December 8th, 2010

The Cloud Roads

Career Crashes, Plus Links

Very gray and dark this morning.

I've been thinking a bit about writer career crashes. Most people think that once a writer sells their first book, that's it, you'll sell everything you write afterward. This isn't true, even if you don't have a career crash. Unless you're J. K. Rowling, you'll still have short stories and novels or proposals rejected. A career crash is when something happens, usually that the latest book or books didn't sell well enough to meet publisher expectations. (The key there is that the publisher expectations can be anything from normal modest sales for a genre novel to breakout mainstream bestseller, but whatever it was, the book didn't meet it.) It can be aggravated by other things, like losing an agent, losing the editor who originally acquired your books, having the publisher who wants you bought by a different publisher who doesn't want you. Whatever it is, you stop being able to sell new work for a while, maybe years. Maybe a lot of years. But the weird thing is, it can take you a while to realize it's happened.

A friend of mine had a really good description of it: it's like you have a job and you get fired from it, but no one tells you. You keep coming into work every day, thinking everything's fine, but your co-workers are just humoring you, and you gradually realize that you don't work there anymore.

It's also not very visible to the outside world, again because a lot of people assume that once you sell a book you sell forever, etc. It's kind of painful when people assume the reason you don't have a new book out is because you just don't feel like writing one.

links:

Keri Smith: Secrets of the Self-Employed

Inhabitat: Gorgeous Bubble Gardens Pop Up in Paris Streets

The Black Gate trailer I somehow missed this when it was first posted, and my name is on it and everything!

SFF Chat: Chanukah Day 6: Guest Post by Kate Elliott and Giveaway of Cold Magic I enjoyed Cold Magic a lot.
The world of Cold Magic is a “different Earth with magic,” one in which an extended ice age locked up Northern Europe to the degree that the Germanic and Scandinavian cultures never developed at all. In this world, among other things, the Romans and Carthaginians fought to a standstill back in the day (the story opens in the Augustan Year 1837), and a influx of very rich and powerful immigrants from the Mali Empire of West Africa remade the map of Europa.

Caroline Spector posted this link: Chinese Couturier Guo Pei Images from her collection "The Arabian 1002nd Night." Beautiful things, great eye fodder for your next fantasy novel.