Monday, February 19, 2007
Q & A 96 Will I be ruined?
I'd like to be a part of Novel Deviations, but I'm hoping to sell this book someday. Once you print my 150 words, is my book unsalable?
A few minions declined to include their openings in Novel Deviations, volume 1, and a few more have made this choice for volume 2. I have no problem with this; there'll be more than enough pieces for volume 2. Of course I'd like to put the best ones in the book, so the more I have to choose from, the better. For those who are worried that their careers will be affected, I might point out the following:
1. You retain the copyright to your writing.
2. These books are bought by few people other than the minions.
3. While the books may get read by one or two hundred people, the blog has had a half-million hits. If you don't want your work seen . . .
4. Excerpts from soon-to-be-published books are published such places as Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, etc. etc. The authors/publishers want this. Anything that gets your name out there can't hurt.
5. Book reviewers often include excerpts in their reviews, reviews that come out before the book.
6. When an anthology of short stories is published, usually most or all of the stories appeared previously in magazines or other books.
7. By the time your book gets published you'll have changed the opening lines anyway. If you don't, some editor will. You probably changed them after reading the minions' comments.
8. Your opening can be published anonymously.
9. Your opening can be revised by Evil Editor so that it works with the continuation, but with different words. This was done with two openings in volume 1, and so far with one in volume 2.
10. You can tack this pub. credit onto your resume.
11. Declining denies the continuation author her one chance to ever see her name in print as the author of anything. (On the other hand, you open up a space for another two authors--but if yours had a really funny continuation, the book won't be as good without you.)
12. It's 150 words. Your novel is 75,000. Rounding off to the nearest 1/2 of a percentage point, it's zero percent of your book.
Changing the subject, many minions submit continuations anonymously. This is fine if you also want to be anonymous if your piece makes the cut for Novel Deviations 2. If you'd rather have your name (or a pen name) in the book, you have to contact EE, because he has no idea who you are and no way to contact you. I can usually contact opening authors by searching email files, but continuations come in as comments.