ABOUT ANNE FRASIER

Anne Frasier (a.k.a. Theresa Weir) is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of thirty books. Her memoir, The Orchard, was an Oprah Magazine Fall Pick, Number Two on the October Indie Next List, a B+ featured title in Entertainment Weekly, a One Book One Community Read, Target Book Club Pick, and Books-A-Million Book Club Pick.


Monday, January 16, 2012

BORING POST AHEAD


I haven’t been around here much because I’ve been so busy. I recently realized I’m working 14 – 16 hours a day, seven days a week.  Not good. But several projects were put on hold for the release of The Orchard, and I’m playing catch-up.  It was an interesting fall. I had a book released by a major house, a book released by an indie press, and my own self-published titles.  I hate to say which did the best.  Self-pubbed.  Anne Frasier. I’m shocked. Really. So I’ve kicked up my productivity, pulled Belfry Press off the backburner, and have been working night and day on my backlist titles. Three more going up soon, but I also want to get some new material out there. By June I hope to have my second memoir available in digital form. By fall I hope to have the first book of my cat trilogy released. My agent is shopping an Anne Frasier partial right now, but I have no confidence in selling it because I keep hearing that nobody is buying partials anymore.  Three years ago an agent (not mine) chewed me out for even considering submitting a partial.

So, say you write the entire thing, then submit to a publishing house. What does that get you?  The purpose of an advance is money to live on while you write. Well, that’s what it used to be. If a publisher buys a complete ms, you’ll have to wait a year or two for the release, then another year or two before it pays anything, if it pays at all. Or you self-publish it and readers have the book in their hands without waiting years, and you begin making money on it.  And your name stays out there.  Readers don’t forget you.

 I think the biggest thing for me, and this is HUGE, is the knowledge that I’m not working on something that I’m going to have to shop for a year once it’s finally done, then stick in a drawer because it didn’t sell. I can finish the book, published the book, and move on to the next adventure.  When I think of all the books I didn’t write over the span of my career, it makes me sad. I no longer have to not write a book.

I’ve tried to figure out what it would take for me to sign with a major house right now. I don’t know. Everything is so weird! It makes me nervous to think of doing this without major-house support, but …

With a major, you sign and kiss the book goodbye. It’s no longer your book.  It’s a product you sold to someone. And in some cases, that’s perfectly fine.  The Orchard is gone. It’s not my book. I’m not sure it will ever be my book again, but that’s okay. It’s more than okay. The publishing house was able to get the word out there in a way I could never have done in a million years. But I like the idea of being in control of my art from beginning to end. And I like the idea of the stories always being mine.  I like the idea of not passing my art through a window and waving goodbye.   The other thing I love about digital publishing is that a book is never finished. Writers have long suffered with stories that never feel done. We turn them in, then kick ourselves. Damn, why didn’t I add this line?   Or we’re doing a reading and come upon a typo.  We were stuck with the stories that would always feel unfinished. Now, even if we don’t do it, we know we can simply upload a new file.

13 comments:

  1. I was an acq editor for a decade (non-fiction)and the element of self-publishing that most excites me is the freedom to write the story the way it ought to be, instead of to a specific page length or to fit in a specific section of the bookstore. I don't even have to care about folios anymore -- no more cutting ten pages, because the print run is more economical at 32-page breaks. I suppose that's really e-publishing, not self-publishing, but at least in my last job, the rules of paper still controlled our choices. Anyway, I'm glad self-publishing is paying off for you! I added your blog to my RSS feed because of one of those books--Cool Shade. It was fun, so I look forward to seeing the others.

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  2. Hi Wyndes!
    Yes, yes, yes about freedom and length!!
    The memoir is going to be about 30K, not the typical 60. And it will be better for the shorter length, IMO. And I've discovered that I'm thinking about stories in a different way when I think about publishing them myself versus submitting. Much more freedom to my ideas.

    Theresa Anne

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  3. Thanks, Thersa.
    Hardly a boring post. In fact, the most informative, candid take on the arcane world of publishing I've read since a long, long piece in NY Times. Looking forward to next memoir. (Really would like more on how you "did it."
    Sheldon

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  4. Thanks, Sheldon. I do love everybody at the publishing house behind The Orchard. And it's the first time I've ever written a book that was backed and promoted, but the whole experience has been an interesting education. And I can't really compare a memoir to suspense.

    Theresa

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  5. As a big fan of your work, I feel for your dilemma. There are no easy answers out there. I would love to read a new suspense from you and at the same time, I am ready to buy your backlist titles. As always, I wish you good luck with finding a major publishing house that will accept your work. I think you're talented and can go far in crime fiction if only given the chance to do so. ---Keishon

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  6. The crime fiction thing was another career disaster. i was an experiment for the pub house. that's what they told me. the romance editors didn't know anything about the crime fiction genre,but they wanted to publish it. my crime fiction did okay, but other writers didn't do so well. they dropped the whole thing after a few years. what a mess. but i loved writing it. i probably felt more comfortable there than anywhere. it felt more like me. I think reissuing my backlist is messing with my head, because i just see the string of failures (from sales standpoint) dating back to my first book. depressing, but i'm also glad i've created this body of work that's now supporting me.

    theresa

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  7. I agree, not a boring post at all. I wish you much luck with your writing, and I am looking forward to your second memoir. I simply loved The Orchard. Your book stayed in my head for weeks after finishing it. And much luck with your backlist. I'm happy to see that you are getting all those books out there. Thanks for keeping us posted on your work. I think it sounds very exciting for you...and us, the readers that enjoy your books! xina

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  8. xina, thanks so much, and thanks so much for the support over the years. so appreciate it!

    Theresa

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  9. LK, did you ever!! sorry it took me so long to become a believer. the mistake i made when i started reissuing titles was to try it with just one book. when it did nothing, i gave up for quite a while. really wish i'd published deadly treats myself.

    Tea

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  10. hey, we all still have the e-rights to the stories. You can publish it this year - the 2012, End of the World edition!

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    1. haha! i thought about that, but i don't think i can deal with editing it again. i would have to start over and copyedit the word file. sigh. Nodin Press doesn't edit the word file. it goes straight to a PDF, and no edits are made in word. so i would have to start from scratch. I think it's too late. lesson learned and all of that. i wonder if i have that final pdf... nah, i just think i need to move on. but i'll think about it. if i have that final pdf...

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  11. I think so much of this is an economic issue. just as simple as that. i'm not going to spend 12.00 on an ebook, and i almost never buy a hardcover. just can't afford it.

    Theresa

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