Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2013 in Review

While looking back on 2013, one word jumps immediately to mind : tired. I can’t say my resolutions went unmet since, to my knowledge, I didn’t even bother making any this year.

Ever since signing on with the S.A.H.M. Corps (stay at home mom corporation) in April of 2012 and the addition of our fourth project (i.e. baby Phoebe) in February 2013, ‘the job’ has been keeping me more than occupied. It isn’t the hardest job in the world as good ol’ Oprah used to say. But it’s about as hard as most other full-time jobs, I imagine.

The co-owner of this enterprise has a paid occupation on the side (thank goodness), so most of the heavy lifting falls to yours truly. The salary isn’t great, but the benefits are worth the long hours and sleepless nights. My employees are often lazy, cranky, and always looking for a hand-out. But they’re also fun to be around and do their best to make this operation productive.

Our youngest recruit, 10-month-old Phoebe, is especially impressive in her determination to maintain a sedentary lifestyle. No crawling, shuffling or walking as of yet. In fact, she mostly just sits there and grunts like a small, pink, jabba the hutt while her sisters bring her toys and drinks and cater to her every whim. 

I think she might be the smartest one of us all.

So, after almost a full year of crawling through the post-partum fog and keeping my long-running family operation afloat, I finally feel ready to take a tentative step toward my goal of writing the-game-changer book and getting published.


Catching up is going to take awhile. I don’t think I’ve read a single book on the 2013 YA bestseller list. I've missed a lot of writer's world news in the who-got-agented/book deals/pubished/self published this year. And it would seem the tides of self-publishing have turned once again and debut S.P. authors aren’t seeing the success they once did due to market saturation. Pair this with the increasingly slow pace of the publishing industry, and agent/editor return and I have to wonder- 

Ya. What the hell are we supposed to do now?:)

21 comments:

Empty Nest Insider said...

Sounds like your youngest recruit is running the show! If you weren't worn out, then you wouldn't be doing your job properly. Continue to keep your corporation running smoothly, and like all great leaders try to delegate when possible. Though you've lost out on much needed sleep, you haven't lost your sense of humor!

Julie

Laura Pauling said...

Gosh, Katie. You make it sound so bleak. Yes, the saturation is with both tradional and Indie so to be successful in either route requires hard work, perseverance and a story that people want to read. :) Simple yet hard. Self publishing has never been a short cut though it might seem so with some of the top runners.

Choose which route you want and go for it. Or do both. :)

Creepy Query Girl said...

From what I've gathered, I think the situation might be better for those who've been at the indie route for awhile and know what they're doing, Laura. Those that are just trying to break in, though, might have a harder time than their predecessors when it comes to garnering attention and making a name for themselves. But I totally agree- Success is really up to the hard work and perserverance of the writer, and their story!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

What are we supposed to do now? Good questions!

Writing this three book series has kept me busy, but I've already started wondering what I'm supposed to write when it's finished?

Go back to YA Historical Mysteries? They are notoriously hard to sell. In fact, that's usually the reason given when an editor rejects one: "a hard sell"

Darned if I know why. History is a setting, just like fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian, contemporary. Why is it considered less desirable?

I could write more MG. But there's this little issue of a non-compete clause -- plus, I'd need another wholly original premise. (*waits for one to drop from the sky*)

So, I'm not sure where I'm heading either -- which is disturbing since I'll be making a major change in my day job as of June 2014. As in, I won't have one any more ...

Natalie Aguirre said...

Wow! I'm excited for Dianne and her work plans.

It's interesting times in publishing. I'm glad to see that different avenues are opening up. I think it's hard for SP and traditionally published authors alike with all the books coming out. Too many to read all the ones we want. I guess we just have to sort through it all as we go. The important thing is to keep writing.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Good to see you back Katie! I've been asking the 'what now?' for a while. I'm not sure there's a definitive answer.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Nice to meet you, Katie. You have the best job right now by raising your children. It's hard work, I know, I raised 5. I've been hearing even traditional agents are having a hard time selling books to houses. It's a money thing. I agree with everyone, keep writing, improving, and hopefully one day, there will come a Yes.

Katy Anders said...

Missing a year of ANYTHING isn't always a bad thing.

If nothing else, it's fun to catch up after that year.

I've been laying low since 1999. When I wake up, it's going to be so fun to see what has happened in the world!

Slamdunk said...

Ha--Phoebe is my new hero! I have advocated for me and that lifestyle here, but it has not been accepted by upper management.

I'll keep trying though.

Laura Marcella said...

I laughed out loud at "pink Jabba the Hut"! It's great to see you back in the blogosphere, Katie. Get some new books and get reading! It will inspire you to get back in the writing groove. I'm sure your kids will survive a chapter or two. People don't want to displease Jabba the Hut! :)

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You ignore the news and keep writing and chugging down the path, that's what!
Pink Jabba the Hut. Now that's funny.

Royce A Ratterman said...

Sometimes I feel like things may turn out like many of the early artistic masters... only known and appreciated when long gone from this life.
But, of course, that could be only wishful thinking on my part, ha, ha.

D.G. Hudson said...

The youngest ones do get more attention when they have other siblings.

How early the little pink 'Jabba' learns to manipulate. She'll move when She is ready. . .

Yee are doing a great job if you can manage 4 little ones! Now to tackle the writing.

Crystal Collier said...

Throw in some adult content and change audiences. LOL!!!

Kidding. I think the future is as rosy as we paint it. The market is over-saturated. That just means you have to be the best, right? Or know how to reach your super special, super selective audience directly. *shrugs* The game changes. So must we.

Chris Blum said...

I think the current problem is that many, many people saw the success of the SP pioneers, and so decided to go and do that. Most of the books produced out of this wave are terrible, which leads to a combination of over-saturation and audience disillusionment. Not great.

The solution, as ever, is to be phenomenal at what you do, and absurdly persistent about reaching your goals. Do-able, but a long way from easy. Good luck, try to enjoy the journey, and get a good agent as fast as you can.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Your youngest sounds like my second born son. He wasn't interested in doing anything when he was 10 months. Except for staying up late and partying. :P

Yes, about not knowing what to expect next with publishing!!!!

Lexa Cain said...

I'm not sure you missed much in 2013. I did a lot in 2013, but now January feels just the same as it did last year. I still feel I didn't accomplish enough, and events I thought would be "game-changers" didn't end up making any difference in my life. So you didn't miss out, you're not behind. You have plenty of time to make your mark. Good luck!

Cathy Keaton said...

I guess, when it comes down to it, making it in this industry is going to require a freaking awesome book, and it doesn't matter whether you use a publisher or do it yourself. That's how authors have always made it and always will.

I take comfort in this because it's just common sense, even if rising to the top and selling well is still quite the mystery.

AiringMyDirtyLaundry said...

I've no idea what we're supposed to do. I keep trying. I'm still looking for an agent. I almost want to say in my query letters, "Please. I'll send chocolate. I'll meet deadlines. Did I mention the chocolate?"

Nicole L Rivera said...

Just keep writing, it's the only way to get published :)

Sarah Allen said...

Yeah, I guess we all just gotta keep going. Sounds like you're working hard, keep at it!

p.s. I am glad I stumbled onto this blog today :) Lovely to blog-meet you. Your header illustration made me laugh out loud :)

Sarah Allen
(From Sarah, with Joy)

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