big name publishers are understanding this and trying to ride the wave that so many indie e-publishers have roused before them. Writers are taking the wheel and getting in the big race - they are standing up for themselves. They are saying, "Formulas, genres, trends? Who cares? All we want to do is write a book someone will enjoy reading." Before this revolution, publishing was a deep well with a pitch black bottom that no one could ever see or fathom. Not any more.

Self-publishing is becoming a perfectly respectable option - and if publishers want to survive they must revise their business models and expand their vision to see outside their box. Luckily, there are certain publishers who are already attempting to break the mold by asking writers to submit works that are "different". They are trying to offer more to authors - marketing packages, support post-publishing, etc. It's the way it should be. It will be interesting to see how all this pans out. Because writers, these days, are climbing to the helm and making some surprising moves.

Traditional publishing, e-publishing, self-publishing... it's all good! The only thing that mustn't be compromised on at the end is the quality of the product. A good book will put a writer on the map, however slow that process may be. Good writing and editing skills are absolutely essential to the success of a book, no matter the mode of publishing. It's one of the advantages of having a publisher - but some authors are showing they can swing this "solo" rather well.

Before I wrap up, I'd like to invite you to visit my sister of the heart, Zee Monodee, who has something to say on her blog as well.

Until next time, live well and love deeply... and enjoy the Friday eye candy (and muse for my upcoming WIP as some of you already know :-D). Heck, this man deserves two pics...

~ Angela ~
No Rules. No Formulas. Just Love.

"Mile High to Heaven" and "Mr. & Mrs. Foster" available at Whiskey Creek Press Torrid.