Saturday, October 05, 2013

Chicken by Chicken: One Writer Navigates New Publishing

This is one my favorite series every year: Chicken by Chicken. This is a take on Anne Lamott's BIRD BY BIRD, a helpful writing book. The idea is you take the writing journey one day at a time. You take it one word at time, and that the important thing is always the writing and not the publishing. Writing for me is chicken by chicken. That's how I roll.

Writing is a weird business. I spend a massive amount of time creating a viable story. I have a thousand tricks to place that story on the page. After a long while the writing has become more fluid, more entertaining, simply more. Meanwhile the entire publishing world evolved in a game-changing way while I was learning to write. Befuddled chicken.

The way books reach readers has changed - apps, readers, tablets, etc. Self publishing went from the poor step-sister to to the vogue new thing. Bad for me, I'm a joiner and poor church mouse -- not the self-publishing guru type. Major publishers changed their focus too -- almost exclusively to urban stories for sophisticated teens. Hype, slick, and charismatic stories written by hip young authors rule. I flipped  through my heartwarming, funny and wry  pages written by an ordinary down-home gal and thought: Oh, no!  Poor chicken.

New publishing models have proliferated. Many publishing experts view any new publishing model with a bit of sneering disdain, unless that model become uber-profitable. Then it is viewed as the enemy or the bandwagon. Me, I huddle in corners scratching out my words chicken by chicken and experience unease about the state of affairs.  I want someone to read my words and see if they resonate -- that's about it. A confession:  I don't really care how I reach readers.

I send to agents and receive massive stacks of  no-thank-yous. I realized if I wanted to be published in the brave new world, I'd have to try new things. I looked at self-publishing, crowd-sourced publishing, and indie digital-first publishing. And digital-first clicked -- my fangirl rom-com PLUMB CRAZY is being released in May of 2014 by Swoon Publishing. I think I'm changing my name to Indie Down-home Gal. I'm considering buying cowgirl boots to celebrate.

I am excited!  Can't wait to reveal my upcoming cover!  Meanwhile, I'm still doing what I always do, scratching out words, chicken by chicken. See you next week with more chicken scratch.

Here is this week's doodle:  "Princess Chicken".

A quote for your pocket.
I couldn't think of anything I wanted to do or any place I wanted to be more than home. Where I can walk around the yard, sweeping leaves off the slate paths to my heart's content. Sissy Spacek. 


Mirka Breen said...

"I flipped through my heartwarming, funny and wry pages written by an ordinary down-home gal and thought: Oh, no! Poor chicken."
Oh, no. Please don't tell me good nourishing food is out. kids, especially, need stuff that'll make them grow tall and beautiful. Your kind of chicken is a staple for the soul.

Julie Reinhardt said...

Great post, Molly. I happen to be writing a turkey blog post, so poultry is definitely in the air. Can't wait to read your indie book in May!

MollyMom103 said...

I don't think that good nourishing books are out, but I do thing that heartwarming, funny, wry books are not being looked at as the next hot trend.

I hope that my book offer needed stuff to help people grow.

MollyMom103 said...

Thanks, Julie!!! Mmm. Turkey.

Candilynn Fite said...

Molly, may your princess chicken cluck from the rooftop of the coop! I commend you, woman. You stood by your words, held out hope, and now, your wobbling egg has hatched. I'm here for the long haul. Can't wait to watch your little peep grow. :)

MollyMom103 said...

Thanks, Candi! Twinkies! Star Trek fanfic! Good times ahead!

Vijaya said...

Molly, you are the queen of reinvention and I love that Plumb is getting published!!! A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS!!! I can't wait to read the full story.