Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Link Corral: The Business Side of the Writing Biz

Link Corral: The Business Side of the Writing Biz

I’m sharing three links to recent pieces I read and FBed, each about some important aspect of the business side of the writing life.

Everything You Wanted to Know about Book Sales (But Were Afraid to Ask)
An In-Depth Look at What/How/Why Books Sell

…Earlier this year, there was a round of excited editorials about how print is back, baby after industry reportsshowed print sales increasing for the second consecutive year. However, the growth was driven almost entirely by non-fiction sales… more specifically adult coloring books and YouTube celebrity memoirs. As great as adult coloring books may be, their sales figures tell us nothing about the sales of, say, literary fiction. This lack of knowledge leads to plenty of confusion for writers when they do sell a book. Are they selling well? What constitutes good sales? Should they start freaking out when their first $0.00 royalty check comes in? Writers should absolutely write with an eye toward art, not markets. Thinking about sales while creating art rarely produces anything good. But I’m still naïve enough to think that knowledge is always better than ignorance, and that after the book is written, writers should come to publishing with a basic understanding of what is going on. …


The first time I applied for a fellowship was in spring 2009. I was about to finish grad school, and I sent out a slew of applications like I was applying for a PhD. I figured it was the next logical step as I readied myself to move beyond my MFA program, and I had the mentors close by to help. I gathered transcripts and letters of recommendation, curated samples of work and wrote project proposals. I remember one mentor agreed to write a letter with what I perceived as little enthusiasm. When all the rejections came in that summer, I read the bios of those who won and took notice of all their previous awards and accolades. I thought back to that mentor and considered her lackluster support the response of someone who understood the literary world better than I did at that time. 
See what I learned from this experience was that “emerging” doesn’t mean new like I thought it did, but more as the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines, “becoming widely known or established.” …..


A writer friend recently asked me a brief but not-so-simple question: How do you decide where to send your work?
 In other words: Faced with seemingly infinite lists, calls for submissions, classified ads, databases, and fair-and-festival tables, how do I select which journals and magazines to send my work to with the hope that, after editorial review, my pages may indeed find proverbial “homes” online and/or in print?...


DC-area author Leslie Pietrzyk explores the creative process and all things literary.