Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday at the Question Emporium

Last year I published a religious book with a local publisher. It has a very finite audience and will probably sell 1,000 to 1,500 copies a year. If you google me, this book comes up on Amazon. My question is this: I am now writing thriller fiction; will this pigeonhole me to agents and make it harder for me to acquire one? I have no desire to publish anymore in the nonfiction religious genre as I saw a need and filled it. 


It shouldn't pigeonhole you. When I read a query for a thriller the first thing I consider is the story. The second is whether I think there's a market. The third is whether the author is an asshat. Only then do I start looking at previous publication outside the genre.

It helps that you've been published in non-fiction, rather than fiction.  Being a "debut novelist" is an easier sell than "novelist being resuscitated from the dead."


9 comments:

donnaeverhart.com said...

It's good to hear there is at least one situation where a debut novelist has a better chance than someone else. The way I've heard it, "we" (debut novelists)are the proverbial snowballs in hell when it comes to getting published.

Janet Reid said...

Donna, that thinking comes from wrong vantage point. It's hard to get published, yes indeed. BUT it's MUCH harder to STAY published than it is to get published. This might be a good blog post come to think of it.

Carolynn with 2 Ns said...

Regarding your comment to Donna, "...BUT it's MUCH harder to STAY published than it is to get published."
I get it.
Losing over 90 lbs. was easy, keeping it off has been a bitch.

Not meaning to demean today’s question at the Emporium.
The impact of being pitched as a ‘debut’ in fiction, (at my age being debuted in anything is a plus), is as exciting as my sexual ‘debut’; I lost my virginity to a boy named Danny in the stockroom of a marine supply store, so pardon that this comment is off-subject.
The Question Emporium:
Where is it and do you serve tea and biscuits? I’m a coffee and donut kind of girl. Every establishment I have frequented, which has Emporium in the title sells jewelry, shark teeth necklaces are a specialty. They offer gifts and trinkets along with exotic items like hemp bracelets and Lilac soda. Usually new-age music is playing and the sales clerks wear long skirts with tiny bells sewed on their hems, and that’s just the guys. Emporiums I have known reek of patchouli, the incense choice of the day, and the floors squeak...old buildings. Customers weave down the aisles discussing global warming and the benefits of breast feeding. So Janet is that what your office is like? I mean really imagining your question emporium as a huge shark tank just doesn’t compute.

Colin Smith said...

Yes, Janet--I think that would be an excellent blog post. It's easy for those of us aspiring to be published to believe that once our first book hits the shelves, that's it--we've made it. It's a bit of a scary thought, that it's harder to stay published than get published. I, for one, would love for you to elaborate on this.

RayBear said...

Do you think it's detrimental to self-publish and then attempt to get a traditional publisher for the next book if the first one hasn't done anything? Would I still be considered a "debut" novelist at this point, having one book under my belt, even though I put it out there myself and have yet to do any serious marketing/selling?

BonnieShaljean said...

So would I!

BonnieShaljean said...

Rats, cross-posted! My comment related to Colin's message.

donnaeverhart.com said...

I'd love to hear your perspective on getting published and staying published. What little I know (from my trusty sources - ha!) is that a two book contract means the publisher really expects to make back their money on the second book...in most cases. And if they don't, out comes the chopping block.

Ray Whit said...

What is this staying published business? Like are you talking about being able to continue publishing books once you've been published, or that the book that you have put out keeps on selling? Or am I completely off subject? I'm confused. Someone please explain this to me.