Over at Salon, Laura Miller discusses the upcoming "publishing revolution." Self-publishing is hotter than ever, and everybody and their brother has got a manuscript they can get out there for the right price. All of those potential authors are sneering at the editors and agents -- the gatekeepers of most general fiction -- and telling them that their days are numbered. But Laura asks, Are readers ready for their encounter with the slush pile? Because that's what they'll be getting: the rejected.
People who have never had the job of reading through the heaps of unsolicited manuscripts sent to anyone even remotely connected with publishing typically have no inkling of two awful facts: 1) just how much slush is out there, and 2) how really, really, really, really terrible the vast majority of it is.
Miller's take on this upcoming phenomenon is wry and intelligent. Read the entire article.
Slightly OT: I haven't read an agent or editor's blog yet that recommends self-publishing. In fact, they unequivocally say that you shouldn't, not if you want a deal with a publisher later. Passing that along, make of it what you will.
So, you don't want to self-publish, and you want your best chance at making out of the slush pile? Before you can query an agent, you've got to write the book. Upstart Crow literary blog offers up a technique that's been around for a long time: the Rule of Twenty. Basically, your most original ideas start around twenty. Find out why in this short but very intriguing article (which has a JKR mention).
And last, I must credit Nathan Bransford, lit agent extraordinaire and fairly witty fellow himself, for the above links, which came from his This Week In Publishing round-up. For an out-loud laugh, scroll down to Comment! Of! The! Week!
I'm not sure if I ever want a reply to a query like that or not. It is amusing.
Back to the land of exhaustion and iced tea. Oh, I did get an acceptance today for an October issue of a fantasy zine. Excellent. Now to fix one of my other stories, which has holes the size of the potholes in Detroit.