On Publishing: Five Things About the Business that Surprised Me

Eighteen years ago this month, I received a call from an editor at Tor Books asking me if I could please send his way all the completed chapters and outlines of what would become my first published novel, Children of Amarid. It took a while to get the contract settled, another fourteen months passed before I turned in the completed first draft of the book, and it took two years after that (revisions, polishing, production issues) to get the book out in stores. But still, this is the eighteenth anniversary of what I think of as the beginning of my writing career.

In the time since, I have published eleven more books and several short stories. I have two more books in production and several others written and still looking for a home. My career has seen high points, low points and everything in between, and I have learned a […]

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Mistakes I Made Part IV: Agent Quest

I’m on my third agent. I am extremely happy with her, have been with her for almost a decade and can’t imagine switching to someone else. We have sub-agents who handle foreign rights, and another agency who handles film and TV. But getting to this place took a long time and I thought I would give you a few telling snippets from my past which we might call How Not to Get an Agent.

Agents are essential. Some folk might dispute this, especially if they are working with or targeting small presses or are self-pubbed, but if you want a major, traditional publisher, you are going to need an agent. I didn’t know this when I wrote my first novel and so sent it directly to publishers with predictable results. When I started getting a clue, I began questing after agents, and being embarrassed by what I had been doing […]

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