Tuesday, October 11, 2005

What Are You Doing?

Thanks to a reader's comments on the inestimable Miss Snark, the literary agent's blog, I found some fantastic essays on writing and publishing by author Jennifer Crusie. (Yeah, so she writes romances. Get over it.) One of the best is It's All About You: The First Step in Finding an Agent. Even (and especially) for writers who already have agents, Crusie's advice is spot-on. She emphasizes looking at one's whole career, not just this one book--something I've been increasingly honing in on in my Book Promotion 101 workshops. She asks:

[W]here do you see your publishing career in a year? If you interviewed an agent now, could you tell her what you want her to do for you beyond “sell my book”? Do you know what editors you'd like to work with, can you pitch the kind of books you need to write, do you know how long you need to have between books, can you tell her how you feel about starting in midlist? Can you tell her where you'd like to be in five years, the improvements in money and contract terms you want to have by then, the kind of things you want to have happen over the next five years to make those improvement feasible? Do you know where you want to be in ten years, the kind of career and life you're aiming for?
Read the whole essay, and then check out the rest of Crusie's website. It's an object lesson in how to do a perfect author site.