Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Monday, March 21, 2016

Such a Big Deal

I've been collecting writing books since I was in college. A couple of them I still have and read for inspiration. Most of the writing books I thumb through, read once or twice, then discard as no longer helpful.

I like reading what other people have to say about writing, such as techniques, how to get inspiration, things they are working on. Now instead of having to buy a book with this kind of information, I can get it for free from blogs. So many writer blogs.

Do you remember back when starting a blog was a big deal?

Do you remember back when getting a publisher was a big deal?

Do you remember back when telling people you're a writer became a big deal?

Do you remember when telling people you had a book on Amazon was a big deal?

Do you remember when it was a big deal to sign with an agent?

Now, blogging is one of the oldest forms of social media. Tens of thousands have long been abandoned.

So you're a writer? Isn't everyone?

You've got a book on Amazon? Doesn't everyone?

You have an agent, good for you! Good luck selling the book, hope you're not in any hurry.

Getting a publisher is not as difficult as it once was, with so many new  ones popping up every day, hungry for material-- ebook only, pay for services and hybrid types are bloated with start-ups.

It makes me wonder if there are any Big Deals left in the book publishing world. Maybe signing with one of the Big New York Publishers and getting a Six figure advance. If I got a six figure advance, it would definitely be a big deal to me.

But we've even heard those stories before, and how the book doesn't earn out the royalties and the writer is dropped. There's a whole lot of sad tales about what happens with the "dream" agent or the "dream" publishing contract.

Is there any magic left in the world of writing and publishing? What do you think? If you allowed yourself to dream big and pull out all the stops, what would be your Big Deal?


  1. My big deal would be seeing any of my books on the big screen.
    I still feel blessed with what I accomplished. It was a big deal to me. That's all that mattered.

    1. Alex, seeing one of my books as a movie would be a Very Big Deal indeed! I'd rather have that than a six figure advance any day.

  2. Hi, Karen,

    I certainly remember when blog was a BIG deal. I remember how excited I was when another writer followed me. It took me almost SIX months to get to 100 and I was ELATED... Now I am at almost 800, and recently lost about 70... Not such a big deal really. We have all become SO busy with life.

    I still dream about the perfect agent... and FINALLY being published. I am HOLDING OUT. I want NY agent and top six publisher. It may never happen. But that's okay. I find writing my blurbs, taglines, and intros for other writers and helping them move forward is VERY SATISFYING for me.

    As my blog states. IN TIME... it will happen for me, too. AND YES, I will be very excited.

    I also remember One very exciting moment ... when a wonderful blogger buddy asked if she could use one of my comments at her website. I will never forget that Karen. It was a very special moment for me....

    Yes, I believe there still is magic. It may be some amazing story that hit pay dirt and could come from ANYWHERE... that is really exciting. Amazing success doesn't have to be from traditional publishing anymore. And perhaps some day I will follow that trail.

    Life has been taking up so much of my time. Now that I FINALLY have my place in the sun... I should be closing soon, God willing, I can focus on my wiring again...

    Nice to see your post, today, Karen! I hope all is well with you and your family!

    1. Michael, Your comment is still up on my website, and I read it frequently, along with the other writer comments I have there to get inspired by.

      It will be a big deal when your place closes, I'm sure! And I know one day you will have your publishing deal as well, whatever that turns out to be for you. We find our own journeys, the one that fits us and suits us perfectly.

      I knew I was not the type of person to go after an agent and a Big 6 publisher. I'm a quiet small person who does things in a quiet, small way. It just worked out that my first book, Farm Girl, which also is a quiet, small book, inspired an investor to start WiDo Publishing and request my family's involvement. We'd have never done this on our own. WiDo itself is a quiet, small publishing company and is the perfect fit for me.

      It's just interesting how a path unfolds, and I truly believe success comes when we are true to ourselves rather than trying to copy anyone else's way out of envy or greed or fear.

      I'll bet anything once your housing situation is settled, and all these complications are worked out, you will truly find your place in the sun. It's so fun to follow along in your adventures with you, and with other bloggers who have become my good friends. I always miss those who have disappeared and given up the blog for whatever reason, although I respect and understand the motivation for letting it go.

  3. It's funny how big deals become old news after a while. I'm always surprised how quickly people lose interest in a book or movie after a sprint to the top.

    I don't give much thought to big deals because they too eventually peter out to the norm.

    1. Maria, "Big deals become old news" LOL, so true. You basically summed up my entire post in five words!

  4. I love this remember when post Karen. I'm sure there is still magic somewhere. I am sure there's a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for someone. I am sure I'm going to keep writing whatever... Someday, someone may appreciate what I write.

    And blogging may be the oldest social media, but I still like it best. Though lately as life whizzes past, I'm thinking I may revert to monthly blogging on IWSG day and get on with my writing and travelling.

    1. Denise, Oh don't cut back too much! Yours is one I always look forward to reading. The post today on older writers was great!

  5. I still think blogging is fun and this means I am not into fads. I think writing and getting published is simply amazing!

    1. Me too, Birgit. Writing and publishing always been magical to me and always will be.

  6. As far as writing goes - You probably can't get Mslexia - it's a writing magazine for women - where you are, but I read it avidly. Getting anything accepted by them would be wonderful.

    But my life is wonderful, even if that nver happens!

  7. It definitely seems as if blogging is kind of shrugged at these days. But I still love all of the wonderful connections made through it :)

  8. Hi Karen - I never knew I could write ... so when the blog started that was a big surprise and still is ... I'm looking forward to getting my A-Zs up into booklet format and then branching out with other series ... so I'll be happy where that leads me. I give talks and write articles - not so many, but keeping my toe constantly in the water ...

    Then the world is my oyster! Cheers and those I remember whens are fun ... cheers Hilary

  9. This post really made me stop and think, Karen. I know I don't give blogging the attention and intention it once had. And my dreams of being traditionally published and what would happen with my books didn't happen the way I wanted them to. But I absolutely still believe in magic.

  10. All these milestones are still a big deal in my memory or wishlist pool. I noticed that for all the plethora of enterprises, the number of strives grows exponentially. My agent just had to close her doors to new submissions because the flood was overwhelming. The more there is, the more there is. The odds have not improved.
    Besides, I believe everything we do matters.

  11. Like you, I deal with authors every day and for most it is a big deal to be accepted, even by a small publisher. It's the achievement of a dream for them and I try not to forget that.

    Blogging is still important and still a joy. After 11 years, I've seen the ups and downs. I've also been through many other social sites - Deviant Art, My Space - but this one has stuck.

  12. Oh, memory lane... I like to seek my advise as needed. I like the search engine in my sidebar for finding blogs addressing the topic I need NOW. I just don't have the memory capacity to store anything less urgent than that. As for my big deal... I want a bestseller in hard back.

  13. Hi Karen, for me too getting a six figure advance will be a huge deal. Infact just seeing my books published will be a big achievement :)

  14. These are nightmare, horror stories in the world of everything connected to writing. Getting published by a legitimate real publishing house seems like pole-jumping. But, I, too, also believe in magic and in stubbornness. Keep going!

  15. My big deal would be to actually get back at it...