Monday, March 28, 2011

Trust


I played my harp at a wedding reception Saturday, and it made me ponder some things. Yes, I know. Everything in life reminds me of writing. Ha ha. :)
Anyway, I've played at at least a hundred weddings in my harp playing career, and I discovered something. I get paid by the hour, and I've had so many people pay differently. I've had some send me the whole check in the mail before I play. A few send me half before the wedding, and pay me the rest after I play. Some pay me when I get to the reception, and some I have to chase down after the reception and remind them that they haven't paid me yet. It's funny how some people trust me even though they know nothing about me and send me my money beforehand. I am trustworthy, but how do they know that? Yes, I do have a point to this.:)

Writers sort of act the same way. I'm kind of funny with my manuscripts. I don't have a lot of people read the whole thing. I have 1 crit partner that has read my Fairy Tale book in it's entirety. Her and my sister and of course my agent. I don't ever post excerpts of my work on my blog, and I have the nasty habit of letting my crit partners read about half of my book, and then I don't send them anymore. I don't know why I do it, it's just something I do. It's not like I think anyone will steal it, since I don't even think I'm that great of writer, it's just ... I think something inside me wants it to be a surprise if it ever gets published, and I don't want everyone knowing what happens and get tired of it. My blog is different though. I don't want people to use my ideas or copy my voice. Once it's posted it's basically not mine anymore. So, I decided along time ago not to post anything from any of my books on here.
I know some of you enjoy posting parts of your books on your blog, and I don't see anything wrong with that. It's just my personal choice not to. :)
The point of my post is this. Please, please research when you start sending your book to agents and publishing houses. Don't just assume the person is trustworthy and send your whole book to whomever comes up on the internet first. I've heard of so many stories about writers who send their manuscripts to "agents" or "editors" to find out later that they've been scammed. I would never ever wish that on anyone. It's easier now that we have the internet to research people and their agencies, but there are writers who still get scammed. Be careful. It's a long road to get published, and if you don't research and find out about different agencies and publishing houses, you may find out the hard way that they weren't who they said they were. Sites such as Preditors and Editors and Querytracker are great resources for finding how reputable an agent or agency is.
Absolute Write is a great resource as well.
Anyway, don't assume all agents/publishers are the same. They're not. Research your tail off before you send out those queries. Track down all the information you can about the people you're sending to, and you'll feel a lot better about sending your work into the world.

Wow this was a long post. Sorry about that! :)

9 comments:

Michelle Merrill said...

Great advice :) Thanks for sharing.

Patti said...

I don't post anything from books either, not necessarily because I think someone will steal it, but because it's not got a stamp of approval from an agent or and editor.

Demitria said...

I posted my query (without spoilers) but only after I had an agent...I think everyone has to decide how much they are willing to put out there.

demitrialunetta.blogspot.com

Jeigh said...

I can't imagine putting so much hard work into a story and then having someone steal it away. I would barf. And I agree with Patti--I wouldn't want to post part of my story on my blog if it was still sub-par.

Myrna Foster said...

Thanks for posting this. I don't post excerpts from my stories, but I have posted some of my poems. Mostly I just link to the audio version at Highlights when they publish one.

I do let my crit partners read the whole thing, but I trust them.

Misha said...

So true. I have huge trust issues when it comes to my book. Because of this, I constantly have an internal battle when I prepare to send work to my crit partners.

Because I need them. But damn, those what ifs get to me.

:-)

You won an award on my blog.

Colene Murphy said...

Very true. Good warning. There are some great resources for finding the real ones and the scam ones are listed there to beware of too. (the website slips my mind at the moment...Nards.)

Also, playing the harp is so COOL! I have been trying to find a harp teacher since I was 17 with no luck! Maybe one day. But I just wanted to say how awesome I thought that was of you ;)

R.S.J. said...

I have a hard time sharing my work as well. I'm a scaredy cat! But as we all know, critiques are necessary for making our books great. It's just finding those we can trust! Which I have:)

Brooke R. Busse said...

I feel comfortable sharing excerpts, because, technically under the law, once you write a story, it's yours. No one else can claim it. Ideas are different however.