Times They Are A’Changin!


A couple weeks ago, Angela Scott blogged about something near and dear to me as I’m trying to get my most polished novel out there in the world of publishing.

She dubbed it, “I know I’m not supposed to talk about it, but here I go anyway.” The post detailed her tribulation of signing with an agent, not getting a pub deal, losing said agent, and then getting crickets when she queried her novel again.

This is her post. Go read it. NOW. Seriously.

*Waits a few minutes until you return.*

Ok, you read it? Good.

The message: Traditional publishing is tanking. Agents are leaving the biz. Writers aren’t getting pubbing deals.

And Angela’s story has been happening to more and more writing buds and hopeful authors as time goes on.

Doom. And. Gloom.

I stopped myself from this line of thought before a full on panic attack hit.

What saved me?

The knowledge that alternative methods of publishing are out there. Small presses. Self-publishing. And they’re THRIVING!

Thank goodness.

The reality is, getting pubbed is still REALLY hard. But it is still POSSIBLE.

And for that, I’m glad.

Dear writing friends, do share your thoughts on this post and the changes in the industry.

Since it’s Wednesday, don’t forget to check out Sarah’s response to genre crushing!

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18 comments on “Times They Are A’Changin!

  1. Kendall Grey says:

    I’ve been saying this for a year. It’s time to read the writing on the wall. NY is dying. Agents are dinosaurs. The future is in epubbing through smaller presses and self-pubbing. End of story.

  2. Ciara Knight says:

    From a gal who has lost not one, but two agents in the last year I’ve gone small press. I’ve enjoyed the experience so far. Will I try for another agent, I don’t know.

  3. Karen Lange says:

    I heard Laura Resnick speak at a conference this spring. Her experience with agents was lousy, and while she didn’t tell us to skip them altogether, she did encourage us to think outside the box and to not be afraid to go an alternative route. It is empowering to think that we have more options than we might think. Thanks for sharing the link. Have a great week!

  4. Jamie Grey says:

    I haven’t started querying yet, but now I’m starting to re-think traditional publishing based on everything that’s happening. A smaller press or even self-pub might be the way to go – and even better – I’d have more control over the process. I think this is a positive change, now we just need to change our mindsets to follow – we’ve been forced into thinking one way for so long that it’s a little scary. But in a good way 🙂

    Thanks for the great post!

  5. EArroyo says:

    I think it’s an exciting time to be authors. I think our mindset (me included) is still leaching on to some sort of acceptance from the traditional publishing streams. But it really isn’t the case right now. Readers are reading…a lot! I’m still querying, trying the traditional route because I want a partnership. But hey…if I can find that partnership by other means…who knows? Never say never.

  6. Lynn Rush says:

    Yikes. It’s a crazy time right now. I’m just going to hang out, keep taking the next step, but where it’ll lead as far as an agent….I’m not sure. Had one, been burned, so I’m not sure what I’ll do next.

  7. Wow, this post is really mind blowing…

    I hadn’t realized that so many author’s go burned by agents. I was planning to query my new novel next week, hoping to land an agent. Hmm. I might rethink this decision and concentrate on querying a small press instead.

    Thanks Laura.

  8. This is definitely something to contemplate. As hard as it is to catch an agents attention, and then losing one…ugh! I can’t imagine. I agree with EArroyo, I’m on the traditional path because I like the idea of a partnership, but this post has given me something to think about.

    As if this industry isn’t hard enough to break into as it is…I hope things work out for Angela. Soon.

  9. Arlee Bird says:

    Now I’m depressed. Well, not all that depressed. Maybe I should say more challenged, as though getting a book published and sold to the public is not challenging enough already. Times are tough and the market is competitive.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

  10. Danyelle says:

    Commercial publishing is going through some major upheavals right now. Bookstores, distributors, and publishers have a complicated dance going on that’s getting shattered in some places.

    I do have to say that a lot about the publishing process (from querying on up) is difficult, some of it doesn’t make sense, and some of it is out dated. I’m also very glad that as authors, we have more choice now than we did even a few years ago.

    I’m attacking publishing in a 3 pronged approach: commercial, self-publishing, and small publishing. This has been a good thing for me, because not only do I have eggs in more than one basket, when I do get rejections that are more due to the business end rather than the writing itself, it’s not so crushing. And when I do get requests, I don’t feel as desperate for things to work out.

    I’m really excited for next year when all the ground work I’ve been working so hard on this year will begin to flourish. 🙂

  11. Linda Gray says:

    Spot on, Laura. The last two years have delivered a storm that turned into a hurricane in traditional publishing. The dust hasn’t settled yet, and there are still random kitchen appliances and whole houses flying through the air, and they will come down. There’s no reason to believe it will all work out in an orderly manner, either; there will be lots of trial and error. But there ARE opportunities. We can either be early adaptors or wait for the curve to develop and show us the safest way to move forward. To me, small presses hold the greatest promise right now–a chance to actually have professionals to work with who will help with the process and get your book done right.

  12. amie borst says:

    i couldn’t agree more. things are changing…and my brilliant hubby has been encouraging me to seek alternative paths for 3 years. i just wish i’d seen what he did all that time.

  13. you know, it’s no wonder that more and more writers are going independent. 😦

    ♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥
    Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?
    YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!

  14. Btw, I love the new look of your blog! ❤

  15. I’m not querying yet, but I plan on trying that rout when it is time. I think it is important to remember that it is possible. Books are still getting published. It’s conference season right now, so I am sure the agents will be back to it soon.

    Happy writing.

  16. Sarah says:

    Wow, lots of strong opinions here. It certainly is a time of rapid change and upheaval, just like in the economy in general. I don’t think it makes a lot of sense to dismiss ANY legitimate publishing options out of hand, and I really don’t think it makes sense to dismiss ALL agents, for example, as bad. People are still getting agents left and right, and there are lots of new deals from paying presses posted everyday, negotiated by agents. I know mine works incredibly hard, in ways I never expected her to when I signed, and on things I would NEVER have even considered or questioned were I going this alone. I’m relieved to have her, and my career is going to be better as a result.

    I understand other authors have had different experiences, some of them very painful (and I also understand my own journey is in its very earliest days). I wouldn’t take one despairing agent’s (as in, Angela’s agent’s email to her) word for it that the publishing business is tanking, however. That seems a rather precipitous claim. Instead, I would be glad there are so many options for authors these days, options that didn’t exist just a few years ago. People are finding success in all sorts of different ways, fueled by their creativity and energy. I think that’s pretty awesome and empowering, no matter what road you choose to travel.

  17. Mike says:

    I signed with a mid-size publisher. I don’t know if it is the right choice but it makes me excited at the prospects.

  18. roguemutt says:

    I know somebody like that. She got an agent once or twice but they’ve never been able to sell anything. More than ever unless you’re someone famous traditional publishing doesn’t care about you.

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