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Has Anyone Ever Written a Book?

How was the process?

I'm writing one right now. It's memoir. I have an agent. It's one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life.

It's tough to live with it, tough to sit down and write, tough to try to write it well, and of course the internal censor is ALWAYS there telling me how shitty what I'm writing is.

Now I understand why so many people talk about "someday" writing a book instead of doing it.

Because it's fucking hard.

by Anonymousreply 14412/21/2013

It's hard yes. Rewarding yes.

If you can't turn off the internal critic get some therapy...seriously.

by Anonymousreply 112/05/2010

How'd you get an agent?

by Anonymousreply 212/05/2010

Just write. Don't edit while you're writing. Write and write and write. After you have amassed a good deal of material step back for your critical. But not before.

by Anonymousreply 312/05/2010

Queried literally dozens and dozens of agents until I found a few that bit. One liked the topic and my writing and was very excited by it, so I went with him.

I've been with him for about 2 months now. We agreed that since I have the luxury to write full-time that I would show him at least a first draft of the completed manuscript by 12/1 (which I extended to 12/15).

So I've got 7 days to finish, which is perfectly doable. I'm about 80% done.

Some days it's great, and other days it's very, very tough. I'm in a strange place in my life, and it's like the book is all I've got at times.

by Anonymousreply 412/05/2010

Did you give the agent samples of what you'd already completed of the book?

by Anonymousreply 512/05/2010

r4, if you have a week to go and you're 80% done, sorry to break the bad news but you are going much, much, much too fast. Good books don't get written in five weeks.

by Anonymousreply 612/05/2010

r6, not everyone writes the same way.

by Anonymousreply 712/05/2010

I am a perfectionist, OP, and I want to be a writer but I sometimes feel like I'd be more likely to stick my hand in a pot of boiling water than actually get myself to sit down and write. So, good on you for facing it.

One observation I can give though is that a couple of years ago I took a drawing class and was amazed to realize that the first half hour to forty-five minutes of each class session was agonizing because my inner censor/editor kept up a torrent of criticism and despair, but then after that it seemed to melt away and I could actually get into the moment-by-moment process of drawing, and it would become relaxing and enjoyable.

Then, the next time I sat down to draw my inner critic/ego/whatever would start throwing a huge tantrum all over again and I'd be convinced that this is pointless and miserable and I can't take it anymore, etc. Every single time. Do you find writing is like that as well? Does it get easier/less agonizing after an initial 30-45 minutes or so?

If that's the case, please let me know and I may get the courage to try it myself!

Oh - also, there's a book called Bird By Bird that's apparently very useful for writers to work through writers block. I cannot personally recommend it because I haven't read it. But it's got 4.5 stars out of 5 on Amazon with 376 reviews.

by Anonymousreply 812/05/2010

Yeah, I had a full 75-page proposal created which included sample chapters and everything.

That's what he's going on thus far to pitch it, but I know we'll have an easier go at it once we have a full manuscript and he can see the whole direction of it.

My plan is to pound the damn thing out in the next week and a half and NOT LOOK AT IT until after the New Year. And I know I'm annoying all of my friends because it's all I fucking talk about.

This thing is driving me absolutely mad. Probably because it's so personal and important to me.

And thanks for listening to all this ranting.

by Anonymousreply 912/05/2010

OP. like all the arts, it takes talent. Some people have it and others don't. If you're really having a hard time, maybe you fall into the latter category.

by Anonymousreply 1012/05/2010

I've written and published many books. I now tend to think in book-length units; it just gets to be a habit. But the first one is unquestionably the hardest.

by Anonymousreply 1112/05/2010

Good for you, OP. A lot of aspiring authors never write a word.

I've published several books and made a living as a writer for more than a decade now, so I get a lot of questions from would-be writers. Most of them are jumping the gun -- "How do I get an agent?" or "What's the best way to approach a publisher?" -- when they haven't got a manuscript done.

That's actually OK, and I don't mind sharing my advice and experience, but the people I really dislike are the ones who corner me at parties or wherever and proceed to spin out their "idea for a book" (which is always, always awful) and then conclude with "So that's my idea. You can have it!"

But success does happen, OP -- I have had two acquaintances in the last five years get book deals, but it was only after a year or two of working hard on a manuscript. One person actually got a multi-book deal based on her first ms.

I do, however, agree with r6. I can't imagine finishing a book in a week when I'm only 80% done. Even Stephen King, who writes quickly, spends at least three months on the most basic novel. If you can write 20% of a book in a week and make it good, I know a lot of writers who would pay to learn your secret.

by Anonymousreply 1212/05/2010

OP, I think you're overly dramatic to the point of hysteria...maybe its what you need to be successful.%0D %0D Picture yourself at a book you have a hysterical breakdown? Would you say you're all a flutter?

by Anonymousreply 1312/05/2010

r10, the talent is there. At times I do admit there is a discipline issue.

r6, you're totally right. The real work is going to come when I revise and revise my manuscript. And I've been working on it in some form for the past 15 months.

r8, that's exactly what it's like. I do work some days and it actually ends up OK. Then I get terrified about the next time I will have to sit down and write, but after the first 20 minutes it starts to flow again.

by Anonymousreply 1412/05/2010

OP, you're probably having a hard time right now because it is so personal and you're secretly afraid of "being done with it", that your identity is wrapped up in owning and being defined by the content of the book and that finishing it means losing some sense of self. Change your thinking.

by Anonymousreply 1512/05/2010

What is interesting enough about your life for you to write a memoir? A first book memoir would be a very rare thing, especially a truthful one.

by Anonymousreply 1612/05/2010

[quote]...the talent is there.%0D %0D Others will be the judge of that, not you and the one agent who agreed to work with you. You seem to have a skewed view of a lot of this.

by Anonymousreply 1712/05/2010

OP, if you want to write, you need to enroll in an expensive, time-consuming MFA writing program! For the connections! And, um, to develop your craft!

But only after starting endless threads here about whether or not you should go back to school full time!


by Anonymousreply 1812/05/2010

It took me two years. I would start, read what I'd written, then start over. There was also a point where I didn't like where the characters were taking me, so I took a break from it and started all over again. It can be an incredibly draining process, but worth it in the end.

by Anonymousreply 1912/05/2010

Update time:

There are four publishing houses interested in the manuscript, and I got my deadline extended a week. My agent is going to go over and copy-edit during the Christmas Break.

It's unlikely that we'll hear anything before Christmas, and honestly having at least a first draft will make it an easier sell than my proposal, which is a little choppy.

I'm at a really tough place right now, so instead of just sitting down and writing, writing, writing, I'm going to work on outlining the rest of what I have to write.

It's hard, but I'll be done with my first draft in 7 days. DONE!

by Anonymousreply 2012/14/2010

Anyone in the publishing industry who can tell us how the marketing is handled? From publication date on average how many weeks does the author do TV/radio interviews and book signings?

by Anonymousreply 2112/14/2010

Yes, a Sci-Fi novel that I am now rewriting. Also started a second novel that is childhood memoirs in the 60's. I'm writing a play that is taken from the memoirs, that I hope to have finished next year, as well as the first novel. I want the play on Broadway. It's courageous, it's lesbian, it's romance, sweet, bittersweet, funny as hell, and it's all true. I think there is a role in it that Cherry Jones might like, after all, these are southern girls. lol I am the writer who will be known as, "V"

by Anonymousreply 2212/14/2010

I've written a few, OP. If you need any advice, just give me a call.

by Anonymousreply 2312/14/2010

I would avoid the memoir.

by Anonymousreply 2412/14/2010

"What is interesting enough about your life for you to write a memoir? A first book memoir would be a very rare thing, especially a truthful one." Yo I wrote a memoir. It wasn't that hard. srsly.

by Anonymousreply 2512/15/2010

Palin has colored one in....

by Anonymousreply 2612/15/2010

Well, you sound self-impressed enough to get a memoir published, OP.

by Anonymousreply 2712/15/2010

I'm in the process of writing one now, based on my experiences in the porn industry. It's slow going though. I'd write a lot more if I wasn't working so much.

by Anonymousreply 2812/15/2010

I would say, unless you are a writer, it's fucking impossible.

by Anonymousreply 2912/15/2010

Op you must have some story to tell if they have such interest shown .

Good for you...let us know when it gets published. I love to read bio's.

by Anonymousreply 3012/15/2010

Just be a whore, blackmail your clients in publishing, steal jokes from DataLounge, use it as your own personal blog and PR shill spot, pretend to be clever and people will believe it! To have no talent (which you obviously have none of, in abundance) is not enough!

by Anonymousreply 3112/15/2010

R31's envious bitchery should win awards.

I coauthored a memoir you can find on It was a totally fun experience. My coauthor had been dead for seven years and left an unpublishable manuscript his family thought had merit. I did a lot of research, filled in crucial details of context he omitted, and reconstituted the whole thing into something readable.

It was so rewarding to get a box of books back from the printer and run my hands over the 3-dimensional object that had an ISBN and a Library of Congress catalog number and my name on it. The cover looked great, too.

by Anonymousreply 3212/15/2010

Yes, I wrote a nonfiction book, which was published two years ago. What was insane was my telling my editor at the publishing house I could crank out the manuscript (nearly 300 pages) in a year! It was a very arduous process. I had to interview about 35 people for it. I did a great deal of research, lots of transcribing and of course, writing. I mapped out a schedule every week of how much writing I had to get done to meet the deadline. It was nutty (and I had a regular job while I was writing the book). But I did it. I did book signings, some interviews, a well known radio show, etc. It even got reviews. Now even though I didn't make a fortune from the book, I definitely feel it was one of my greatest accomplishments. I'd love to write another--I am thinking about a memoir but I think my particular story might not be that unusual for readers...

by Anonymousreply 3312/15/2010

The only bad thing about my book, R32, WAS my cover. Good god. And I chose the BEST of what my editor sent me from the designer's mock-ups. Bleech. My bf at the time kept telling me it was HORRIBLE. He was right.

by Anonymousreply 3412/15/2010

R18 is VERY close to the truth.

by Anonymousreply 3512/15/2010

So...all these writers on DL, and yet the majority of the posts here are barely literate, and largely consumed with the abdominal muscles of F-list television performers.%0D %0D It just doesn't add up.

by Anonymousreply 3612/15/2010

A very good friend of mine wanted to write a novel years ago. He was not a writer. He actually wrote, and followed all the rules, got an agent yet got no takers when it was put out to publishers. With his agent's help, he rewrote for 9 months, resubmitted and got three bids. The book was a well-enjoyed minor success the summer it was released. He does not want to write another novel, because he says it is incredibly lonely work. He's happy with one.

by Anonymousreply 3712/15/2010

No, no one has ever written a book.

by Anonymousreply 3812/15/2010

[quote]It's memoir.%0D %0D Shouldn't it be "It's a memoir"%0D %0D I'm no grammar whiz, but.......%0D %0D Regardless, you come off like an asshole.

by Anonymousreply 3912/15/2010

R31, you should see a doctor. Seriously, there's something wrong with you.

by Anonymousreply 4012/15/2010

R28/Pornchick - sounds like it's going to be a great read. Good luck with the book!

by Anonymousreply 4112/15/2010

I'm a literary agent, and a client's book is currently on the NYT Bestseller List. He'd never written a book before, and to be honest, it was like pulling teeth to get this guy to produce a publishable manuscript. The book's selling like hotcakes, but it could've been so much better if he'd followed my editorial direction. I shouldn't complain, though, we're getting a HUGE royalty check in the spring.

by Anonymousreply 4212/15/2010

R42 here again.

OP, why is your agent waiting for a complete manuscript to submit to editors? Most nonfiction is submitted in proposal form--with a few sample chapters. Once a contract's signed with a publisher you have at least nine months to finish the book. Why would he/she rush you into cranking out a complete memoir? And why has he/she already confirmed interest from so many editors? Most agents don't query editors until the project's ready to go. I'm getting a bad vibe here.

by Anonymousreply 4312/15/2010

Is it true that F. Scott Fitzgerald was extremely talented, but had really bad grammar and his books had to be highly edited?

I watched Steven King being interviewed one time, and the audience were college students who were allowed to ask him questions. This one girl stood up and told him she felt like giving up on her dream being a writer. She said, everyone loves her stories, and she was told her content is just fantastic, but when she brought her manuscripts to the English professors, they criticized her work to shreds because of her bad grammar. Steven King said, here is the problem with English professors, there are so many students who are extremely talented, and they get discouraged because the English teachers and professors tell them they won't make it because their grammar is bad. However, English professors are only knowledgeable about the technical part of writing, but determining if content is really good or not, the English professors have no knowledge about that part of writing. He said many authors have bad grammar, but they have editors to fix that problem. Steven King said, English professors really need to keep their mouths shut, and stick with only what they know because English professors are clueless when it comes to content. Does anyone here agree? Or disagree? with this. This is a very interesting thread.

by Anonymousreply 4412/15/2010

r44, some English professors are shit and others are insightful. Most are somewhere in between.

[quote]He said many authors have bad grammar, but they have editors to fix that problem.

No, they don't. "Editors" today are marketers and do very little editing -- certainly not line-editing.

A publisher isn't going to take on a manuscript with poor grammar because the story is good. The acquiring editor won't even get that far: after the second or third grammatical clunker, he or she will put down the manuscript and pick up the next one.

There are plenty of writers whose grammar and spelling are adequate, who are also capable of constructing a good story. In general, if you break the rules of grammar, you'd better know how to use them in the first place and be doing it for a reason.

by Anonymousreply 4512/15/2010

OP, again, what is so interesting about your life that you can get a memoir published? You don't have to outline the whole book but why can't you give us a synopsis or just some little details. I really don't believe you. Everything you've said sounds almost right but not quite.

by Anonymousreply 4612/15/2010

Does it include a man goes up into the man scene OP?

Please share so we can shred it and fix the apostrophes.

by Anonymousreply 4712/15/2010

r42/43, my agent isn't waiting for a complete manuscript to submit. He's already queried editors with the proposal.

Back when he signed me in September, he and I both agreed that because I'm in a place right now where I can dedicate my time to writing (among other pursuits), I should just go ahead and work on the first draft.

The book is on a very timely issue, and we know that we should get it out as soon as possible to capitalize on the issue. He's not rushing me to do anything. I KNOW that I'm gonna be spending at least the next 6 months doing very intense editing and rewriting.

I figured that I may as well have something to work off of. And one of my goals for 2010 was to complete at least a draft of this project before I even got an agent or anything.

r46, I have a gay coming of age story with a unique and timely twist. I'm not gonna say more because I don't want this to become about how good/shitty the idea is, etc., etc.

r47, there is a lot of sex. There is so much actually, particularly in the middle section, that I know some of it will ultimately need to be removed.

Thanks to all the well-wishers and to everyone else. This is very draining and very lonely, but I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

by Anonymousreply 4812/16/2010

"one of my goals for 2010 was to complete at least a draft of this project"

But instead you're auditioning to be the next self-absorbed pseudo-Josh Kilmer-Purcell, wasting all day online doing useless self-PR, neurotic blathering, and proving how utterly uninteresting you are.

The fact that you're blocked says something. You can't write, because deep down you know no one cares.

I smell Pulitzer!

by Anonymousreply 4912/16/2010

Thanks Blue Polo. The title of my book is "It's OK To Say 'Pussy' - A Good Girl's Adventure's in the Porn Industry."

Any agents think that it might sell?

by Anonymousreply 5012/16/2010

OP = G.W. Bush.

by Anonymousreply 5112/16/2010

"I have a gay coming of age story with a unique and timely twist."

Iraq war vet comes out on reality show in a steam room with John Travolta while Lady Gaga sings!

by Anonymousreply 5212/16/2010

TYPE it, don't write it

by Anonymousreply 5312/16/2010

r44/r45, if your grammar is bad, then you can work to improve it, but if you're not talented, that you can't really improve. Even if your grammar/spelling is flawless.

by Anonymousreply 5412/16/2010

Oh, just tell us the timely twist, OP.

You can ignore the bitchery -- you already have an agent.

Were you in the military?

Raised by two gay parents?

A Muslim terrorist?

by Anonymousreply 5512/16/2010

My guess s/he was bullied, and comes here for the inspiration needed to relive those years in words.

by Anonymousreply 5612/16/2010

I don't envy you, OP. I wouldn't want to write any sort of book on a deadline.

by Anonymousreply 5712/16/2010

OP, send us a tweet!



by Anonymousreply 5812/16/2010

Is this going to be a Kindle book or one with paper pages?

by Anonymousreply 5912/16/2010

What's the title of your memoir, OP? Caftans and earrings?

by Anonymousreply 6012/16/2010

What's the title of your memoir, OP? Caftans and earrings?

by Anonymousreply 6112/16/2010

A timely issue NOW doesn't mean a timely issue by the time the book is released. I don't think you were in the military (you've posted had a previous career in advertising or marketing...something like that). I think you were either in a glee club or you had an aspirational website called POOP where you recommended your favorite $1000 a night / $10,000 handbags to the poor masses.

by Anonymousreply 6212/16/2010

Written a book! I've hardly ever read a book!

by Anonymousreply 6312/16/2010

What is so significant about your life?

by Anonymousreply 6412/16/2010

Sarah Palin writes bestsellers. Being an author ain't what it used to be. Any piece of illiterate trash can get published these days. Hell, even Snooki has a book deal.

by Anonymousreply 6512/16/2010

"I have a gay coming of age story with a unique and timely twist. "

Any guesses on how often the word 'bully' will appear?

by Anonymousreply 6612/16/2010

Anyone think that these publishers that are interested in OP's book are all gay boutique publishers that will pretty much publish anything as long as its gay in theme? %0D %0D OP, did you happen to pay some money to your agent to be your agent?

by Anonymousreply 6712/17/2010

"...because I'm in a place right now"

No, you're not. You're wasting your days on a frackin' gossip website.

by Anonymousreply 6812/17/2010

Sure are some jealous bitches on here.

by Anonymousreply 6912/17/2010

R69, have you really never learned the lesson that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is? %0D %0D A gay bully book with a twist? And, it's a memoir? Of an unknown person? Yeah, that sounds so original that real publishers and agents would be jumping all over themselves to get their hands on it.

by Anonymousreply 7012/18/2010

"Sure are some jealous bitches on here."

Um, no. Some of us have had books published, with and without publishers, to some acclaim. We did it ourselves, without whining about it in advance on a gossip site meant for amusement.

He/she has an agent and a contract, is lucky, despite no clear proof of talent or reader interest, and should shut up and get to work.

Judging by the pedantic tone of OP's posts, this is one book that will quickly be cluttering up the remainder bins.

by Anonymousreply 7112/18/2010

OP = Reichen

by Anonymousreply 7212/18/2010

"My agent is going to go over and copy-edit during the Christmas Break."%0D %0D I have NEVER heard of an agent who did that!%0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 7312/18/2010

That's because it's not a real agent, R73. It's probably some unemployed person with an English degree who thought up a job for himself and posted a flyer at the grocery store memo wall.

by Anonymousreply 7412/18/2010

OP here.

There's a lot of venom on here that I didn't really expect, so this will be my last post on the topic.

A few days ago, there were two offers made on the book, and there are another two publishers are interested.

My (very real and commissioned) agent is trying to create an informal auction between the four interested to get the best deal. I will probably have something confirmed by end of January.

Most likely, we're looking at a late summer/early fall 2011 pub date. And you guys will know exactly what it is when it's released.

So that's it. My dream is coming true. Though there is still much work to be done, there's light at the end of the tunnel.

Thanks to all the replies with honest suggestions and well wishes.

I have to get back to work.

by Anonymousreply 7512/19/2010

OP, you're getting bent out of shape over a few anonymous posters who will never see a book they've written get published! You're joining the ranks of 1% of all aspiring authors, but you appear to be really thin-skinned. Your agent would be wise to have you put on suicide watch when Dwight Garner or Janet Maslin (if you're lucky) let the world know what they think of your book. PS - IF hell freezes over and you get a review by Michiko Kakutani, I'll buy 100 copies of your book.

by Anonymousreply 7612/19/2010

"Sarah Palin writes bestsellers"

She hasn't written anything. Everything that comes out with her name on it was written by her speechwriter.

The first book with her name on it was a bestseller. "America by Heart" has finally managed to get on the NYT bestseller list after a few weeks of struggling, which considering the major publicity it's been getting is pathetic.

by Anonymousreply 7712/19/2010

I've been a professional writer and editor (never professionally published a full-length book of my own, but published many articles and contributed to books published by others and helped them through the submission and publication process) and I think the current system of giving out contracts to nonfiction writers on the basis of an idea rather than a completed manuscript results in the publication of a lot of insubstantial and unreadable books.

OP, it's this simple, if you hate writing your book we are going to hate reading it. You need to put the agents and publishers and inner censors out of your mind and get back to why you decided to write this book in the first place. What do you want to tell us? What do you want the experience of reading this book to be like for us and what do you want us to get out of it? When it comes down to it, writing your book is really no different than posting to DL. You'll just have a much bigger potential audience and a much more important means of communicating with it.

by Anonymousreply 7812/19/2010

Michiko Kakutani isn't half as smart as she thinks she is.

She gets to make sweeping, unsourced platitudes about the subject matter of the books she reviews, and no one questions her bullshit because she's a book critic.

by Anonymousreply 7912/19/2010

OP, who is your target audience(s)? I also wrote a book and having a specific audience/readership in my mind when I was writing the manuscript made it come out a lot cleaner and faster than if I had no idea who my target audience(s) was/were.

Think about your audience when you are working on your manuscript and that will help you immeasurably.

by Anonymousreply 8012/19/2010

Good for you, OP. During a slow period at work, I also wrote a gay coming of age story with lots of sex. It was really tough to do but I loved it. Then work picked up again and I didn't get to finish it. Someday I will, I hope.%0D %0D Anyway, I'm looking forward to your book, definitely let us know when it's out.

by Anonymousreply 8112/19/2010

"There's a lot of venom on here that I didn't really expect"

"Because you're a naive fool, or just new here?

" this will be my last post on the topic."


by Anonymousreply 8212/19/2010

[quote]has anyone ever written a book?

why yes, of course.

Oh, you mean has anyone on DL written a book...


by Anonymousreply 8312/19/2010

After reading OP's post at R75, I'm now sure that he's full of shit.%0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 8412/19/2010

Most likely, we're looking at a late summer/early fall 2011 pub date. And you guys will know exactly what it is when it's released."

I also wrote a book--went through the entire process and I find the above as stated by the OP to not be believable the slightest bit. For instance, even if the deadline for the completed manuscript submission is early 2011 (like February or March), it would take a while (almost a year) for line edits (there are several rounds from the main editor), for the approval of the cover graphic, for fact-checking/copy-editing, for getting testimonial quotes from respected industry people for backjacket and for final round of review when manuscript is in galley form. All this takes almost a year but OP makes it seem like it'll be a few months after he submits the manuscript. Unless you're working with a joke of a publisher (or are self-publishing), it doesn't work that way--certainly not with a legitimate publishing house.

by Anonymousreply 8512/19/2010

My book was published by Warner Books (now Hachette) and it came out 9 months after submission of the manuscript.

It was an unusual case. Another book was dropped and they wanted to replace it on their list. So sometimes there is a faster turnaround.

by Anonymousreply 8612/19/2010

If poor neurotic OP can't handle a single self-absorbed thread full of snide attacks, just WAIT for the gay media reviews!

by Anonymousreply 8712/19/2010

[quote]Unless you're working with a joke of a publisher (or are self-publishing), it doesn't work that way--certainly not with a legitimate publishing house.%0D %0D There's a reason he hasn't said which publishers are interested. They're tiny, crappy gay-only publishing houses that are probably print-on-demand with cheesy everything. Of course, now we'll never know since OP has run away from his own thread.%0D %0D He's a fraud.%0D

by Anonymousreply 8812/19/2010

If writing a book is the hardest thing OP has ever done, it seems unlikely there is much to put in a memoir.

Do you suppose there will be a chapter or epilogue describing the trials of authoring the book?

by Anonymousreply 8912/19/2010

I bet the OP is re-writing the recent Glee storyline with people in his own life substituted for Kurt, Blayne and the gay bully football player. The twist is that, in the end, he and the gay football player end up together.%0D %0D So in the moment, so now, so good!%0D %0D OP, you can have them use that quote on your dust jacket if you want. Just make sure to credit me and DL. Your book seems like just the kind of book that should have a quote from DL on it.

by Anonymousreply 9012/19/2010

Contact this woman and pay for a one on one consult about your book. She's worth her fee.

by Anonymousreply 9112/19/2010

I'm the literary agent who posted a couple of times in this thread, and I'm inclined to agree with R85. Unless a book's being "crashed" (published ASAP), there's no way OP's book would be published less than a year from the agent accepting a publisher's offer. And--I hate to say it--but there's almost no market (at least for major publishers) for gay memoirs, unless you're Edmund White or former crackhead Bill Clegg.

by Anonymousreply 9212/19/2010

So, shall we take bets on whether OP is going to come back? I bet he still reads this thread all the time...but, only on breaks from his grueling writing schedule, of course.%0D %0D I think we should start analyzing what is psychologically wrong with someone who'd go out of their way to post bullshit like this on an anonymous message board. I mean, really, self-absorption is one thing but anonymous narcissism? That's a special kind.

by Anonymousreply 9312/19/2010

"He's a fraud."

You typed that like it's a bad thing.

by Anonymousreply 9412/19/2010

[quote]So that's it. My dream is coming true.

That plus the totally unbelievable (to those of us who know) details of the timeline... and you still don't know why you caught so much shit, OP?

You're not smart enough to write a book that I'd want to read.

by Anonymousreply 9512/21/2010

Written one? No.%0D %0D But I was reading a book the other day.It's all about civilization or something. A nutty kind of a book. Do you know that the guy says that machinery is going to take the place of every profession?

by Anonymousreply 9612/21/2010

No, only a dissertation for a Master's degree and I had enough...

by Anonymousreply 9702/21/2011

A classmate wrote a book and he only gets a fraction of every copy sold. Unless you're John Grisham, writing a book is more about the advance money and conversation starting opportunities.

by Anonymousreply 9802/21/2011

Miller Williams (father of Lucinda) said, "Write drunk, edit sober." Do that.

Write every day, as mentioned above.

Shut up about it. Don't describe your progress, plans, or obstacles. Just write and tell friends who ask, "It's going well." You'll burst to the finish just to be able to talk about it.

Please read your contract very carefully, especially the parts about electronic rights, serial rights, etc. Don't get dicked.

Ask for a dozen more free copies of your book up front. They'll give you some, and then you buy at a steep discount any additional copies. Do not underestimate how many of your friends want/expect free copies. It's hard to say, "Uh, I don't have more copies to give you," especially when you mean to say, "I went to every one of your stupid band's shows; buy one copy of my fucking book please?"

Good luck! You can do it.

by Anonymousreply 9902/21/2011

So, did you end up with a book deal? I've seen nothing on Publishers Marketplace lately.

by Anonymousreply 10004/19/2011

I'm writing a book about my pussy. It is legendary.

by Anonymousreply 10104/19/2011

OP, I'm loving "Bossypants!' Good job.

by Anonymousreply 10204/20/2011

James Frey has another book out. It got fairly good reviews in U.K. He'll be guesting on Oprah to push it.

by Anonymousreply 10304/23/2011

Pick a good title.

Mine always make liberal's heads explode which gives me tons of free publicity.

by Anonymousreply 10404/23/2011

Still writing?

by Anonymousreply 10506/08/2011

I just got a friendly rejection letter form the same publisher who's cranking out the 2nd Snooki "book."

by Anonymousreply 10607/13/2011

R98 That fraction is called a "royalty." Authors do not get the entire cover price--only a fraction (more usually expressed as a percentage).

The sad truth is that most books never make back their advance against their royalties. Mine just did....and it only took a decade!

by Anonymousreply 10707/13/2011

I'm wondering if 'coming out' as an author here will help my book sales.

Is it worth it to become the subject of inane attacks from trollinas?

by Anonymousreply 10808/04/2011

Apparently, no one would care, so I won't bother.

by Anonymousreply 10908/05/2011

I've written it! Open it to any page and the magic will touch you!

by Anonymousreply 11008/05/2011

Any update?

I'm hoping to write a book in 2012 and would appreciate any further advice about resources regarding finding an agent or self-publishing an e-book.

Also, what percent of the cover price would a first-time author expect?


by Anonymousreply 11112/28/2011


Check out It is a very inexpensive way to self publish. Your book will appear on and from there you may offer it on Kindle. The investment truely is "minimal" as this is "print on demand" and your share of the cover price (which you set) is a decent amount which you'll receive each month.

While it is very flattering to have an established publisher praise your work and publish it - the chore of finding a publisher who will look at your unsolicited manuscript can be frustrating and the process of getting a response may take as long as three months.

Finding an agent willing to represent you and submit your book to potential publishers is no easier. You'll find that most agents - unless you've got a substantial track record - will do precious little for you. For that matter - publishers who will take on your book won't do too much either.

Most promotion is something that you've got to do for yourself unless, again, you've got a substantial track record.

I don't intend to sound overly negative - although I probably do sound that way - and I certainly wish you the best of luck in finding an agent and publisher...But seriously consider the self publishing route if you don't get the results that you're hoping for.

by Anonymousreply 11212/28/2011

Thanks for taking the time to enlighten me r112, hug.

by Anonymousreply 11312/28/2011

Well kiss my ass, and make it a LOVE STORY!!!

by Anonymousreply 11412/28/2011

What's the quickest/most direct way for a skilled writer to make a lot of money?

What should he/she write? Who's their audience?

Where should they publish it? Online? On an e-reader?


by Anonymousreply 11512/28/2011

R115 writers don't make money. If you want money, choose a different profession.

I read recently that an average 'writer' in Britain last year earned around £17,000 (about $26,000). Can't remember now where I read it, but it seems realistic to me.

by Anonymousreply 11612/28/2011


...which, by the way, is a great title for a book!

by Anonymousreply 11712/28/2011

What's the quickest/most direct way for a skilled writer to make a lot of money?

Rob a bank.

What should he/she write? Who's their audience?

Write a book about robbing a bank. People who want to rob banks.

Where should they publish it? Online? On an e-reader?

In a bank.

by Anonymousreply 11812/28/2011

After all these months, I'm still curious. Did this guy get a book deal or not?

by Anonymousreply 11902/04/2012

Obviously not.

by Anonymousreply 12002/23/2012


by Anonymousreply 12102/24/2012

Any updates on people's books?

by Anonymousreply 12211/21/2012

Not enough people have an inner censor, and not enough know how to spell it spell it.

Writing a book is not so hard.

by Anonymousreply 12311/21/2012

"Writing a book is not so hard."


Show us yours; and the title? How do you spell it spell it (sic)?

by Anonymousreply 12411/27/2012

I'm hoping to start writing my book on Jan. 1st. I also hoped the same thing a year ago and obviously didn't start, lol.

by Anonymousreply 12512/28/2012

Updates on anyone's books?

by Anonymousreply 12601/17/2013

I'm about a month away from completing manuscript. meeting with publishers next week, totally afraid to have it out there.

by Anonymousreply 12701/18/2013

How did you find publishers?

Did you send them part of your book as a sample?

Please describe your cover letter and the process as I will be looking for a publisher around April.


by Anonymousreply 12801/18/2013

Great thread, a nice 2010 bounced thread for once! Here's a different scenario, I've written a play that is very personal to me, and I've gotten some valuable criticism from peers I truly respect. The problem is that I never set out to write, it came to me (it's based on a rather unfamiliar historic event) and I just started writing.

But what do I do next? How do you published writers figure out what your next work will be? Especially if your previous one really was a labor of love and inspiration. What if there's isn't a next book?

by Anonymousreply 12901/18/2013

Few questions..

What sort of presentation is an agent looking for when one puts forth a book?

I am attempting a memoir. When I present it, do I write the synopsis in the third person?

Also, do you have to be a recovering drug-addict to get a memoir published.

Lastly, can I just send three chapters as opposed to the whole book? Or would the agent require a completed manuscript? Many thanks

by Anonymousreply 13001/18/2013

I've written 2 novels.

Haven't been able to get either published so I'm a bit discouraged about it. I've published over 70 short stories so I know I'm an okay writer.

Both novels are gay themed so the market is really limited. There are fewer gay presses than there were a few years ago.

Don't really want to go the self publishing route. So much of the self published stuff is crap. I know I need to have my manuscript professionally edited and the cost of doing that would probably be more than I could make by self publishing.

I sometimes think about trying to come up with an idea for something that's more mainstream, but haven't got any good ideas.

by Anonymousreply 13101/18/2013

R131, Have you looked at Sibling Rivalry Press? They are gay-affiliated. I only had a little short story published in their recent gay men's fiction lit journal (Jonathan), but had such a good experience with everyone involved there, that I took a closer look at their operation and the kind of books they were publishing. It might be worth checking out.

by Anonymousreply 13201/18/2013

R131, I'd like to talk to you. I have a friend who's an editor in the autumn of her career. She charges $30 (or $35?) per hour (copy-editing, not marketing).

She's been saving my emails over the years and always threatens to put it all together someday, because I 'really should write'. I've heard that plenty in my life, but to hear it from an editor gives me a glimmer of hope.

The truth is, sometimes it just flows and is well-received by limited audiences. I've written small doses over the years (for no pay, of course). Other than those experiences, I'm a flop: nothing comes out right, I'm unbearably long winded, the magic isn't there. I don't know how or why I sometimes have the magic. I've never given it a real go because it's such a thankless, low-paying profession (I remember an author telling me she got a royalty from sales in the Philippines - the check was for $0.11).

How do authors move past the insecurity and not-good-enoughs, and into the narcissism, er, I mean self-assurance, that allows them to complete a book and present it to the world? My insecurities are so great (yeah, why am I posting all this on DL, to an inevitable castigation?!). I'm most interested in writing (and selling!) short-stories. I'm usually inspired and internally fleshing out my characters and my stories when I read others' short stories. I wake up thinking about them; poop thinking about them; go to sleep thinking about them. But don't have the guts to actually write about them, other than short blurbs. I like Sherman Alexie's short stories - he always makes me want to write.

So tell me: how did you publish your 70-odd short stories?

Also, R131, have you thought of soft-selling your gay-themed novels? Presenting them in such a way as to be well-received by a straight woman audience which might believe it is progressive, but has minor latent homophobia? Can you make your novels come from a point of emotional anguish that could be shared by anyone? To me, that is the secret to influencing the straights into acceptance - subtly helping them realize we're all the same, with similar struggles and needs. Don't give up! Just adapt. Keep calm and carry on.

by Anonymousreply 13301/18/2013

Thanks R132

Doesn't look like they are taking unsolicited manuscripts right now.

I need to get off my butt and look and see what's out there. I used to do a blog for GLBT writers and was fairly well connected when I did. Now I'm really out of the loop.

by Anonymousreply 13401/18/2013

Holy crap, I was the OP of this thread!

If anyone cares, I'll give you the rundown of what happened in my case.

The agent actually secured me two deals, which he advised me to reject because they were "too low." We went back to the drawing board and I was assured that there was interest from publishers, perhaps even enough so that there'd be an auction.

Fast forward a few months. No auction, no buyers, and my agent went ghost. After sending an unreturned email basically letting him go, I went back to my 9-5 very despondent. I pretty much gave up.

Then, a funny thing started to happen: I'd been lecturing on the topic for a few years, but I really started to catch fire again as a lecturer. It gave me the push I needed to go about finding a publisher on my own.

Last year I had my most successful year ever as a speaker, and I secured a book deal with a very small LGBT imprint. My book will be published in January of 2014.

The funny thing is: I've learned so much about the speaking and book selling industry in the past few years it is more beneficial for me to publish next year than it would've been two or three years ago. I've got more contacts, more speaking experience, and my speaking fee is already at a level that the press I do get from the book will only help (btw, unless you're one of the big dogs, getting on the lecture circuit is the only real way to earn money as a writer).

I was extremely depressed after the first two deals didn't happen but now I realize it was for the best. I have a gay-positive publishing home who are interested in future work from me and I've learned enough to maximize the book release when it does happen.

I guess the story here is never to give up.

by Anonymousreply 13501/18/2013

R127 here!

OP, what's the imprint? Maybe it would be a useful goodwill gesture for others in the thread if we made a list of LGBTQ/LGBTQ friendly publishers.

129, most cities will have a fringe festival or similar kind of theatre festival that encourages submissions from new writers. If you don't want to go the festival route (which you should, the pros outweigh the cons), submit directly to theatre companies in your city or elsewhere.

R128, I write for a newspaper, so I fortunately didn't have to do any cold contacts. As with any business, I'd suggest going on confidently humble. Believe in your work, but don't oversell it!

by Anonymousreply 13601/18/2013

R133, if you want to write, you have to write. If you can write one page every day for a year, you can write a book. The hard part is making it all work together,avoiding repeating yourself and being consistent.

I started out writing a novel. I took a few writing classes at the local college extension which kept me focused in the beginning. Having deadlines can help a lot.

One afternoon while working on one chapter that had a sex scene I got carried away and the chapter ended up reading like a porn story. Not sure what possessed me, but I sent it to one of the magazines and a couple months later it was accepted for publication.

It was all a big joke to begin with. After the first one, I tried writing one on purposed and it snowballed.

I started going to any GLBT writer events and learning more about how publishing works. I started finding out about calls for submission. I then started publishing in anthologies.

All the while I kept plugging away at the novels.

I turned one of my short stories into a screenplay and it was made into a short film that played in a handful of film festivals.

I started a blog for GLBT writers and was putting out info about submissions, letting people publicize their books, interviews etc. I took it down when I lost a job and went through some financial difficulties.

I found myself constantly motivated with every success until I reached a dead end with the novel.

I was part of a local writers critique group that started doing readings and workshops. We'd help other writers who were in town promote their readings. The group imploded and I ended up moving to a new city.

I tried to recreate what I was doing, but it never came together.

I then turned my creative energy to other endeavors and I pretty much stopped writing.

by Anonymousreply 13701/19/2013

Just keep writing.

by Anonymousreply 13801/22/2013

Good thread.

by Anonymousreply 13901/22/2013

Free advice from a fiction writing seminar. The one thing all great novels have in common: "Tension on every page."

And, no you can't put the word "tension" in the footer and call it a day. I asked.

by Anonymousreply 14001/22/2013

Also, if you want your query letter ripped to shreds/praised, go to craft thread. They'll give you advice. The kind of advice mostly unpublished writers give you but advice nonetheless.

They can be vicious and a lot of them are hungover so take them with a grain of salt.

by Anonymousreply 14101/22/2013

Congrats OP/R135! I'm a writer and have written many short stories and a novel manuscript that I'm also transitioning into a screenplay. I love writing because it's so rewarding and I love the feedback that I get from people who've read my stories. I wrote my manuscript many, many moons ago (we're talking 1990s here), and sent it out to several literary agents. The one that bit was a scam, but I wasn't deterred. I'm a bit of a procrastinator when it come to sending my writing out, but the few times that I did it I got "no thank yous". I'm still not deterred, because I will eventually get back out there and start submitting things again. I still write every day.

by Anonymousreply 14201/22/2013

Any updates on people's writings?

by Anonymousreply 14312/21/2013

Get the book "Shimmering Images". Trust.

by Anonymousreply 14412/21/2013
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