• Misc,  On Writing

    Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing: Agents and Contracts

    These last two weeks I have been watching a friend struggle with all the agent myths AFTER getting an offer from a major New York publisher for a multi-book deal that he marketed and sold himself. And watching this, I came to realize that there is still another agent myth that I haven’t covered in a chapter. This is a brand new myth because of the change in the industry and agents. The myth is that you must have an agent or an attorney to negotiate a book contract. A myth that I have taught and believed up until things changed in the last few years. Truth: Today, sometimes, under…

  • Misc,  On Writing

    Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing: Agents Take Care Of Your Money

    Would you e-mail a perfect stranger and offer to give them control over your money? Sound like an internet scam? Sure it does, yet this is what fiction writers do all the time. I have touched on this in a number of different ways in the other agent chapters in this book, and had no intention of coming back to it in a stand-alone chapter. Then I started getting private e-mails about how I was wrong about agents, about how they were partners to writers, about how this agent or that agent had taken great care of the writer. Fine, except for one issue. With attitudes like those writers had,…

  • Misc,  On Writing

    Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing: Agents Can Help with Careers

    Kris and I in workshop after workshop, in conference after conference, give the same advice over and over. WRITE WHAT YOU ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT, THEN TRY TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO SELL IT. The myth: Agents can give good career advice to writers. This chapter on agents to me is the most important of all the agent chapters. Agents thinking they can give career advice to writers is so wrong in so many ways, it’s going to hard to figure out where to start first. And it disgusts me in so many ways, I’m going to have a certain level of problem keeping balanced on this. Fair warning. I think…

  • Misc,  On Writing

    Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing: All Agents Care About Writers First

    I never intended to do so many of the agent myths in a row, but since we’re having such a great conversation, and Laura Resnick brought this one up in the comments on the last one, it makes sense to just go on. New writers and many professional writers believe that when they hire an agent, the agent has their best interest only in mind. With many modern agents, this is so far wrong, a writer’s interest doesn’t even get in the top three places of focus for some agents. So said clearly, the myth is: Agents always have their client’s best interests in mind. But before I start, I…

  • Misc,  On Writing

    Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing: Agents Know Markets

    Back to agent myths for a moment. There are a lot of them. I did a general Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing post about how you need an agent to sell a book. If you haven’t read it, go here and read it now. The myths that surround agents are killing a lot of writer’s careers these days. There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t hear stories from at least one writer about how an agent hurt them. Often more than one. The myth that you need an agent to sell a book is an ugly one, the myth that writers work for agents instead of…

  • Misc,  On Writing

    Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing. Agents

    The myth is simply: YOU MUST HAVE AN AGENT TO SELL A BOOK To be clear, I like agents and have no desire to bring them harm. But the myths these days about agents are so thick and have become so ugly to new writers, I figured I had better tackle at least one of them next. And yes, there are more than one. And in the last 20 years, the biggest myth that has blown up into a damaging myth is that you need an agent to sell a book. This is, of course, complete hogwash, but I have no doubt some of you reading this are already resisting…

  • Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing,  On Writing,  publishing,  Topic of the Night

    Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing: Traditional Publishing Takes Less Time

    This chapter came from a conversation at a writer’s lunch and hearing this myth from dozens of writers over the last few months. Finally just got fed up with it. And when I am fed up, duck. Chapter Five There is this belief that if a writer could just get a traditional publisher to take care of them, all would be great, they could only write, create great art, eat candy all day, sign books for adoring fans, and roses would grow in the dark out of their asses. Or something like that. This myth comes from traditional publishers because, in this modern world, it’s about the only thing they can…

  • Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing,  On Writing,  publishing

    Killing Even More Sacred Cows of Publishing: #3… Getting An Advance to Help You Write Your Book

    Book three in this series. Book one was KILLING THE TOP TEN SACRED COWS OF PUBLISHING. Book two was KILLING THE TOP TEN SACRED COWS OF INDIE PUBLISHING. Both books are available everywhere in electronic, paper, and audio. What I call a “Sacred Cow” is basically a myth spread around publishing like the truth. Myths such as “rewriting must be done for every story.” Myths such as “you need an agent to sell a book,” or “sell a book to a different country.” And so on. You can either buy the first two books to get all twenty of the Sacred Cows, or just click on the tab above and read them…

  • Challenge,  Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing,  On Writing,  publishing,  Topic of the Night,  Writing in Public

    Another Sacred Cow Treatment

      ANOTHER SACRED COW TREATMENT Well, read one too many articles about the stupidity of giving a traditional author an advance so they could be free to write their book. That myth had to be stabbed at with my little sword. Oh, and I got back to work on the novel.  —— THE DAY Did an interview for a podcast this afternoon. Great fun and I’ll link to it when it comes out. Then off to walk, then to the mail, the store, and back to WMG offices where I worked on different stuff until 7 p.m. including starting on the Sacred Cow chapter. Home to cook dinner, watch some television,…

  • Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing,  On Writing,  publishing

    Killing the Top Ten Sacred Cows of Indie Publishing: #10…There is Only One Way to Publish a Book

    Myths ignore facts. Myths are often beliefs built from fear or past actions. In this series, and in the previous series of Killing the Top Ten Sacred Cows of Publishing, I call the myths that control writers “Sacred Cows.” Writers hold onto myths like lifelines that are keeping them from drowning in a raging river of information. Sometimes sane people in the normal world will follow a publishing myth that makes no sense at all because it has something to do with the publishing business. And they follow the myth without thought. So this new series is an attempt to help the new world of indie publishing with the growing…