Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Change Is The Only Constant
We like to keep things the way they are right now. We find that happy, comfortable space and we simply don't want to give it up. Think about it right now. Walk around your house and you will see evidence of it. That comfy chair that is really not in the best of shape, but it's great for a good book and a cup of coffee in the morning. The coffee cup with the stains on it. Your "go to" sweatshirt for serious writing days. For me, I'm fighting with a cell phone that keeps shutting off (hoping it is just a battery because I really like this one). The point is, we don't like change.
But it is going to happen.
Change is a huge constant in the publishing industry. The market is in a constant state of change. One week a genre is hot, and then the next week, no one wants to buy it. Think of it. When Chick-lit first came out, everyone wanted it. But then we hit this point that using that term to label your book meant death to that proposal. Oh sure, we tried to label the stories differently calling it "romantic comedies" but we all knew what we were doing. We were trying to keep alive something that was ready for a change.
As writers, you have to be constantly ready for change. It is going to happen. If you just try and keep track of editor changes at publishers, you will fully understand. Just when you think everything looks great, you read a notice that Ms. Amazing Editor has now moved from Publisher X to Publisher Y!!!! Really? You had a proposal all ready for this person. You prepped everything and now she's gone. To add to this, she is now in a genre you don't write.
One of my writers has seen just this. When she first started she signed with Avalon Books. This was a great company, but sure enough, she ended up going through 3 editors for those 5 books she wrote for them. But that was fine, because she ended up with another publisher. Since that time she has been through 5 editors (she just got news she is on to a new editor today) NOTE: Actually, I don't think she knows this yet because I haven't gotten a phone call about it. Wait for the screaming!
I am not worried about this writer, however. She is in good hands and she has always handled change well. That first 24 hours is tough, but she works through it.
If you are someone who wants to get into publishing, or you plan to stay in this business, you need to be prepared for change. It is going to happen. And, I promise you, it will happen when you least expect it. Be prepared for it!
And if you can't handle those sudden twists, turns and unexpected changes, this might not be the business for you.