Monday, October 17, 2005

Biz Ten

Ten Things Sean Rowe Says About the Book Biz + My Take

1. "You will go broke."

True, if you're foolish with money. Are you stupid?

2. "Total strangers will fuck you -- but not in the way you had hoped."

A few do. Most don't and some voluntarily help without any strings attached. As for the hope, I can't speak for other writers, but I didn't pursue publication to get laid. I pursued it to get published. If you're chasing publication for the potential anonymous sex, go to a con and hang out in the bar instead; it's way easier.

3. "Your friends will hope you fail."

Depends on the friends. Mine (the non-writers) are hoping I marry George Clooney someday so they can sponge off us. Publication also brought me one real writer friend who has kept me from failing, and quitting, for the last seven years. I thank God every day for her.

4. "Your own family may turn on you."

It scared mine. They viewed my writing as a spare-time, hobby thing, like needlepoint. You don't want to go to the airport on another city to catch a flight and see your sister's needlepoint for sale next to the Tic-Tacs in the snack shop.

5. "Your ex-girlfriend will sell your soul on eBay."

Other writers I've helped have tried to sell my correspondence and the free books I've sent them on eBay, as have a couple of reviewers and one editor, but all the exes have been remarkably unmercenary.

6. "There will be no groupies."

I had a few when I used to make public appearances, but they were a little more on the stalkerish side. (looks hopeful) Do I have groupies now?

7. "No one will tell you shit."

Another reason I started this weblog.

8. "You will become a whore."

Good Lord, what have they been doing to this poor man?

9. "Your second novel will suck."

Mine actually did better than the first, but one bit of advice: don't end it on a cliffhanger and take six months to get the third one out. Readers get pissed.

10. "Brad Pitt will not call you."

True. Damn that Angelina.

(Rowe article found over at Sarah Weinman's place.)

22 comments:

  1. I'm sort of a groupie. With fabric.

    Is there such a thing as a fabric groupie?

    And my second book doesn't suck. :D

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  2. Don't end it on a cliffhanger and take six months to get the third one out. Readers get pissed.

    One has to wonder what sort of hate mail Stephen King got for ending The Waste Lands on a massive cliffhanger...and then not writing the next book for six years. Or for getting hit by a truck between the next two books. ("You can't die, you bastard! We have to know what's inside the tower!")

    Hence the reason I do not start reading a series until all the books are written. It was all right in high school when I could go back and re-read the book before, but nowadays I just don't have the time.

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  3. 2. "Total strangers will fuck you -- but not in the way you had hoped."
    5. "Your ex-girlfriend will sell your soul on eBay."
    8. "You will become a whore."

    Makes me wonder why anyone would want to do this for a living. It must be a calling, or pay a lot. But from what I keep reading, it isn't the money that draws in so many. So it must be a calling. Yep. That's my take on it.
    I'm glad so many authors I enjoy reading answered.

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  4. 3. "Your friends will hope you fail."

    If that's true, they're all remarkable liars. I started out expecting this when I told people I wanted to be a full-time writer, but no one's gone that route. I'm either really lucky to have such good friends...or my enemies are doing enough hoping for failure, that my friends aren't needed. *-*

    4. "Your own family may turn on you."

    My insane family was the one encouraging me to write. They push me more than I push myself, which is a little scary sometimes.

    5. "Your ex-girlfriend will sell your soul on eBay."

    So long as it fetches a good price, I could care less. *-*

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  5. Your own family will turn on you.

    Hmm. That's a bit strong, in my case, but my in-laws still think it's a cute hobby. So I stopped telling them anything about it. :) My own immediate family have been nothing but supportive.

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  6. How utterly sad to be him.

    Perhaps he should give up writing and take up something cheerier, like replicating Picasso's Blues period.

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  7. 9. "Your second novel will suck."

    This one really pissed me off. That and saying Oline Codgill "fucked" him. To the latter, if you can't handle a bad review, don't be a writer.

    To the former, I have to ask why in the hell anyone would shop a novel without having at least started work on the second one? That's just massively stupid if you expect to have a career.

    Now, someone might say, "What if the first one fails to sell?"

    All the more reason to be working on #2. Failure requires no more effort on your part than putting stamps on another SASE. Success, otoh, demands a follow up. That's why I always have something in the works. Always. Because the most common question a publisher asks as they write up the contract is, "Can you do it again?"

    The best answer to that is another manuscript.

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  8. Here's my take. ;-)

    1. "You will go broke."
    I am broke.

    2. "Total strangers will fuck you -- but not in the way you had hoped."
    I don't care about being fucked by strangers in any way.

    3. "Your friends will hope you fail."
    I'm socially dysfunctional, I don't have friends. Why do you think did I start writing in the first place?

    4. "Your own family may turn on you."
    Sure. That's why my father bought me a laptop.

    5. "Your ex-girlfriend will sell your soul on eBay."
    I avoided the whole ex mess by not playing the dating game. See also point 3.

    6. "There will be no groupies."
    And damn glad I am.

    7. "No one will tell you shit."
    You mean that's supposed to be different from your dayjob?

    8. "You will become a whore."
    I already sold my soul to the devil.

    9. "Your second novel will suck."
    Wrong attitude. The reviewers are idiots incapable of doing a masterwork justice.
    On a serious level, there's a reason why I work on three novels at once - it may give me an early start on book 2 if there's any interest.

    10. "Brad Pitt will not call you."
    I wouldn't want him to call. Now, if Viggo Mortensen called, that would be a different matter.

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  9. I feel so bad for the man who wrote this list. Thank goodness that my experience has been different. Hmm... maybe I'm just not a big enough author yet?

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  10. zornhau11:44 AM

    1. You will go broke.

    No change there. Blew my IT budget on my armour. Then my laptop battery went. No matter, I can't leave the house with it anyway because our desktop PC is knackered and my precious laptop is our household computer.

    2. Total strangers will fuck you -- but not in the way you had hoped.

    I will spit on their graves... though not engage in public discourse with them as per Anne Rice.

    3. Your friends will hope you fail.

    Some, oddly true. Not the wannabe writer ones, or at least not those who are properly professional about it.

    4. Your own family may turn on you.

    Not happened yet. Penname will protect extended family from fear of social repercussions

    5. Your ex-girlfriend will sell your soul on eBay.

    She can't. I already sold it.

    6. There will be no groupies.

    Good. I'm married (which is one of the reasons I have time and emotional stability to write in the 1st place).

    7. No one will tell you shit.

    Just like any other job then.

    8. You will become a whore.

    Cool. When do I start?

    9. Your second novel will suck.

    IMHO, second novels are usually stinkers because the 1st novel was written "on instinct", "organically". The author only knows how to write one novel.

    10. Brad Pitt will not call you.

    I doubt what I'm writing is filmable anyway.

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  11. Sounds like he's trying to cut down the competition by scaring off potential new writers. I mean, it is hard to make a living at this game, but publishers don't actually drink your blood before giving you cover art for your first book. (Who gets into this job for the easy money and groupies anyway? Sheesh.)

    Or, he really did have a bunch of terrible experiences backed up by terrible stories from other writers. Well, any way you look at it, he's bitter about the business. I prefer honest comments over both bitter or excessively rosy opinions any day.

    PBW - Thanks for the honest comments about the business!

    Cheers,
    -- F

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  12. Anonymous12:05 PM

    One wonders if he expected publication to do something for his life other than, well, publication. It ain't a magic wand. It's just a job. - Charlene

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  13. I'm with Tambo - Can a be a groupie w/ yarn instead of fabric tho? ;-)

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  14. Actually, Sean Rowe is one of the luckiest writers around. He got a six-figure advance, a two-book deal, and a lot of REALLY enthusiastic blurbs from writers like James Patterson. All for a relatively short book -- maybe 50,000 words long.

    The publishing company obviously spent a lot of money on paying for good display space at the bookstore. I always see it when I walk into a Barnes and Noble.

    And in his own words, he's "having the time of his life."

    So why the bitterness? I don't get it. I realize he's trying to be witty, but you can cross a line sometimes. Oh well.

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  15. Gabriele wrote:

    3. "Your friends will hope you fail."
    I'm socially dysfunctional, I don't have friends. Why do you think did I start writing in the first place?

    Ah, I am there, too. That's why I anticipate no trouble when I win the Powerball. No friends, no family, and the only ones who come around are the cats and they just want kibble.

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  16. I can kinda dig the 2nd novel angst, somewhat, and had the article been just about that would have sympathized a bit and moved on.

    All the other crap was ridicilous and much fun to ridicule at the ole blog...

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  17. Tambo's second book doesn't suck.

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  18. (looks hopeful) Do I have groupies now?

    I'm forming the Literary Groupies Group as I type.

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  19. Well, his take on life is just pitiful. Honestly, yours and Holly's is intimidating, shocking and downright invigorating at times, but not pitiful.

    That said, I've been a groupie ever since you first "spoke" to me at FM...not very good at it I'll admit cause I'm not the fannish type, but there you have it :D. Oh, and if I every get back to my quilting, I'll go with fabrics too, though right now my pastime seems to be coded language (html, php, perl ;)).

    Cheers,
    Margaret

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  20. I agree with both Tammy and Jean. Tammy's second book definitely does not suck.

    After reading this in several blogs, and thinking about what I know about guys, I think he thought he was being funny, but he's totally missed the mark on that one. :)

    Linda

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  21. yeesh... and I thought I was a little cynical... although I do see some humor in his list.

    1. You will go broke. That six-figure advance?

    wow... six figures. I was happy with five. But since I'm not writing to get rich, it's cool. And I've been broke most of my life~nows the first time I actually have a little play money.

    2. Total strangers will fuck you --
    but not in the way you had hoped.

    Not everybody is going to like what you write. Fact of life. One of the reasons I try not to read reviews too much. If the readers like it, that's what matters. Although I did back flips when Mrs Giggles called a short story of mine a decent read. And my first review from harriet klausner? I still go and look it several times a week. And it's not even live yet.

    3. Your friends will hope you fail.

    I don't think I want friends like this. I keep my circle of close friends small, those are the ones that matter. And I'm pretty certain they hope I'll succeed. Of course, some of them are writers... and some may hope they hit it before I do. But that's okay~I've had similiar thoughts with friends of mine. Love them dearly, but I want to be as big as they are. Bigger.


    4. Your own family may turn on you.

    Hmmmm... well, people can take things entirely too personal.

    5. Your ex-girlfriend will sell your soul on eBay.

    Well, I don't have any ex girlfriends. Married my high school boyfriend and if I catch him selling something he shouldn't, I'll kill him.

    Although it is depressing to see a reviewer selling an ARC. Also depressing to see somebody illegally selling your ebooks. They really love to do that.

    6. There will be no groupies.

    Thank You, God. Although I do see some writers that have them... and it's almost frightening. They freak if somebody doesn't like said author's books. They freak if said author gets a negative review, or even just a four out of five stars. It has to be FIVE stars or they really take it personally. They almost take OWNERSHIP of that author. Bothersome, really, because if they are that die hard over the books they've read, what happens when said author writes a book that just doesn't come out the way a groupie wanted?

    7. No one will tell you shit.

    I don't know~I haven't tried yet. But I might in a few more weeks... my agent is great about getting info, so it dpeends on what she can find out.

    8. You will become a whore.

    A kind of harsh way of looking at it... but since I don't always enjoy public stuff, I can understand this to an extent.

    Just a little, though. Interacting with the readers usually is a lot of fun~it's the worrying about it that stresses me out. I've yet to do one thing as Shiloh Walker that doesn't make me feel like a goof. It's almost like roll playing but it's the easiest way for me to get through it. I'm a mom, a wife, somebody who likes to write, don't know why anybody would want to meet me. So I'm working on convincing myself it's Shiloh they want to meet~trying to separate myself into public persona and private persona has helped a little.

    9. Your second novel will suck.

    Well, I still expect all of my books to suck, so I'm not worried about that.


    10. Brad Pitt will not call you.

    This isn't a bad thing for me... I don't care for him.

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  22. Anonymous7:12 PM

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