Tuesday, March 14, 2006

PBW's Ten

Day before yesterday I asked about publishing industry information that you'd like to have but that the various author/editor/agent blogs out there aren't covering. I've closed comments now because I think we've got an interesting selection, and you know how fond I am of the number 10.

Here's what you said that you'd like to know (paraphrased):

1. How to Go Pro: What happens after you get The Call? What are the stages the book in process goes through? What you can do as an author to help it happen and be as painless as possible, etc.?

2. Staying Pro: I'd like to see more on how to KEEP selling, or how to organize my time (and) Once you start selling the plan is to keep selling and have a nice long career. Pointers?

3. Budget Marketing: What can be done about marketing for writers with a $2k advance?

4. Trouble-Free Marketing: Can the writer do anything to avoid looking like a newbie dork (about marketing)? How does the little guy get some attention without attracting trouble?

5. Real Sales Numbers: How many books really did sell last week? How many copies of each book on the best sellers lists (and the midlist as well)? Which venues are selling (online vs main stores vs independents).

6. What's Selling, and What's Not: I'd like to know what novels publishers are wanting now and the best way to keep up with the markets. How can someone check their idea with what is coming out on PW or the other publishing trades? What is the science behind it?

7. Author Abuse: What exactly constitutes Bad/Poor treatment from a publisher (excluding poor sales, thin to no marketing, or normal business-related problems)?

8. Ambient Wisdom or Myth: I wish if I knew if I were doing the right thing, rewriting my 300K novel into a trilogy, because the ambient wisdom is a first-timer can't sell a 300K book.

9. Real Deal and Not Blowing It: What do you do when you actually hear from an agent/editor who wants to represent/publish you? What kinds of documents are you going to be required to complete, what knowledge do you need, is it inappropriate to fly out just to hug the person, what are pitfalls that will make sure your book never sees daylight...what happens when you get past the hard part?

10. Any Age Discrimination: Are agents and publishers scared of first time authors over the age of 50?

The whole point of weblogging is to share information, so from here I'm going to do a series of blog posts on all the above until I nail all ten with answers or, where I don't have answers, my ideas and/or opinions.

I'm also challenging every other professional writer, editor and agent with a blog who reads this post to answer and/or discuss as many as you can at your place. Yep, you've been memed.

Those of you who take up PBW's Ten Challenge, please link to this post, or drop a link to your blog here in comments so we can head over to read and discuss your take on things.


  1. Anonymous2:04 AM

    Here's mine:

    Douglas Clegg's LiveJournal

    Thanks for the meme-ries.

  2. Anonymous7:55 PM

    Thanks for letting those of us not yet published sit in, much appreciated!

  3. Anonymous4:08 PM

    Alison Kent is gathering marketing intel over at Access Romance. Some interesting feedback from what works for romance readers (most of whom do read a variety of genres and represent the biggest slice of the adult fiction market.)

  4. Anonymous10:34 PM

    Sheila, why does my favorites link take me to http://pbackwriter.blogspot.com and the last post is February 28?

    I know you've posted since then--I got here by a link off tamboblog.


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