So what the hell is up with publishing? Even I, who admittedly, keeps myself as ignorant as possible about the ups, downs, ins and outs can tell things just ain't too peachy. When I started out in 2003 I queried lots, lots, of agents. (By lots I mean more than 10 and less than 100.) The only thing that kept me going was knowing that there was a market for my book, if not my style of writing. (By market I mean editors where looking for Latina-centric commercial fiction.)

Finally an agent said yes but editors said no. By my third agent and after a major revise and a half, Underneath It All was sold and, if all goes well, my fourth book, Goodbye To All That, will be out next year. What's changed since 2003 and 2009 is that I'm no longer chasing trends. I'm writing what feels, sounds and reads right to me and then, taking in consideration notes and critiques, revising based on what initially drew me to the writing the story in the first place.

This is why I never ever considered writing paranormal, vampire or over-worked mommy books. Why? Because I don't read those types of books. (Well, except for over-worked mommy books, but only the really good ones.) I've learned that, for better or worse, I write what I like to read and, unfortunately for me, it's never followed or, much less, started a trend. I proudly write commercial fiction aimed at women. (If I was the tattooing type, I'd get that inked somewhere on my person.) And right now that may or may not be the sexy stuff agents, editors or readers are looking for. (By the way, I hear erotica is, pardon me, going down in popularity. Figures. Just as I start reading it...)

This is all well and good but the truth is, getting published is harder than ever. The publishing industry is in the pits and people are freaking out. Me, I'm just waiting things out and sort of keeping an eye on what's going on.

Still, there are ways to get published and not have to worry about trends or even writing talent: Either sleep with, marry, divorce, work for, get fired by, be related to or kill someone of note and you got yourself a book deal.

The rest of us have to rely on luck, timing, talent and perseverance.


Mary Castillo said...

I'm in the same boat with you, Margo. But I have one mroe thing to say about erotica books: did they come and go?


Ahem. Sorry. Couldn't help myself.

These past three years have taught me the importance of writing what moves me and what makes me proud. I considered selling out and writing Harlequins - kind of like how some actresses pose nude before they're stars - but I don't have the skill to write them well. Also, my husband would tease me mercilessly if I had!

It's not easy to stand still when everyone is running around like the sky is falling. But its worth it.


Margo Candela said...

Thanks for the laugh, Mary. We'll hunker down together and wait this out. I mean, it can't get any worse, right? (Sure it can!)

I'm going to nut up and pitch my sexy thriller to my editor next time we talk. And even though if it goes anywhere, I'd write it under a pen name, it's not because I'm embarrassed, it's just because I need to keep my personalities sort out.