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

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.

21 comments:

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Publishing is so hard these days. First they say they want something commercial, then they say it's too commercial. It really is hard to find the happy medium. I still say unique is the way to go. You just have to hang in there until you find a publisher willing to take a chance on it. Good luck to your friend.

Kathleen Irene Paterka said...

Edie, great post! I'm currently reading LYING EYES by Amy Atwell and you're absolutely right, it's brilliant! (BTW, CATTITUDE was fantastic, and DEAD PEOPLE is on my "next-to-be-read" Kindle list ...). Hope your friend manages to snag someone's attention in NY.

Liz Lipperman said...

Edie, thanks for guest blogging with us at M&M even though I know you're battling a cold.

Kari's right. Publishing is really hard. If you've followed me on this blog, you know I always say that it takes good writing, a unique idea and LUCK to snag a NY eye...one of those right place at the right time kinda things.

From someone who has read Dead People and has the other two on her TBR pile, I can say DP qualifies as one of those fresh character ones you talked about. My guess is the other two will also be on that list.

As for Lying Eyes...been there, done that, and can vouch for that one, too.

I only hope you're able to say that about Liver Let Die when it comes out!!

Edie Ramer said...

Kari, I wish my friend luck, too. Her book deserves to be published. But she's probably right, and her next book will be published first.

Edie Ramer said...

Kathy, a big SMOOCH to you! I hope the same thing about my friend.

Edie Ramer said...

Liz, luck is HUGE in this business. But I think talent should be huge too. And luckily there are different paths for us to take now.

I'm looking forward to reading Liver Let Die. How could I pass up a title like that? *gg*

Edie Ramer said...

I just realized I didn't thank Liz for hosting me here today. Liz, thanks so much for the invite. You're the best!

Amy Atwell said...

Wow--first off, Edie, thanks for making my day by touting Lying Eyes. And Liz and Kathleen--glad to hear you're enjoying it, too!

My agent and I did the rounds with LE, but the NY publishers shied away because it didn't fit neatly within the romantic suspense niche. Meanwhile, readers seem to love the comedy in it. I'm thrilled Carina Press took a risk.

Edie Ramer said...

Amy, I'm so glad that there are places like Carina that are willing to step outside the box. I know they published Carrie Lofty's historical as one of their first books, too, and it's not the normal Regency romance. Good for Carina!

Melanie said...

Kudos to you for stepping out and trying something new, Edie! I wish you much success.

Edie Ramer said...

Melanie, thanks for being such a great supporter!

Dale Mayer said...

Hi Edie, I'm not sure NY knows what it wants anymore. I see so many great books from unpublished writers and so much garbage that made it to the bookstores that I have to wonder how and why.

I think it's a case of keep trying. Keep writing, and eventually, with that little bit of luck, the connection will happen.

Lol - at least I HOPE it will!!

Edie Ramer said...

Dale, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you. You certainly deserve to be published!

Lindsay said...

It seems that small pubs and e-pubs are taking more of a chance on new authors.
And yes, I agree, keep writing.

Edie Ramer said...

Lindsay, I think it's a shame that the big pubs aren't afraid to take chances. You would think an editor would get tired of reading the same book all the time, just because its what sold in the past, so she assumes it will sell again. I know I'd hate that.

Lindsay said...

And actually Edie, it's not just with publishers but on TV and the movies. Seems that people want to watch the same shows over and over again. To see anything new one really has to go back to the beginning of TV when the stories and plots were fresher and not retreaded.

Edie Ramer said...

Lindsay, it's true. With all the cable channels we have, we often can't find anything we want to watch on TV. That's sad.

Cassy Pickard said...

Edie- I very much enjoyed your post. Thanks for being with us on M&M. What a good topic. As a matter of fact the self-publishing agenda is up again on M&M Wednesday with another author's experience. I hope many chime in.

I love books in my hand- the real deal. But having said that, we are a 3 Kindle family. We love it for travel, storing so many books, and having the fun of vicariously purchasing new reads whenever and where ever.

Again, thanks.

Edie Ramer said...

Cassy, I'll try to make it back on Wed. Wow! 3 Kindles. That is great.

Today, I checked out favorite authors. One I wasn't sure whether I'd read or not, so I downloaded the sample. That's another nice thing about the Kindle.

Mary Marvella said...

I totally understand, Edie. I'm right behind you as soon as I finish a couple of shorter things that have been requested.

Edie Ramer said...

Mary, I'll be eager to read anything you've got!