Saturday, September 25, 2010

Well, don't I feel silly for whining the day before

I have to accept the fact that the market will always have its higher demands and no, my ideas will not always fit them. YA (young adult) is a hot market and you know what, I could REALLY sell Riding Ten Thunders to that audience. But that is a pitch for another day.

I have validation for Heritage Fields (the title is changing but let's keep things consistent for the purpose of this blog).

I know what comes next: Rewrites and repackaging the story to make it marketable. Lots of changes are ahead to keep my foot in the door. I have to pry it wide open, take advantage of this opportunity.

I still don't know what the heck I am doing, but so far so good! I will chat more later about the folks I have met during the course of this conference. That is a conversation for another day.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chasing the money

There is a phrase in the entrepreneurial world called "chasing the money" which essentially means focusing your business on markets you have a high probability of getting sales. This also tends to mean not trying original ideas

It seems that I am NOT "chasing the money" when it comes to writing.

My pitch today struck a chord, which was good, but to have the group moderator vehemently steer me to the Young Adult audience...

That is not the product I am working on. None of the context works for a youth audience. The characters, setting, dialogue... these are grown folks and it would reduce the effectiveness of the story to handle it otherwise.

A YA story would have to start from scratch. Period.

Would you try to rework a Laurell Hamilton or Jim Butcher book and peg it to the YA audience?

If the editors I meet this weekend ONLY want YA fantasy material, I have nothing they want.

My book just doesn't work without the adult setting unless you want to lobotomize and sterilize the whole fucking thing.

Yeah, I am a touched pissed off about now. If publishers wonder why they don't sell more books, maybe they need to stop chasing trends and start leading trends instead.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Algonkian Conference is less than a day away

Tomorrow begins the four-day pitch conference. You get no points for just showing up. No one will pat me on the head for trying. Everyone selected to attend believes they have a moneymaker and you're damn right I feel the same about Heritage Fields.

The conference starts at 9AM sharp tomorrow and runs throughout the day. This will give me a crash course in the morning commute to Manhattan.

I am not as anxious as I am determined. You will not hear much from me until it is over unless there is some dramatic breaking news.

But let's keep our feet on the ground. This is competitive business.

There is a piece of strategy you should adopt when facing insurmountable odds. I forget if it is from the Book of Five Rings or the Art of War.

When outnumber and defeat seems certain, destroy your own wagons and remove the possibility of escape. Thus your soldiers will fight harder to achieve victory.

I'm paraphrasing but the sentiment is clear. Do not allow yourself to retreat. Move forward and win.

So... I am going to sell a book!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

In the homestretch for the pitch conference

The conference is almost here and I am surprisingly not nervous. That could change during the train ride into the city.

After some much needed cleaning around The Dojo, I will get back to sharpening my pitch. Even if I get a request from an editor to read a sample, Heritage Fields must be in top form.

I have been a bit frazzled trying to find the right work-life balance, but I think after this week I will have better clarity.

At the very least I can resolve my Halloween plans!


Okay, I am starting to feel a touch intimidated and freaked out. I have to remember this week is about PITCHING the book, not the book itself. I have to sell it like this is the next big "thing". The publishing world, much like newspapers, remains fiercely competitive. Even a face-to-face meeting means nothing in the end if the person doesn't "get" the story.

I took time off from work to attend this conference and I suspect it will be an intense few days.

Flame and Bone

When I was made from fire
Poured into the tender vessel of caution
That keeps my smoke from rising
Quickly did I discover that apart from crisp drizzles or falling snow
The world chilled my touched
Walking the narrow cornered gap between girders and cut stone
One learns to tuck his shoulders in or risk
Jostling a neighbor passing by rapt with want
For a clear path without the distraction
Of another man's boiling eyes
The tip of a finger
That oldest of all weapons
Grown deadlier and pristine in its invention
Gathers a mote of a cinder on its bare flesh
And turns pondering how best to scratch the impious itch
Prying open the tender seam
Where the oil of thought dews
Offering a new wick to ignite
Squirming alive as a salamander of mischief
That yearns for a taste of air it is so ready to devour
The steam of breath betrays me
Before the glint of orange spreads
In popping bright waves
Eroding the fibers feeding it
Leaving naught but ash
As my shell of quietude falls away