#ROW80 Check-in: Publishing ponderings

What I learned at work this week: non-writers do not understand things like “This character is being frustrating right now.” They all just looked at me funny, as though to say “What do you mean you don’t have complete control over this fictional character of your own creation?”.  And then tried giving advice that didn’t really help at all, because character in question was Prince Felipe, whom I know very well, but they don’t know at all, and then my lunch break was over and I hadn’t achieved very much.

row80I did finish reading The Nutcracker, however, and while I haven’t written an outline yet, I have got a page of notes and questions that will have to figure in the outline… There may have to be some serious rejigging of the 7500 words I wrote essentially off-the-cuff; certain scenes will parallel the original story if I change them around a bit more. A lot of these plot elements were in the abridged version I read a while ago; I probably could have avoided this if I’d made more notes at the time, but hey, we win some, we lose some.

After doing that on my lunch break at work on Thursday, I then got about 40 minutes of editing on AMCF done in the evening (give or take). That combined with half an hour on Friday night and an hour or more this morning and I’ve achieved about two-and-a-half hours this week, surpassing my writing goal of two hours a week. So yay for that! I’m actually finding these revisions relatively painless. If I keep going at my current rate, I should have the second draft finished pretty soon.

I visited all my sponsor posts! Yay! As for my short stories goal… I’m really tempted to scratch that off my goals for this round… My focus is well and truly on AMCF at the moment and I don’t feel like I want to be writing short stories and submitting those, because that will take me away from my bigger WIPs! So… yeah, short stories can come at some other time.

I have been doing some thinky thinking since Wednesday, though. It started when I read Alice Janell’s Wednesday check-in in which she excitedly announced that she had sold her first novella to Taliesin Publishing, whose website I then proceeded to have a poke around. Then on Thursday night, my housemate asked me how the writing was going and mentioned that some friends of hers have recently started up The New List Books, a brand new publishing company based right here in the same city as me and devoted to showcasing the best of up-and-coming authors. I also remembered Cassandra Page mentioning that she had recently signed with Turquoise Morning Press.

Since starting with ROW80 18 months ago and seeing so many fabulous self-published indie authors, I had thought that would be the way I wanted to go when I finally get something to publishable standard. I think my main reason for this was, to be honest, that self-publishing seemed like the “easy” option (in some ways, anyway; I’m not completely naive about the process). But since reading up on these indie presses, I’m kind of keen to see whether I could get accepted by one of them… The idea of query letters and submissions always made me feel a bit queasy, but suddenly I feel a bit bolder about the whole thing. And if it doesn’t work out, self-publishing is always there to come back to.

Either way, though, it’s going to be a little while before I need to make any of these decisions. A More Complicated Fairytale is only in its second draft and about a third of the material in it is new for this draft, so I will need feedback on that and I envisage doing at least two more drafts before I start thinking about submissions. But it is something that I will be keeping in the back of my mind.

Anyhoodles, I’m off to visit my new baby cousin this afternoon, so I’m going to finish up there. I’m not sure what time I’ll be home tonight, hence getting the post done early. But I’ll catch you at check-ins over the next couple of days! 🙂 (Oh, and by the way, my sponsor post goes up on the ROW80 blog tomorrow; keep an eye out for it!)

~ Emily


11 thoughts on “#ROW80 Check-in: Publishing ponderings

  1. Elaine Jeremiah says:

    Sounds like you’ve been working really hard Emily. I hope you manage to publish AMCF sometime soon when it’s finished. I’ve read so many extracts from it, I’d love to read the whole novel. 🙂


  2. Debbie_e says:

    I do lots of writing in my lunch break too, and also find that I have to go back and revise stuff that I wrote off the cuff. Sounds like you’ve had a good week though.
    I think you have a could attitude about your publishing decisions too. If you want to try the traditional route there’s no harm in it and you have nothing to lose.
    I’ll look out for your sponsor post.


  3. Kat Morrisey says:

    I thought, when I first started ROW80, I’d go the self-pub route too. But after a lot of research on self-pubbing and different publishers, I decided to submit to a few smaller presses-I’ve heard back from a few but haven’t signed anything yet. (I hate making decisions! LOL) It can feel scary at first, because you’re putting your work out there for someone to read, but it’s really not so bad. I did a bunch of research on it first -the do and don’ts of querying type information mainly- and that made the process much easier, and not so scary! Whichever way you go though, you can do it and we’ll be here to support you and cheer you on! Great job on your goals and I hope you have a great week!


  4. catemorgan says:

    This is why I don’t speak writer-ese at evil day jobbe. “But why didn’t you like such-and-such?” “There was no story structure.” “Okaaaaay….”

    Sounds like you had a productive week–keep going!


  5. Kate Sparkes says:

    Haha, yeah… I don’t try to talk to non-writers about that stuff. That’s what you blog people are all for. 😛

    I’m very happy for people who sign with small presses (I can only imagine the excitement of signing with a publisher!), but they make me nervous, personally. Not because they’re small, but because they’re so often new and untested. If I was going to hand my work over to a publisher who’s going to take royalties, they’d have to already have a good track-record of book production and promotion (as in, have several real successes under their belt), and I’d need to know they could do the same for me. I do hope these small publishers make it and that their books take off, but often I don’t see that they’re doing more for a book than a self-publisher could do by hiring a good editor, cover designer, etc.

    Again, nothing against anyone who goes that route; I’d never say never, I’m still on the fence about a lot of things. I’d definitely consider it for a shorter work like a novella, something I didn’t want to put the time and money into publishing myself. But as far as novels go, that’s how I look at it right now. If I’m going to fail, I don’t want it to be because someone else let me down. I’m going to fail on my own terms, dangit! 😀


    Hello, my name is Kate, and I’m turning into a bit of a control freak.


  6. Cate Russell-Cole says:

    Emily, you’re going great! Take a deep breath, be brave, read up on query letters and go for it! If it’s meant to be, it will. If not, I am sure you will find another, better way.


  7. Ruth Nestvold says:

    Heh, I don’t talk with non-writers about writing if I can avoid it — except sometimes my immediate family, since they understand a bit better what the process is all about. Besides, a couple of them are first readers for me. 🙂

    Indie and traditional publishing both have their advantages and disadvantages, but as you say, you’re still not quite there yet, so you have plenty of time to research the options. Good luck either way!


  8. Alex Wren says:

    Normal people just don’t understand that the people living in our heads are real people with personalities and lives and annoying qualities of their own. It must be so boring in a normal person’s head, though quiet 🙂

    Yay for surpassing your writing goal! Best of luck for the coming week.


  9. stephseclecticinterests says:

    OK, first thing . . . I love, love, love your signature. So cool! I also like your word, anyhoodles. Excellent! Congrats on the progress you’re making and kudos re: knowing when to set aside one goal in lieu of those that are more pressing. All the best this round. TTFN


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