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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Breaking the Publishing Catch 22



You can't get published if you don't have an agent... but you can't get an agent if you've never been published... and the cycle continues endlessly... like an evil, undying curse...

This is what I thought too until I got "THE CALL" (er, it was actually an email) from my editor wanting to publish THE LIPSTICK LAWS. I don't currently have an agent, so I must have broken the curse! Hallelujah - it's a miracle! How did this happen, you ask? Well, the short answer is I evaded the treacherous slush pile by NETWORKING. *Surprised gasp from the crowd*

It can be done, ladies and gents!

Networking opens doors where they might otherwise be closed and locked. Not to mention, once your networking antennas are out and working, you may find that you already know someone who knows someone who knows someone willing to help you escape the dreaded slush pile.

If you question my sanity on the topic, check out the Small World Experiment. AKA: The Six Degrees of Separation.
Or if you prefer, The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon theory.

So, the best advice I can give to all aspiring authors is: network your tails off. And if you don't have a tail (which I hope you don't), network your behinds off! Get out your rolodex and figure out who knows whom. Then decipher whether those "whoms" are worth networking with... and so on and so on. If you don't have a rolodex filled with contacts, get yourself out there to meet people at writing conferences, workshops, critique groups, social networking sites, online chat boards, etc. A personal connection with an agent or editor at a writing conference, through mutual acquaintances, through a fellow writer's referral, or while stalking the agent or editor at a grocery store (okay, maybe stalking isn't a good idea) will suddenly take you from an unknown in the slush pile of doom to a solicited writer with a recognizable "I know you from somewhere" name.

Now, if your writing isn't up to par once you've networked your behind (or tail) off, well, it's not going to matter whom you know.... because agents and editors aren't biased to connections, they're biased to writing talent. Unless you're a celebrity (possibly Kevin Bacon?). So, perfect your writing craft before you network your behind off, because you'll need that behind to sit on while you're writing your masterpiece. Unless, of course, you're a multi-tasking trapeze artist who writes while dangling upside down from your knees, which in that case, you should have no problem getting a book deal or five.

So check out the Six Degrees of Separation theory for yourself. You never know, you may end up six degrees away from someone you'd never expect... case in point below:







*Best Wishes & Lipstick Kisses*

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4 Comments:

Blogger Tess said...

ha! I wonder what my 6 degrees are? must investigate...

and, congrats on that fateful call (mine was an e mail, too..followed by a call). I languished in slush piles for years before even knowing what a literary agent was. Once I went that route it was 4 months. wow, what a difference.

still, I agree that each path is individual and there are no fast and hard rules in this game.

March 2, 2010 at 9:44 PM  
Blogger Amy Holder said...

Wow - congrats to you, too! Four months is awesome!

I would always recommend getting an agent first to anyone who asks. I've done things backwards. :)

But you're right, the road to publication is different for everyone. I guess it doesn't matter what vehicle you use to get there...as long as it runs properly.

March 2, 2010 at 11:58 PM  
OpenID lbdiamond said...

Fantastic post! I'm on the cusp of learning this thing called "networking." So far, it's paying off! :)

Congrats to you!

March 3, 2010 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger Amy Holder said...

Thanks so much! It really pays off. I was always the type to hesitate putting myself out there for fear of rejection... until I realized that it's the only way to get to the places worth going to! I'm such a huge advocate for networking now!

Thanks for the congrats! And good luck to you with networking!!

March 4, 2010 at 12:19 AM  

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