Monday, July 29, 2013

Returning From Conference by Linda S. Glaz

Returning from a conference: wonderful people, great presenters, good news and bad news.
While at conference last week, it was such a joy to meet so many wonderful participants. I learned I need to smile more when I first arrive, otherwise I have a scary face! Yikes! Well, here’s the scoop on that. I am petrified when I’m in a new circumstance. So I people watch for a while until I fell comfy. Then I don’t stop smiling, OR talking. But I need to learn to smile while I’m doing the “getting comfy” bit.
Second, I met a few new industry individuals, wonderful folks with plenty to share.
The good news is they are always looking for wonderful new voices and are anxious to look at new authors.
The bad news is, while they are open to newbies, there are getting to be fewer and fewer established houses handling fiction. I learned of another house dropping the fiction line while I was there. And that is so discouraging.
So what does all of this mean to new authors? It means there has never been a time when your writing needs to be tighter, filled with more punch, and ready to go. It means you can’t expect the publishing house to do the work for you. It means…you MUST know your craft like never before.
Is that something to make you sit back and lament your career choice? NO! It is a wake up call. You should be learning and doing what you should have been doing all along—writing a strong novel and writing it well.


Elaine Stock said...

Very excellent advice, Linda!

And thank for being candid about your smile when you first arrive at conferences. I too must make myself smile, otherwise I look like I will cry (at least that's what I used to be told until I've been arriving since with that smile in place).

Anonymous said...

Are there less fiction buyers? Or are the other houses saturating the market with more titles?

Linda Glaz said...

My guess, and this is purely guess work, is that the market is being saturated with self-pub. And while some is horrible, and I mean really horrible, some are very GOOD in many instances. For those already struggling, I'm (guessing again) it just eats into what they are able to produce. All conjecture at this point, but we have to face the reality that the industry of today has a completely diff face from yesterday's.

Karla Akins said...

I have a scary non-smile face, too. I look angry or sad and I'm not much of a smiler in the first place. You have no idea how many times I've been told to smile in my lifetime and I hate it when people say that. My reply is, "I'm smiling on the inside!"

Terry Burns said...

You ladies don't know the half of it - think of having a big white mustache that makes you look serious even when you are trying to smile. Oh well, it is what it is.

Linda Glaz said...

Never thought of that, Terry! Whoosh!

Andrea Cox said...

Nice to see both the female and male side of this experience. I have the opposite problem. I am usually found with a smile on my face, even in serious situations.

Can I help it that I'm a happy person?