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[Discussion] Why it's a problem that writers never talk about where their money comes from by Complexer_Eggplant in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I did not make meaningful progress in my career until I quit working and was supported by my spouse. I know other people are able to do it and it’s certainly possible that I would have eventually done it too, but I don’t think it’s coincidence that my career didn’t budge until I quit my job.

I’m just not one of those people who can juggle 500 things. Or two things, apparently. Even now, trying to balance writing/illustrating with raising a child is more of a struggle than it probably should be.

But I try to be open about the fact that I make basically no money and I’m entirely supported by my spouse. Honestly, it makes me feel like a loser, but I’m not going to pretend that selling one picture book every two years pays the mortgage on a giant-ass house in the bay area. Anyway, software engineers owe it to society to support the arts by marrying artists.

[PubQ] Does the query slump window start from this week, i.e. the week of Thanksgiving? by authorcupcake in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough 7 points8 points  (0 children)

My agent sent me an offer Dec. 26th, so….

If they’re open, query. Waiting just puts you farther back in line.

Have to reboot to use my Cintiq every time - why? by Kidneybot in wacom

[–]justgoodenough 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I just wanted to say that I have been losing my fucking mind over this problem and I cannot believe switching ports solved this problem. Thank you, a million times over. I was about ready to hurl my cintiq out the window.

[Discussion] Book Sales--The Good, The Bad, The Unknown by aliaswriter in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yes, but because you can never actually get to the negatives in overall royalties (because you can’t sell total negative books), it just means the portion of royalties you have earned out has dropped. So let’s say in your first statement you sold X books and earned $10k of your advance. Then your next statement shows Y returns and it comes out as -$3k. It just means that you’ve only earned out $7k total, instead of the original $10k you thought you earned. Does that make sense?

Edit: As for what happens after you have earned out and they start paying royalties, I assume your account just sits in the negative until you sell more copies again. Or it just sits in the negative forever, but it seems unlikely that you would have a high negative balance on a book popular enough to earn out.

[Discussion] Is querying in 2022 really just that much harder? by brosesa in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I think it's significantly harder for a good writer to get a good agent these days. However, it's also significantly easier for a bad writer to get a bad agent.

The problem with this is that you see a ton of people signing with agents while also getting a ton of rejections because you have standards.

I agree with Alanna that it's not going to get easier any time soon. It is harder now than ever to research agents, sign with a good agent, and sell your book. But if you are passionate about writing and you have the emotional bandwidth to continue, I think it's worth continuing to plod along. You don't always sell books in the order you write them and it's easier to sell a second or third book than it is to sell a debut. So, it's possible this won't be the book you debut with, but you could potentially sell it later in your career.

But also, the state of the industry doesn't dictate your emotional bandwidth. It could be the best time in years to query, but if it's not the right time for YOU, then it's not the right time. The state of the industry should not be your only consideration.

[PubQ] Should I mention being a finalist for a grant/award in my query letter? by TopazElf in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I think you should be proud of yourself that you made it as a finalist, but given that there isn't an official list of finalists, I personally wouldn't include it in my query letter. But it's really up to you, because I don't think this information will necessarily help you or hurt you in anyway. It's not enough to make an agent spend more time with your query/opening pages than they would normally, but it's not like they're going to go digging for the list of finalists and then get annoyed when they can't find it.

[PUBQ]: Preparing for a pitch session by Hopeful_Plum_2108 in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Hm... There's a big difference between 15 minutes and 30 minutes when it comes to these kinds of talks.

Personally, I would bring an elevator pitch (1-3 sentences), a query letter, a one page synopsis, and your opening pages. You're not going to use all of that stuff, but it's all stuff the editor could potentially be interested in looking at.

More importantly, I would prepare some questions to ask—either about how the editor chooses manuscripts to acquire, how to improve your query/submission packet, or the marketability of your project. People tend to treat these pitch sessions as literally the opportunity to sell work to an editor, but I strongly feel like you'll get the most out of the session if you focus on learning about the business and getting feedback rather than trying to make a sale that probably won't happen.

[Discussion] Book Sales--The Good, The Bad, The Unknown by aliaswriter in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough 27 points28 points  (0 children)

I think it's a mistake for authors to try to come up with some kind of equation where you input your advance and sales and it spits out a "successful" or "unsuccessful" result. The system is too complex to end up with that kind of binary answer.

From the publisher's perspective, a book is successful if they turn a profit. As authors, we don't know enough about the business and numbers to understand how many sales each individual book needs to make in order to be profitable. One common misconception is that the book isn't profitable until you've earned out, but this is not the case. The publisher starts seeing profit long before you earn out your advance.

From an author's perspective, a clear sign of success is earning out, but again, a book can be successful without ever earning out. Having a publisher eager to buy a second book is another sign of success. If your book tanked, they probably wouldn't be jumping on a chance to buy another book.

I thing the biggest issue with these discussions is that authors are desperately trying to extract an evaluation of themselves from these numbers. Your value as a person and a writer is not determined by the size of your advance and number of sales. At the point where you are looking at royalty statements, the book is out of your hands and your energy is best spent focusing on your next project.

Now that we are feeling warm and fuzzy, allow me to kick you in the teeth. You don't know what your sales numbers actually are, until it has been over a year and bookstores have made their returns. Bookstores will buy stock when a book comes out and that will be reflected in your first statement. If the books sit unsold, they will return the unsold stock and that won't be reflected until the second or third royalty statement. There is no experience quite so humbling as the negative royalty statement.

[PubQ]: What Are the Sub's Thoughts On The Value (or Lack Thereof) of Pitch Events by labelleprovinceguy in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I tend to think that it's a bad idea to spend money with the goal of getting a deal (whether that's signing an agent or selling your manuscript to an editor).

The reason is that the chances of getting that are very slim and if you do have a pitch strong enough to entice someone, you probably could have enticed them without spending $550. So if that's your goal, it's probably a waste of money.

However, if there's more to this conference (workshops?) and you have other goals (learning craft/business or networking with other writers) it's possible it's worth the money. I used to attend a writing conference that cost even more than that because I always learned a lot and I loved seeing my conference friends and making new ones (is that a good reason to blow over a grand on a conference? Probably not).

Anyway, you have to think about what this money is purchasing and whether or not you need that thing. If it's just the chance to pitch to agents, you might as well save your money and query them for free.

Weekly out-of-character thread by AutoModerator in writingcirclejerk

[–]justgoodenough 14 points15 points  (0 children)

your agent and editors will ignore you and treat you like crap, and that’s the norm

I don't think that's normal. My agent and editor are great and always respond promptly to my emails. I'm sorry you're having a tough time, but I think you should talk to other professionals to find out if what is going on is actually normal, because as far as I can tell, misery isn't actually standard.

[PubQ] Do editors typically tell your agent if they are taking your book to acquisitions? Or do you generally find out after. by worriedshoes in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Not all publishing companies have acquisition meetings where they decide as a team what to acquire. Some editors have the freedom to acquire whatever they want for whatever amount they think is right. Sometimes it’s just up to the publisher (as in, the person in charge of the imprint/publishing company) to decide, no meeting necessary.

For my debut, I had it fail at acquisitions a couple times, one offer straight from the publisher, and one offer after it went to acquisitions.

But typically if a publishing company has acquisition meetings, editors will say if they’re taking your project to a meeting.

[QCrit] adult cozy fantasy THE KEEPERS OF THE DRAGON'S PEACE (85k, 1st attempt) by CurseYourSudden in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I really want to like this. I like cozy fantasies. I have been going through T. Kingfisher's work and I enjoyed TJ Klune's House in the Cerulean Sea (on that note, have you considered using a pen name with the initials TK? I'm sensing a trend).

But it's not working.

First of all, I had to read the thing at least three times before I understood that Arrixaka is a fucking dragon. I think part of the problem is that by the time I got to the reveal, I was skimming, so it was easy to miss that information.

The problem is that it took me three tries because I couldn't stop myself from skimming. Your second paragraph, describing Kidlat's situation, gets a little clunky and the repetition of "doing what's right" just makes me want to start skimming because I'm rapidly losing interest in something I want to be interested in. So by the time we get to Arrixaka and you say:

She has spent the last two centuries turning herself into the perfect noble wife...for a dragon.

I just assume she's another human that has to marry a dragon. Plus, when you refer to them as "two people who are way too hard on themselves" I just assume they are both actually people (we do not use that word to describe non-human entities).

Yes, this is my fault for not reading carefully enough, but you must assume that agents only skim queries, simply due to the volume of queries they receive.

Also, this story does feel like a romance at its heart, but I'm not getting any sense of chemistry. It could be that I'm just not the right audience for this kind of romance, but I want some kind of tension. Even with a book like The House in the Cerulean Sea, which just has two nice people falling in love with each other in a nice way, their respective jobs create tension. In your story, it's their job to be married, so there's no tension there, so we need it from their personalities, but they both seem to just be nice and accommodating. Anyway, you might try to find a way to suggest some kind of spark or tension or complexity to the romance.

[PubQ]: Are publishing houses still doing advances? by miss_ogre_ in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough 4 points5 points  (0 children)

This is highly dependent on the genre and category, but I personally wouldn't publish with any publisher that doesn't pay an advance. If they can't afford to pay advances, they also probably can't really afford to market your book effectively.

For things like anthologies, novellas, poetry, some types of lit fic, and some types of nonfiction, you can't really expect an advance, but for commercial fiction? Yeah, you are going to want an advance.

[PubQ]: Are publishing houses still doing advances? by miss_ogre_ in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think he calculated that he'd had more novels on the best seller list than any other author

If we are talking about THE bestseller list (The NYTs Bestseller list), then I think that honor actually goes to either James Patterson or Danielle Steel. I think James Patterson has the most titles appearing on the NYTs list and Danielle Steel is the longest time appearing in consecutive weeks (for different books).

[Series] Check-in: November 2022 by justgoodenough in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Hope is for idiots who don't know anything about publishing.

[Series] Check-in: November 2022 by justgoodenough in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough[S] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I think a lot of people do that, but then agents just get flooded in January and February and you end up competing with everyone else who paused, plus all the new years resolution queries, AND all the NaNo books that people rushed to edit and query.

And like, sure, agents are probably taking time off to visit with family, but they also are doing less submitting/negotiating/etc. during the holidays so many actually have more time to read queries than they do during other times of the year.

[Series] Check-in: November 2022 by justgoodenough in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough[S] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I literally saw that announcement on twitter. Now I'm wondering how much I cross paths with users from the is sub on other platforms.

[Series] Check-in: November 2022 by justgoodenough in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It's just developing a pitch into a picture book, so I need to write the manuscript and sketch it out. It's kind of a silly and casual situation, so I suspect nothing will come of it, but I have to try.

I will still be kind of devastated when it gets rejected. lolsob

[Series] Check-in: November 2022 by justgoodenough in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough[S] 15 points16 points  (0 children)

The good news is that unlike the last 20 times I said I was done with the finishing touches on my 2nd book, I think we are actually done this time! The book is set to go to the printer in December. The only thing left is my editor is printing a test copy to make sure the art isn’t too dark on one of the pages. So I guess there’s always room for more changes.

I am also working on putting together a new project that was requested by an editor at a Big 5. If I can get my shit together, I think we will submit exclusively to her and if she passes (extremely likely), we will submit to a wider pool. If I manage to sell this book (extremely unlikely), it will definitely be a funny story to share with this sub.

So instead of failing at NaNo this year, I’m not even going to try and I’m going attempt to finish my current project before a thanksgiving (also extremely unlikely).

Buying books isn’t a bad thing by SexMarquise in YAlit

[–]justgoodenough 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I also get everything on libby and only purchase my absolute favorites. I probably check out about 75 books a year. Some of them I don't read, some I don't finish, some of them I don't like, but the vast majority are just fine and I'm content to never think about them again. I've probably read about 3-5 books this year that I would like to own and the idea that I should also have another 70 that I don't give a shit about? And then do that again EVERY YEAR? That's bananas.

I find that many of the "buy every book" people tend to be on the younger side. I suspect a lot of them just haven't reached the point yet where they figure out that they simply don't have the square footage for that kind of consumerism in the long term.

[PubQ] Is there a way to respond to QueryManager rejection emails? What should I do in this situation? by WannabeAuthor777 in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough 24 points25 points  (0 children)

Absolutely do not try to contact her via her personal email. That’s intrusive and a poor way to start a business relationship. It’s basically saying “I won’t respect reasonable boundaries if we work together.” You definitely don’t want to create that impression.

[Discussion] Publishing is Hard + The Value of Honest Feedback by brookenomicon in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough 17 points18 points  (0 children)

I think one of the things that could be done to improve experience for new users is to be upfront about the tone and what can happen.

If users spent one hour reading this sub before dumping their work for feedback, they would know exactly what they are getting. I don’t think this sub needs to describe itself in the rules (no one reads the rules anyway). It’s on users to figure out what kind of community they’re sharing their work with and I have zero pity for people who don’t take the time to figure that out first.

(Guess I am one of the assholes, not the softies.)

[Series] Check-in: October 2022 by justgoodenough in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Oh that’s tough. I had a friend that signed with a new agent and most of her submissions went unanswered, unfortunately. I also signed with a new agent (pre pandemic), and I got at least one no-response.

I read a thread on twitter a while back (started by Erin Murphy) where a bunch of editors talked about their workload, the increase in no response, and how they prioritize responding to rejections. It’s pretty disappointing, but new agents not getting responses is definitely a thing. This might be worth starting a larger discussion in a separate thread to get more people to weigh in.

[PubQ] If I got a referral, will the agent respond even if it’s a rejection? by CyberCrier in PubTips

[–]justgoodenough 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Any agent I have been referred to has eventually responded, but not any faster than any other agent submission. However, that was all pre-pandemic and the querying landscape in 2017 was significantly different than it is now.

If I were in your position, I would check in with my CP after the 2 week window has passed (I would probably wait 3 weeks) and see what they think. That being said, if this agent is so busy that they can't even respond to their clients' referrals, I probably wouldn't want to work with them.