Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Rock On with Susan!

image Today we have Susan Helene Gottfried guest-blogging about her dreams for a New York publishing contract. Her blog is 3/4 outtakes of the fictional characters who live in her novel, Trevor's Song, about a rock band. Tres cool!

Spy often talks about writing for the New York market. Me, I didn't know there was anything but the New York market until I started my blog in 2006 and began learning about how the publishing industry was evolving, usually by the day. Talk about being smacked in the face; things had changed to a degree that was shocking.

I've never wanted anything but to be published by the big New York houses. Oh, maybe I'd get the cool status of being published by an indie, but when I began circulating manuscripts and querying for my first agent, indie pubishers generally fell into two categories in my mind: Algonquin, who published southern lit (which I love to read but can't write), and the indies who favor literary fiction (which I loathe to read and write).

image I landed that first agent. Didn't make a sale. Got caught up in the life of a new mother, and kept writing. My characters of Trevor Wolff and Mitchell Voss -- and the various and sundry people who now accompany them across the pages of my blog -- were born months after that first agent and I parted ways. While I'd been creating them, I'd no idea that things had changed. To me, writing a novel meant writing something aimed at mainstream America. The major New York publishing houses. I didn't favor one above the other; frankly, they are all the same in many ways. They put out your book (I've always hoped for trade paperback format. It's my favorite.) and get it into bookstores. If you're lucky, they do publicity and get behind you. You're an author. Done deal.

Almost three years after launching The Meet and Greet, I'm still astounded at how things have changed. E-presses have popped up and are flourishing. Amazon has changed the face of the bookseller forever. When people talk about indies, they no longer talk about independent publishing houses like The Permanent Press. They are referring to Mom and Pop bookstores, where the staff knows the regulars as well as they know the merchandise. Where life support is, sadly, becoming a necessity.

image I'm usually one to investigate new things. And I did. I checked out the various e-presses and the independent publishing houses, but none of them fit my style. They were too erotic, too mysterious, too edgy and alternative for this metal-head. Even some of my published friends have told me to aim for the biggies. I had an agent agree and offer representation based on the idea that we'd head right to New York. It's where I belonged, she said -- and then she vanished, leaving me alone and not a little bit confused.

My dreams won't vanish, though. And every time Spy talks about aiming something at the New York market, I have to smile.

For me, there is no other way.

Thank you, Susan! While you're waiting for New York to buy her book, you can enjoy outtakes of Trevor's gang in her book, The Demo Tapes. (Get it? The Demo Tapes? LOL! Isn't that the coolest? I've read it, and it ROCKS!)

In celebration of rock music, I leave you with this song that has been running through my head ALL day:

11 bonus scribbles:

Charles Gramlich 1/20/2009 07:08:00 PM  

I wouldn't have minded selling to New York. But so far they haven't beaten down my door. I've even left it unlocked for them.

Anonymous,  1/20/2009 08:51:00 PM  

I love the pictures, lady! You rock!

Edie Ramer 1/20/2009 09:29:00 PM  

Susan, I'm still trying for New York, too. I know I'll make it. It's just taking longer than I thought.

Melanie Hooyenga 1/21/2009 10:12:00 AM  

What a great post. Susan, even though you've clearly had some setbacks, your determination is very inspiring. I'm also aiming for New York, but that's not my only goal. Right now I'll be happy with getting an agent and trusting their judgement on where my book belongs.

Good luck to you!

Lauren 1/21/2009 10:34:00 AM  

Great post. I will have to go check out your blog. I think it's great that despite your setbacks you are still focusing on your writing dream.

Vesper 1/21/2009 12:13:00 PM  

Great article! Very inspiring. Thank you, Susan and Spy! :-)

Thomma Lyn 1/21/2009 12:47:00 PM  

Spy, it's great to meet you! Susan sent me over. And what a great guest post. You know I'm rooting for you, Susan -- you're a talented writer with characters who walk off the page and live in readers' minds forever. :)

And yes, Demo Tapes ROCKS. When I read it twice back to back. And I'll be reading it many more times. The characters are like old friends.

Thomma Lyn 1/21/2009 12:47:00 PM  

...meant to say, "when I RECEIVED it, I read it twice, back to back." Got a case of fumblefingers today.

Bobkat 1/21/2009 05:34:00 PM  

Hi Spy :) Here via West of Mars!

Hope you both get that NY deal soon. Susan rocks and if she says you're cool then that's good enough for me! Good luck!

lainey bancroft 1/21/2009 06:16:00 PM  

Thanks for sharing, Spy!

Susan, you've built an amazing world and filled it with interesting characters. They deserve to hit the Big Apple. Way to hold fast to your target!

(I deleted:( I hate that blogger won't let me fix typoes or spell-oops)

L.C. Gant 1/21/2009 11:14:00 PM  

Thanks for sharing your blog for the day, Spy! And great post, Susan! I know you'll make your dreams come true with a NY deal someday soon. Persistence always pays off in the end. Best of luck to you!