Monday, November 29, 2010
Guest Blogger, Edie Ramer:
A friend is getting rejections on a book that I think agents are CRAZY to pass up. It’s a mainstream premise about a situation that’s topical now, has been topical for many years, and will be for quite a few years more. And it’s not her writing—she’s been getting great comments on her writing. It’s the topic. They’re scared of the bigness of it, the importance. This is about something that matters in people’s lives. Something that breaks hearts and lives. And maybe something that can glue them back together again.
She’s working on another book that’s more commercial, and I love her practical attitude. I suggested she self-publish the mainstream story but it feels like a New York book to me. She agrees. A friend of hers is one of the first Kindle users and she buys most of her books through Kindle now. Her friend, a non-writer, says she gets her ideas of what to buy in magazine ads, browsing in book stores, Target, etc. My friend doesn’t have a big web presence, and she wonders how people would find her.
It’s not easy, I can tell her that. And it doesn’t happen overnight. I can tell her that, too. I don’t think it’s easy for anyone. The best advice I can give anyone who is self-publishing is to write the best book you can, and to work on getting reviews. And then concentrate on writing the next best book you can. It’s my opinion that quality writing, great characters and good plots do get recognized if you keep at it and don’t give up.
But back to my friend’s book with the big mainstream premise. I wish I knew what made agents and editors so scared about something like this. It seems to me that they’re putting out cookie cutter books, so much so that I sometimes read a newly published book and it feels like I've read it before. The plot and the characters are so similar to what’s already out there—what’s been out there for years now. Even if the writing is great, I sometimes can’t finish it.
Can you remember the last book you read that was fresh and innovative? With a plot and writing that made you think Wow!? I’d love to hear titles.
I’ll start – Lying Eyes by Amy Atwell, a caper book published by Carina Press. Good for Carina for taking a chance on fresh stories.
Edie Ramer has two books out digitally right now: Cattitude, about a cat who trades bodies with a woman and but keeps her cat attitude, even as she falls in love with her former owner.
Dead People, about a determined ghost therapist, a brooding songwriter, a sad daughter and a mean ghost. Lastly is a short story, The Seventh Dimension, with lesbian ghosts, a haunted house, adultery, murder and more.
See? Not the usual NY fare.