My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Introducing Claire Youmans

[Today it is my pleasure to introduce Claire Youmans as our latest guest blogger.]  

They say it's not what you know, it's who you know, and nowhere is that more true than in the world of writing. There's a gigantic industry out there, parts of it bearing formerly respectable names, designed for the sole purpose of taking money from writers. Free advice (urging you to pay for more) abounds. The real industry that publishes books has shrunk, consolidated and vanished into inaccessibility. You can't actually get there anymore, not without a native guide. Meanwhile, the Parasitic Service Industry and various forms of DIY publishing, especially easy-access electronic publishing, have created a huge obstacle course not to publishing itself but to reaching the actual industry “in group” and the readers authors desperately seek.

A certain few people, most of whom teach at MFA programs, still claim that query letters, sent snail mail, to the three agents in the whole world who will even look at unsolicited queries, one at a time, giving each six months to think about it (if they even answer at all) so that, if accepted, you might get your work sent to one of the few marketplaces that will give a glance at unsolicited submissions even if agented, is the ONLY way to get “properly” published.

Note the use of the word "unsolicited" above. That means unless you have a PERSONAL IN of some sort, you will not be able to even reach anybody at all. Ever. It's not what you know, it's not how good your work is, it's WHO YOU KNOW. This is where you come in.

If you actually attract the attention of a publisher, it's likely going to be a small one, one that will provide you with hardly any of the services (editing, etc) that publishers used to, and all the marketing they'll give you is a place in their catalogs — that’s still something, but basically you're on your own. Want to reach your readers? The odds of winning the lottery are better.

The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy is a small-press independently published book. It's doing well, gets great reviews, and is slowly finding its audience among the huge bedlam that is book publishing today. The next book, Chasing Dreams, is even better, and shows The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy for a series that can and will grow, expand, and last. Set in a realm of historic fantasy, these books are ripping good adventures for boys and girls with plenty of monsters, challenges and excitement as Meiji-era Japan leaps from toppling feudalism to first-world power, while never losing the core culture, values and beliefs that make it unique even today.

So, who do YOU know? Do you know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody who just might sell books for wider distribution and film and series rights? Will you perform an introduction? That's all it takes to get some fantastic books out of the slush pile.

I want to meet your friends, and so does every other writer you know.

Claire Youmans



Facebook: The Toki-Girl and the Sparrow-Boy

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Toki-Girl-Sparrow-Boy-Claire-Youmans/dp/0990323404/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

If you would like to guest blog for Writing About Writing we would love to have an excuse to take a day off a wonderful diaspora of voices. Take a look at our guest post guidelines, and drop me a line at chris.brecheen@gmail.com.

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