January 16th, 2008

Great, this is all we need

I totally support the striking Hollywood writers, but do they have to put their energies into an already crowded field: the children’s book market?

In this article in the Hollywood Reporter, writers say they have decided to start writing children’s books.

Oh well. At least they already know how to write, unlike movie stars who decide they want to put pen to paper, or at least get a ghostwriter to do it for them.

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For $9, what can you lose?

Creative Byline - www.creativebyline.com - is a new service to connect writers with editors. Their web site says, "We’ve worked with the great publishing houses to streamline the process of manuscript submission, making the experience more productive for both writers and editors. With Creative Byline, now in beta, writers can easily and affordably get their work in front of the editors who are interested. Editors can bypass manuscript overload to spend more time on those that match what they’re looking for.

Normally, a bunch of red flags would go up for me at the sound of that, but this might actually be worthwhile, even though the only publisher that's signed up so far is Dutton. One writer I know submitted two projects. Within a week, they had suggested revisions, and she thought they were excellent. She worked on revisions for one book and resubmitted it. It passed and she was "allowed" to send it to any number of editors at Dutton. The promise is that the approved manuscript will be read and a response will come within three weeks, although it hasn't been three weeks yet, so she doesn't know if it's true. Creative Byline is supposedly talking to other publishers.

Right now, the fees are more than reasonable. Membership to the site is currently free during their beta period. Another friend wrote them and this is what she was told: "At some point in the near future we are planning to launch additional writer services and features. At that time there will be a membership fee to belong to Creative Byline. Now (and in the future) there is a fee for submitting a manuscript: $9 for a children's picture book, and $19 for all other type of manuscripts."

I guess for me, that doesn't seem like much at all.

What do think?

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Do you think you write your own clues without knowing it?

So in one of my next books, there's going to be a necklace found at memorial shrine for a missing girl. A necklace that the girl was wearing. I had written that it was going to be a cross strung on a black cord, but I realized I wanted it to have a snapped link.

And then I realized I had already given the girl an iconic necklace - an amethyst on a silver chain - earlier on. It was like my mind was working subconsciously on the problem all along. And it just needed me to catch up.

Have you ever done that - realized something was in your manuscript all along?

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