(I just had to include the egg die contest up there... too funny!)
So, I’ve been zooming around, trying to catch up with all of my bloggy buddies and see what’s been going on around the internet... okay, that and I got caught up at the free rice site Precie linked on her blog... la, la, la... yes, more ways to waste time, while feeding the poor, though, and expanding my vocabulary, all and all it’s not so bad....... well, that’s my excuse, anyway.
And I finally went over and registered for facebook. Ello, Precie, and Moonrat have talked so much about scrabulous that I just had to check it out... even though I know it’s going to be a time suck... I should have probably paid attention to the warnings. What warnings, you ask? When I registered, it gave me a little code to submit before accepting my application. Do you want to know my code words?
Seriously, I’m not making that up, I almost fell over I was laughing so hard. I wonder if Ello can teach me how to cheat at scrabulous. I still, by the way, haven’t figured out how to link my facebook site, or even what the url is, I have no clue what I’m doing over there – so it’ll probably take me a little while to get up and running.
The other thing I’ve been doing is catching up on some of the agent blogs. There are some new ones out there and some that I hadn’t really visited on a regular basis that are pretty good. I noticed that Nathan did a post on not calling a perspective agent to pitch... or for any reason. And that got me to thinking how much things have changed in the last ten years or so.
Okay, you were never supposed to call to pitch. That’s just stupid. I wouldn’t even try that one because honestly, I come off better on paper. And that’s the point, you want them to buy your writing – if you want them to see how charismatic you are, maybe you should try acting, or voice over, or running for Miss America, but if you want them to read your novel, you should probably be trying to get your pages in front of them instead of wowing them with your phone personality...
Where was I? Oh, yeah. About fifteen years ago and forever prior to that, the general admonishment was to call the agency or publishing house to verify that the person you wanted to query was still there and still the best person for your piece. That was all you were to call for – not to pitch talk or cajole, just to verify and hang the frig up... politely, of course. Publishing has always had a notoriously high turn over rate, or so we were taught in fiction writing courses and it was better to get your query in the correct hands with the correct name than have it whiling away on the desk of the person to usurp your intended victim... umn, I mean, recipient.
Today, that admonishment is a little dated. These agencies have websites and there are whole sites and message board communities devoted to keeping these resources updated. If you want to know if agent xyz is still with a particular agency, odds are you can find out by visiting the agency website or searching their name on a message board... There are reams of information at your fingertips on their preferences and submission requirements. There’s really no excuse not to have at least the basic information on any agent or editor you’re submitting to because research today is on point and updated constantly. Fifteen years ago, most writers were relying on reference books with information that was many months old by the time it hit the shelves in the first place.
The internet has accomplished a few really great things, especially for writers. It’s brought us agent blogs and whole writing communities where the aspiring author can learn the ropes and have a writing circle that they may not have found in the real world. Agents who blog are awesome because they freely give a plethora of information on the other side of the desk – information that most writers weren’t completely privy to before, at least not before having a few sales under their belt.
So what else has changed in the last few decades for writers? Is it better or worse in your estimation? Has it opened the doors? Crowded the field? What’s your take on the advancements of technology and how they influence the fiction writer? You know, besides permitting them to procrastinate with virtual word games.