Sunday, December 7, 2008

Free book on being a career novelist!

Today I found a free (though rather dated) book on succeeding as a professional novelist, written by an active literary agent, Donald Maass. I'm still reading through it but thought it was something interesting to pass on:

It gives some of the "hard info" I'm always looking for, to better understand the literary world. For instance, some numbers:
-5,000 (fiction novels published in the U.S. every year);
-5 (books on average, to be considered an established author);
-10 (average number of years from initial manuscript to established author status).
Although that is very YMMV, of course.

Dated or not, it's interesting to get an agent's perspective. I skimmed some of the early chapters (Persistence is key to a successful career? Really? I never would have guessed that) but I really liked the chapter on successfully pitching an idea.

I love to write, but I am also really intrigued by the business aspect of the writing process. Right now am I so motivated to make my desired changes to Shards (just a few bits of re-writing to do) so I can start contacting agents. More on the agent search to follow. :)

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