The Next Circle of Hell, Vol. 2

editing_for_authors
Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Wholegrain

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Do you have a named publicist, and could you send an email to her with your editor CC'd in asking what their publicity plans are?

I don't have experience with an agent leaving the industry. I did leave an agent and queried afresh; no luck with the first book I did this with, but the second book got an agent quickly. I think however, in your position, that I would prefer to go querying rather than stick at the agency unless I was convinced the new agent genuinely wanted my work. I would not want to go with another agent at the same agency if I felt they were obliged to pick me up, and not really committed to me as an author. However, I appreciate you have your new project, and that might push you more in the direction of sticking with the agency if that is an option. I hope it works out for you!
Thanks Raggy.

So anyway, (prepare for venting) after 3 books I at last have a named publicist but the ball has been dropped so often in the last few years it's time to cut away the safety net and hightail it out of Dodge.

I suppose I'm being a little bad tempered here because I was hoping my new project would let me burn all the bridges and move on. All I want are my contributor copies now. I guess if I don't get them in by the end of next month I'll ask the editor. They're in the contract at least!

On better news I emailed my agent and they said the head agent will be looking after things in the meantime. If the process might give me a break and fortune smiles upon me (for once) they'd take me on as a client, but the agency occupies some of the biggest names in my genre, and they are very over-stuffed. (Also I'd feel weird emailing a busy agent about a few hardback copies worth a couple hundred bucks when they're in the middle of negotiating an eight-figure film and book deal! I am so small potatoes in comparison, practically microscopic!) Oh well, if things were easy to get they would not be so appreciated...
 

angeliz2k

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Thanks Raggy.

So anyway, (prepare for venting) after 3 books I at last have a named publicist but the ball has been dropped so often in the last few years it's time to cut away the safety net and hightail it out of Dodge.

I suppose I'm being a little bad tempered here because I was hoping my new project would let me burn all the bridges and move on. All I want are my contributor copies now. I guess if I don't get them in by the end of next month I'll ask the editor. They're in the contract at least!

On better news I emailed my agent and they said the head agent will be looking after things in the meantime. If the process might give me a break and fortune smiles upon me (for once) they'd take me on as a client, but the agency occupies some of the biggest names in my genre, and they are very over-stuffed. (Also I'd feel weird emailing a busy agent about a few hardback copies worth a couple hundred bucks when they're in the middle of negotiating an eight-figure film and book deal! I am so small potatoes in comparison, practically microscopic!) Oh well, if things were easy to get they would not be so appreciated...
Of course the agency might think/act otherwise, but you don't deserve to be ignored and essentially belittled just because you're book isn't their top earner. If you're their client, then you're their client, and you deserve their full attention. This is from an ethical and moral standpoint rather than a business standpoint, but ethics and morals matter, too. So, hopefully they treat you like you deserve, and don't feel weird emailing them (or at least, try not to!).
 
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Fuchsia Groan

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Well, I’m almost done with my new draft. For this one, I did something I’ve never done before: forged straight ahead with very little revision. (I often write in longhand and type it in later, so there is some revision, but it’s pretty surface-level.) I’ll use the coming week to revise properly, from beginning to end, and then I’ll find a few readers for it, and then … we’ll see. I’ve never written a ms. so quickly, and while I don’t hate it yet, which is good, I also don’t trust it to be good.

I keep having to remind myself that after three books I’m still an unproven writer. I like my books, and a few critics and bloggers have said nice things about them, but not enough to move the needle. I may be on a different wavelength from my potential readership. At least getting this draft done is distracting me from my upcoming release.
 

RaggyCat

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I'm glad the agency have been in contact, Wholegrain, and you know where you are for now. I know the feeling of not wanting to bother a busy agent about something small - try to override it, if you can, it's all business at the end of the day and you've every right to ask.

Well done on finishing (or nearly finishing!) your draft, Fuchsia. How did you find forging ahead with very little revision? I did this with the last book I had to write quick and I hated working that way - it made me agitated! I don't need stuff to be perfect before moving on, but I do need to feel confident. I'm happy to be one of your readers when you're ready for them, btw, so long as the timing works out! Do you feel more or less nervous about your upcoming release than last time? I was quite chill about the release I had last year but was NOT chill about this April's release. I'm still not!

I've been forging ahead trying to revise the start of my WIP (the one an offer should be forthcoming on.) I don't know if my edits are improving it or not, which is stressing me out. I have the same issue I had with my last YA thriller in draft form - the second half is a lot stronger! I don't know whether I'd be better off trying to trim the first half down as much as possible, or working on the first half to make it better. I'm determined that I will NOT make this mistake with the next YA thriller I draft!
 
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Fuchsia Groan

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Well done on finishing (or nearly finishing!) your draft, Fuchsia. How did you find forging ahead with very little revision? I did this with the last book I had to write quick and I hated working that way - it made me agitated! I don't need stuff to be perfect before moving on, but I do need to feel confident. I'm happy to be one of your readers when you're ready for them, btw, so long as the timing works out! Do you feel more or less nervous about your upcoming release than last time? I was quite chill about the release I had last year but was NOT chill about this April's release. I'm still not!

I've been forging ahead trying to revise the start of my WIP (the one an offer should be forthcoming on.) I don't know if my edits are improving it or not, which is stressing me out. I have the same issue I had with my last YA thriller in draft form - the second half is a lot stronger! I don't know whether I'd be better off trying to trim the first half down as much as possible, or working on the first half to make it better. I'm determined that I will NOT make this mistake with the next YA thriller I draft!
I kind of enjoyed the freedom of drafting and not looking back. I had to work in short intervals around my day job and promoting the other book, so it was hard to have that sense of continuity that you need for revision. But now I’m worried about what I’ll find when I read the whole thing!

I tend to have the same problem as you’re describing: my starts are slow, and things don’t heat up till the second half, but then they really heat up. In my upcoming release I dodged the problem by using a dual time line, so it alternates between “slow burn, regular life” chapters and exciting chapters. By contrast, the book I’m working on starts out with a pretty exciting hook, but then I worry that it sags in the middle. Personally, I like a slow-burn thriller, as long as it doesn’t take forever to escalate.

My last book release was soon after lockdown (July 2020), and the whole thing was muted, to say the least. No one was in bookstores. For this one, I’m trying to keep expectations similarly low. My local store has decided on an in-person launch, and I hope I can get more than three people to show up!