Monday, August 2, 2010

Being a Writer is Glamourous and Exciting (and other lies about publishing)

So now it's my turn. My first official post at the YA Authors You've Never Heard Of. I've been watching the statcounter, and it seems this place is beginning to take off. Welcome everyone!!!

I've been thinking what I should blog about, and the ladies who've already posted are a hard act to follow. Part of being one of the obscure kid lit authors of the world is that it's really a lot of hard work. I mean, being a writer of ANY kind is a lot of hard work, but if your name isn't Meyer or Rowling or (insert Famous YA Author here), you not only have to work hard at writing, but at telling people about your book while you write the NEXT book. The amount of work doubles when you are with a small press.

I've been writing for nine years come September. Nearly a decade. I have five contracted books. Unlike people who Play Writers on TV, I do not write for a living. I wish that I could, sort of (and other days am glad that I do not), and know very few writers, even with big publishers, that do. Long ago and faraway, in the land of Big Advances, writer were writers. They got advances against projected royalties and that was supposed to fund their lives while they wrote the next book.

Today there are still advances, but they are growing smaller by the minute. Personally I have gotten advances for two of the five books I have contracted, but they were small (very small). I earned them both out, which means that the publisher sends me money now!

It's still not enough to live on.

Once in awhile I get a nice manicure, though. Maybe a pedi too. That's about as glamorous as it gets for me. I'm a mom, a wife, a Graduate Student (all that stuff I talked about last time when I was looking for Time to Write). No book tours, wine and cheese parties, or meetings with editors in NYC restaurants. Instead I blog in my jammies while fielding questions about why the cat doesn't need to take a bath from Boy, do local events at the library, and meet with my editor online over a PB&J. I drive my son to football practice and clean my own bathroom. I know, such a rock star.

My publishers do not have a huge marketing budget, and you won't find my books on any bookstore shelf (if you do, PLEASE let me know.), or a review in the NY Times book section. I know being with a small press starts me off with a bit of a handicap, but I refuse to languish in obscurity. This is why I started the YAAYNHO. Because together we are louder than we are separately.

Just like the rest of our group, I am here, an I am proud of my books. If you've read one, THANKS! If you haven't - what the heck are you waiting for???

So what's gonna happen once everyone knows about us? Will I have to change the name to YA Authors You HAVE Heard Of????


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  2. When people ask me how much I get with my royalities I tell them I'm able to treat myself to a pedi/mani.

    Even dh tells me he won't consider that I've arrived until my book is in a Barnes and Noble. **Well, I guess I kind of arrived as this one article I wrote for Adoptive Families magazine is in that bookstore!

    Love this idea of us having our own group to let others out there know that we're here!!!

  3. Thanks so much for starting this group, Christine! And for setting the record straight on the glamour part of it all!

  4. Thanks girls:)

    And can someone tell me why I misspelled glamorous in the title?? LOL. Even my blog needs an editor.

  5. Loved your post, Christine. It is so true. I can usually buy a pack of gum or a candy bar with my royalties. Still, I keep hoping. And I'm having fun writing in the meantime.

    This is a great group. I'm happy to be a part of it.

  6. I do all right. My Library of Athena books have been giving me a steady stream of income. I've bought new shoes and things. I usually put some of it toward promotional stuff like bookmarks. It's paid a bill or two.

    My other two books haven't made as much, but they are older too. I handsell more of those at events.

    And I'm still having fun, so I'm still writig.

  7. Great post! I've known about how truly "glamorous" publishing is for a while now, despite not being published myself. I still want to BE published someday, though. Go figure. :P

  8. I will never take my sites off one day being on teh NY Times bestseller list. The glamour for me is the joy of writing. So fat my royalities have added up to buy a meal. But I will always write. It is life.

  9. I agree with Michael. Writing is just a part of me. I couldn't stop even if I wanted to.