Five on Friday: My Publishing Glass is Half Full

February 27, 2009 at 1:06 pm (Authors, Five on Friday, Writing)


fabulousBusiness first. L.A. Mitchell, who probably shared a past life with me somewhere, awarded me a very sweet award, and I have to give a shout out to her for thinking of me. She has just finished editing hell, so head over to her blog and give her a virtual margarita or something.


Now, on to funsies, starting with happy Friday, and coming up on Sunday, happy March! I was going to do a post on “In like a lion, out like a lamb,” but that didn’t fit me. Almost everything I do is more on the lion side than the lamb, so it was a hard post to flesh out. So, in going back to a golden oldie of Five on Friday, a topic sprang to mind and I knew I had to go there.


In the past few months, the publishing world has undergone some changes, and many fingernails have been bitten and gallons of Pepto have been drunk.


Not by me.


Allow me to list at least five reasons why I’m optimistic not only about the publishing world, but my place in it.


1. I lurk on agent Kristin Nelson’s blog. Some months ago, I read about one of her debut authors, Jamie Ford. Jamie hit my radar not only because of his upcoming book, but because he currently lives in Montana. ‘Nuff said. Well, his book Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet was released barely a month ago (January 27th) and it’s debuting at #30 on the NYT hardcover extended list, plus is hitting all kinds of indy lists. Needless to say, the current economy hasn’t stopped him, his publisher, booksellers or readers.


2. Read this from agent Janet Reid’s blog. (Thanks to Jenifer for the link.) Then read this from Kristin’s.


3. Jenny Cruise, Anne (Krissie) Stuart and Lani Diane Rich collaborated on a wonderful book called Dogs and Goddesses. (A basic lighthearted paranormal paperback romance.) It came out February 3rd and landed on both the USA Today (#88) and New York Times (#29) bestseller lists, coming in the next week at #24 on the NYT. Yes, I know some people think, “It’s Jenny Crusie. Of course it’s going to hit a bestseller list.” But it also means people are spending their scrimped and pinched dollars to buy books. That, my friends, is a whole lotta fabulous publishing news.


4. I have to be honest and list one of my reasons for being optimistic is Christopher Moore’s success. His most recent release, Fool, came out February 10th and is currently #4 on the NYT bestseller list. And just like Jenny, I know some people think, “It’s Christopher Moore. Of course he’s going to hit the bestseller list.” Well this is the man who started out in 1991, aka Long Before the Paranormal Craze, with a funny, wild book called Practical Demonkeeping. Followed by Coyote Blue, Bloodsucking Fiends (again, a vampire book Long Before the Paranormal Craze), Island of the Sequined Love Nun and the list goes on. Chris (I can call him that because we’re such close, personal friends, dontcha know…) found his voice, staked his flag on it, and look what it’s gotten him.


And, saving the best for last…


341991_fpx5. On my critique loop, one of our members recently sold her first (fiction) book. Is that amazing? Well, yes, it is to me, but here’s the rest of the story. She finaled in the Daphne Awards in 2005, getting an honorable mention. The editor judging the contest requested the full and it was sent to him in November, 2005. Fast forward to THREE YEARS LATER when he emailed my friend and asked her if it was still available. She said yes, he read it and called to make an offer the same day, PLUS he wants to see the sequel.


 If that isn’t a glass half full story, I don’t know what is. Congrats, Barbara!



  1. Griffin Asher said,

    Those are great stories. Goes to show, with a little perseverance we can do anything 🙂

  2. alyson noel said,

    Yay for your critique partner–and I agree, people have loved a good story since the beginning of time and I don’t expect that to change any time soon!!

    Oh, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Christopher Moore!

  3. Kyle said,

    Congrats to your friend! We need to hear more stories like that one!

  4. Montana said,

    To add a little icing on the cake: Moore talks about when he did readings for 3(!) people during early tours and when Pam and I first saw him there were probably 16 people in attendance. Since then he has built his Phoenix following to 500-600 per night. Every time I think about this, I tell myself it can be done. He kept at it, so can we!

  5. Robin said,

    Congrats to Barbara! Pam, you’ve got such a wonderful, positive attitude – thanks so much for sharing it with us! (Your keen insight into the publishing business and your take on everything is really appreciated by me!) You always put a smile on my face and remind me that yes, I can.

  6. pamwritesromance said,

    Griffin–you are so right. Ever since I started writing, my mantra has been “Perseverance and Patience” and these stories just emphasize that!

    Alyson–you, little Miss NYT Bestseller, are an inspiration, too, so don’t be surprised if you show up here someday. (And the rest of you should head over to Alyson’s blog and see the cover of her book coming out in August. It’s freakin’ gorgeous!!!)

  7. pamwritesromance said,

    Kyle–I know, wasn’t that a terrific story? I’m hoping to post more of them from all of us. It’s just nice to know the economy hasn’t stopped us. 🙂

  8. pamwritesromance said,

    Montana–Hiya! *wink* And yes, Christopher Moore is touring now, so if you get a chance, go see him. He is hysterical and wonderful and amazing–a walk-across-broken-glass type of reading. And he writes pretty well, too! 😉

    Robin–I had to share Barbara’s story here, and I’m happy to be able to. And it’s so easy to be optimistic with all of you wonderful people being here. When you and I accept our Golden Heart awards this summer, we’re going to have a lot of people to thank! 😀

  9. Marilyn Brant said,

    Yay for Barbara!!! And, yes, people are out there reading and signing new contracts and hitting lists and it’s GREAT! I agree with you, Pam–there’s a reason to be optimistic about publishing despite all the economic craziness. We all need stories. I don’t know anyone who’s outgrown that need… And, btw, I can’t WAIT to holler your name (and Robin’s and anyone else here who entered the GH this year) when you final, win and get offered immediate book deals!! 🙂

  10. jeniferm said,

    Excellent post! I always love to see optimism in the face of so much pessimism, and you’ve shared some great stories here. Always good to have a reminder that, generally speaking, it’s not easy for anyone. Suck it up, stick with it, and maybe . . . 🙂

  11. Caryn Caldwell said,

    I love you, Pam. Thanks. 🙂 Am now off to revise with renewed vigor…

  12. Melina said,

    Pam, thanks for sharing these wonderful stories! You really brightened my writing attitude today!

    A huge congrats to Barbara! 🙂

  13. pamwritesromance said,

    Marilyn–and as soon as your release (According to Jane, October, 2009) comes out and hits all kinds of bestseller lists, you’ll be given a Whoopee! post, too! 🙂

    Jenifer–I think I’m going to have to create a bumper sticker with the basic theme of “Suck It Up, Stick With It!” It’s tough love, but it works! 😉

  14. pamwritesromance said,

    Caryn–Back ‘atcha! And you have such a fabulous book (or at least the half I’ve read…ahem) that you’ll be an inspirational story in a heartbeat! 😀

    Melina–No problem, I love sharing stories like these! It’s too easy to get bogged down in the bleakness of the economy, so I’ve chosen not to. There ya go. 😉

  15. L.A. Mitchell said,

    Wow, Pam…I needed this so much today. I’m trying to surround myself with all the good ju-ju vibes I can about this crazy industry. Also, I could use some of that lion of yours. Send some my way, will ya?

    A much deserved award for a classy lady 🙂 (except when we Rick Roll each other!)
    Gotta have some fun, right?

  16. Lainey Bancroft said,

    What a fab five! Wish I’d been here Friday! I see the Positive Pam juju glowing from my monitor!

    (We didn’t lion or lamb in my neck of the woods. A bit of snow, a hint of sun. Now I have no idea how March will go out. *sigh*)

  17. jeniferm said,

    Wiffer Kim can print those bumper stickers for you. 🙂

  18. pamwritesromance said,

    L.A.–Rawr. (I’ll stop before I blow the ‘classy’ moniker.) 😉

    Lainey–but you’re here now! The juju keeps glowing no matter the date. 🙂

    Jenifer–Oh, you’re opening up a can of worms there, my friend! 😀

  19. Katie Reus said,

    I get annoyed with waiting, but I’m a total optimist too. In this business, I don’t know how anyone can afford not to be. Just gotta keep knowing that it’s going to happen 🙂 Congrats to your friend!!

  20. Pam said,

    Katie–You may be onto something here. To be a writer, you need to be a massochistic optomist. And there’s another bumper sticker! 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s