Okay, now we can get back to our regularly scheduled Writer Wednesday.
I've noticed that authors are doing a lot of griping lately and I'm getting tired of it. Now, remember, some of you know me as an author, but I'm an editor too. It gives me the ability to see things from both sides of the fence. I would say it gives me a deeper understanding, but it also gives me a greater burden. Because, without looking like the bad guy, how do I explain things to make it all run smoother? The best I have is my WW posts. I'd like to go over some points, and I'm going to say it now, if you can't handle sarcasm, D. F. style, then don't read any further. Otherwise I'll just sound mean because you can't take a joke.
1) Submissions: I don't know where authors got it in their head that a submission should be responded to within a matter of days to a week regardless of guidelines saying they will take "x" amount of time. When I have 8 different manuscripts in various stages of editing, and I'm the only acquisition editor for one line, plus the managing editor for three others, I can't just drop everything and read your baby the second it comes through the door. I'd imagine other editors are just as busy, if not more so.
Do NOT send me an e-mail a week after you've submitted saying you've got another offer elsewhere. Give me some damn time to read your book. If it's an 60k manuscript, I can't read it in one sitting. Much as I'd love to with some of my subs, I simply can't. There have been times I've even let my husband drive (god help us all) so I could read a new submission. If you've gotten another offer, then pull the manuscript or wait for the time our guidelines state. When you e-mail like that, it makes me angry because I feel like you are trying to back me into a corner. "Accept me now or I'm leaving."
On a side note: One of the author groups I belong to does not allow authors to post when they've subbed something. At first I wrinkled my nose and just kinda went "huh..." Now I see the wisdom of their ban. It puts undo pressure on the acquisition staff to accept your work, and accept it in a hurry. Don't we look like the bad guys when you are bouncing around like a school girl going "I sent in my stuffies!" only for us to go, "Your stuffies don't work for us!"
2) Sales: I've had it up to here *points at eyeballs* with hearing authors whine about their sales. It's going on everywhere and I'm about to start punting people with a golf club (hey, I'm 75% Scottish, it's my weapon of choice! LOL.) I'd like to make a few points, if I may.
Luck: Sales are based on luck. Are you lucky enough to have 500 friends and family who support you avidly? Bully for you. I come from a town of 4k people, most of whom don't even know my name because I was a loner growing up. The rest...don't have e-readers. They couldn't buy my book even if they wanted to. It's a risk I took going into e-publishing versus print. Besides...I'm kinda glad my Daddy can't buy a copy of any of my books.
Trends: The best way to make sales is to study what's hot and selling like crazy. For now it seems to be anything vampire and werewolf related. That's great and all, but that's not generally what I write. So when I'm over here writing about Kelpies (20 points if you know what one is without having to Google that shit!) then I can't expect my sales to be off the chart.
Advertisement: Okay, just stop for a moment. Go to your Facebook or Twitter or Twit-Face (whatever you use) and scroll. How many groups do you belong to that are all authors screaming at you to buy their book? How many friends do you have that are authors posting links to their books in their feed? Yeah, sorry baby, but you ain't special. You've got to do something to really garner attention if you want to get some sales. Otherwise you are just peeing into an oncoming wind.
Advertisement Part 2: So, your book released six months ago, and you're crying because you aren't getting sales? Hey, guess what, no one remembers your release. Unless you are still finding ways to advertise your book right now, you aren't going to get much interest. Not without the LUCK of people stumbling onto your book.
Buy Links: The publisher I work for posted some very interesting math equations the other day that made me sit back and go, "Huh." I mean, I suck at math, but this made sense. Let me show you what he said.