Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Things We Don't Speak Of

Oooh, secrets today, my pretties.

Admit, you're still here because you think I'm gonna go all word vomit and spill a bunch of stuff you're dying to know. I don't know what that would be since pretty much everything about myself is already out there.

But here goes:

1. Yes, my title's been changed. I l-o-v-e it! My young adult dystopian novel is now called POSSESSION and is still slated to come out next summer. I *think* I've gone through to all the sites that I maintain and have changed it. If you have it on your site anywhere, could you make the switch? I'd be ever so grateful.

2. As an author, you should never discuss certain things on your blog. Someone spoke about this during WriteOnCon, but it bears repeating. These are the Things We Don't Speak Of: your advance, your relationship with your agent/editor, your neurosis. These things are private, and should be discussed privately with the appropriate parties. Side note: It's rude to ask someone how much their book sold for. Just sayin'.

3. I have officially cleared my plate of specific things. Namely the QueryTracker blog. I have loved every single minute at QT, but it's time for me to set sail. I've been hoping to announce what I've been doing besides blogging for QT, but that time has not yet ripened.

My friends and I have also discontinued blogging at What Writers Read. It's a good idea, and a fun blog idea, but none of us really has the time to devote what needs to be devoted to it at this time.

4. The best part of the movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid was when Rodrick wore guyliner. True that.

I think that's it for this round of Things We Don't Speak Of. What do you have to add to my list? What are some things (not like, Cold War secrets or anything, please!) that you just don't speak of? Did I go too far with the guyliner? Sigh. Probably. *wink*

63 comments:

Talli Roland said...

Great post, Elana - I particularly like the 'it's rude to ask people how much their book sold for' bit!

It's funny; several writer acquaintances have asked me how big my advance was. I admit, I was taken aback. Isn't that like asking someone what their salary is when they get a new job? I wiggled my way out of the question but I couldn't believe the number of people who asked!

Cassandra Frear said...

Things we don't speak of . . . I'm pretty careful to keep my closest loved ones protected. Although I do write a lot about my own life, I try not to share things that would make them uncomfortable.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I noticed your title change. I love it too! Can't wait till your book comes out and we learn from all your marketing.

Glad to see you cut back on some things you don't have time for. I'll miss the What Writers Read blog but it's not good to do what you don't have time for.

I'm so curious about what else you're doing that hasn't ripened yet to tell.

Em-Musing said...

Good for you for prioritizing! Thanks for sharing things not to mention on blogs like neurosis. Wait! Neurosis? OMG! Too late! My whole blog is my neurosis! Waa!

Erinn said...

congrats on the new name change and GREAT list of things we shouldn't talk about.

Jonathon Arntson said...

1. I did see that you picked your new title. Very cool!

2. So...how much was it? Ha.
I think the only info that I reveal a bit too much about is when I have breakdowns. I usually wait until after the pieces are picked up and I can write something inspiring, but there are those few times when I slip 200 words onto my blog about blah.

3. Go you. You're only SUPERWOMAN. Geez. It's not like you're Superman or something :P

4. Word.

5. It's true, I will be querying within the next month, BUT not for a novel. It's PB spotlight time.

Christina Lee said...

I love your new title! There are many unspoken rules I've come to discover...

Jen said...

Your title change is awesome!! I love the title and I already have a fun way of saying it... so serious...

Wait a second, maybe I should have said that. Weird.

Suzanne said...

Love the new title!

Another thing you don't ask: "Here's my manuscript--will you get your agent to read it?" Unless I've read it and really love it, which is usually not the case: No!

lynnrush said...

Love the new title. It's catchy.

Great post. Write on, my friend!!!

salarsenッ said...

Nope. Love the guyliner. I'm so glad to hear about your forward progression. Even though you're deciding to give certain things up, it's affording you time to spread your wings elsewhere.

Ooh, love the new title too!

Candyland said...

Go girl! Love the new title! I don't speak of the fact that I have no desire to shower today. Whoops.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

It's great that you mention these things. A lot of people don't seem to get it--though I think you shouldn't ask about salary, period!

Kelly Bryson said...

So, Elana, is it taboo to ask a writer which agents they have pages out to? I've been asked that, and I didn't find it rude because the asker was a crit partner, but it wasn't something I wanted to broadcast to the whole world. Don't we have to be especially careful when we're querying because sometimes they will VISIT our websites?

Christine Fonseca said...

Love your secrets! Great job paring things down a bit. Good luck with EVERYTHING!!!

Caroline Starr Rose said...

POSSESSION by AS Byatt is my tied-for-first-place favorite book. You'll be in good company!

lbdiamond said...

Lovely title, Elana! Congrats!

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

LOL Great post :o) I love your new title. It's a bit Jane Austenish. Innit? Probably not what you're going for (sorry!) That's just the way my mind swings.

Things you just don't talk about: How many times your new born did a poo today. Sorry, but I'm just not interested. But, seriously, let me know when she speaks her first word, ok? I'll be all ears!

Are you a writer? Then you MUST enter this CONTEST!

Katie said...

Oooo Possession! Is that the coolest title, or what?!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I loved your old title, but your new one is great too. Can't wait to see the cover.

You're going to be greatly missed at QT. :)

Kristi Helvig said...

I LOVE the title POSSESSION, and good for you for simplifying your life.

My crit partners and I talk to each other about a lot of things (including agents), but would NEVER put that online. It's important to keep things extremely professional, so I totally agree with you. I do like hearing from people who love their agents though and who post what they like about them--I'm just not a fan of bashing.

storyqueen said...

Love the new title!

And next summer!!! wow!

Things We Don't Speak Of: I only mention my kids from time to time, and never stuff that would invade their privacy.

Shelley

Summer Ross said...

I don't speak of relationships with my ex husband on my blog, lol

Carol Kilgore said...

Love your new title! And new titles are the perfect thing TO speak of :)

Matthew Rush said...

I won't discuss politics or religion, at least not on my blog. Not because I don't have opinions, but because I don't want to alienate anyone.

Stephanie McGee said...

Politics because I just don't care and some people seem to care a little ore than seems healthy.

Sports because I don't care.

Unless it's golf. Then I talk about things. And pretend I know more than I do.

Oh, you mean on our blogs?

My plots. I know I share little teaser snippets, but those do not give anything away about my book.

And those might stop soon enough.

Jemi Fraser said...

Yikes! People would really ask that???

LOVE the new title - I think it's perfect for the book - at least from what I know about it so far! Great choice :)

Krista said...

Congrats on the new title! I can't wait to read it!

Bethany Mason said...

I know it's rude to ask about income and so I never had but it does mean that I have no idea how much any book is actually worth. If I was lucky enough to ever get an offer how are us newbies supposed to know what is the 'norm'? Just asking (and certainly not presuming an answer).

Holly Ruggiero, Southpaw said...

It’s funny I just noticed the name change of your book at goodreads yesterday. You might consider adding a line in your Possession page stating, “Formerly titled “Control Issues” or something like that ‘cause the quote from Publisher's Marketplace refers to the former name. The new name can have so many meaning too.

Any who, what do you mean never write about your neuroses? Why do you think I visit your blog? That’s the juicy stuff. Seriously, I agree with not posting private details online.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Love the title!

(Note to Bethany: You can google average book advance and find sites that have given roundups of what writers earn on average)

Bish Denham said...

Cool title Elana. I try to not talk/write about politics or religion.

Erin MacPherson said...

Now I'm all nervous that I've made a blogging faux pas. I'm one of those wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve girls so I totally say what I'm thinking and I'm afraid I've maybe overstepped my bounds. I have not, however, said how much my book sold for. Eeek. Great post.

Bethany Mason said...

Thanks Tricia - I've googled before but guess I was googling the wrong thing lol.

Casey McCormick said...

Exciting changes, Elana! LOVE the new title.

Robert Guthrie said...

I think we'd be a healthier society if we could talk about money. Not crass or starry-eyed. Just matter of fact.

Laura Marcella said...

Wow, do people really ask how big your advance is? Isn't that the same as asking how big your salary is or how much you make an hour? Yeesh!

LOVE your novel's new title, btw!!!

Elana Johnson said...

Bethany, WHEN you sell a book, your agent will tell you what's normal, what to expect, what's good, etc. And s/he's the only one you need to listen to, in my ever-so-humble opinion.

Oh, Holly. I totally discuss my neurosis here, but not about like, you know the breakdown email I sent my agent or anything like that. You know? But my irrational fear of dogs? YES.

Kelly, I think it's fine to talk about who has your MS -- with people in person that you trust and know. Like, if you're sitting around the crit group table, and they ask, tell! If it's in a private email, and you trust them, tell. But discussing that on your blog? NO. I wouldn't do that. I can almost always tell who's querying from their blog posts, and if a potential agent looks up your blog, they'll know too. And since most people query widely, said agent will assume you are too.

And thanks for the love re: my title!

LReneeS said...

Awesome post, Elana.

Well, some things I don't talk about on my blog... Hmm, well...
1. I definitely NEVER give away something major that occurs in my book. If I write up a new chapter and blog about it I'll hint that everyone should check it out but I'm not giving away anything.
2. I don't go that much into my personal life. (I think everyone would get bored if I did, and really where is the fun if I just talk about my life and not my writing)?

And I know there's more, but I just can't think of it for now:(
But anyways, congrats on coming up with the new title. I think it's great!
Happy writing,
LReneeS

Claire Dawn said...

I don't speak of my Cinderella fantasies. Just because I'm independent doesn't mean I wouldn't love a Prince Charming.

Jessica Hill said...

Oh my gosh, people actually ask how much your book sold for?! That's cuh-razy rude. I would never have the nerve to ask anyone something like that.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Asking how many rejections one received before landing a contract. No one's asked me, I just think that would be a downer question to answer.

Palindrome said...

Sometimes you can only do so many things. I think asking people how much money they made is completely rude. Oh well.

Janna Qualman said...

It sounds just right. Go you! Wishing you all the best, Elana.

Angie said...

All you did on the QT blog is much appreciated! It's good to know when to let go. Love the new title. I seriously can't wait to read your book!

Kimberley Griffiths Little said...

ADORE the new title, Elana! It's PERFECT and can mean so many delicious things - YAY for you!!!

And gosh, here I was hoping for a big, let-it-all-hang-out $$$ post someday . . . :-)

I think you should add to your list the fact that if another writer knows your advance they should keep it private and not tell the whole world. That happened to me with my first book and I ended up being gossiped about for months afterward and it really bugged me that people I'd told in private would tell everyone else at the writer's conferences and local SCBWI. This was 10 years ago, but still!

And I've also been wondering how you were maintaining ANY kind of sanity with all these various blogs and WriteOnCon, too. Whew! Glad to know you're still human. xoxo,
Kimberley

Paul Greci said...

I like your list. It's simple and makes sense.

And, I love your title. I'm a fan of one word titles.

Jennifer Hoffine said...

Good stuff about personal boundaries on sharing info, especially online.

And while I'm glad you're finding new professional boundaries by backing away from Query Tacker I'm so glad you helped found it in the first place...it's a very useful tool!

ali said...

Love your new title E! Now ... can't wait to see the COVER!!!

Krispy said...

Noticed the title change here a while ago and went through a whole "Am I crazy?" moment where I was trying to remember if I was just imagining that the title had changed or if it had always been POSSESSION.

As for paring things down, I don't know how you've managed to keep up with all the things you do for so long!

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

I love the new title Elana. It's fabulous.

And hm...secrets and things I don't talk about. Probably how little time I've spent writing lately. #pleasedonttellmyagent :)

Sara B. Larson said...

I love the new title!! I agree with Ali, can't wait to see the cover!

Lisa_Gibson said...

Love the new title!(will make the change on goodreads). Love the mention of guyliner. too funny! Just thought of you as I ate a chocolate and bacon (yes I said chocolate AND bacon) cookie. :)
Lisa ~ YA Literature Lover

Carolyn V. said...

I love your title Elana! Sweet!

I think few other things you should never blog about is how much you hate a book (the author might read it)and anything negative about anyone in the writing community. It will totally get back to them.

Jai Joshi said...

It's always a good idea to remind others, as well as ourselves, what is appropriate to write about on our blogs or to ask others.

Great post.

Jai

Nichole Giles said...

Yep, I love the title. Agree with everyone about wanting to see the cover. *excited dancing for Possession*

Things We Do Not Speak Of? How about not complaining about everything in life? Like, how someone has headaches every day, or how broke we are, or how nothing in life ever goes that person's way.

Yeah. I don't read those blogs, skip completely over those tweets, and if I could, I'd delete those FB posts unless they're by someone I love. I don't give my children sympathy for complaining all the time, so why would I do so for a stranger or someone I hardly know?

JMO, though. Not saying we can't ever complain (like, "sick of the rain" or whatever) but when it's a constant, regular thing, it's just annoying. No one reads blogs (or networks socially) to be dragged down into the pits of despair or depression, right? Right. Okay.

Great blog!

Corinne O'Flynn said...

WOOT to you for shedding the things that are too much. I am a huge believer in letting. Sanity depends upon it.

Double WOOT on POSSESSION! I can't wait for the cover! *yay*

I like your list, and have enjoyed the comments. I was going to say that pity parties are just not cool, but someone already talked about downers so... 'nuff said.

Hats off to you Elana!!

Amanda said...

I like the new name better :)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Excellent post, excellent title! I'll have to go back through some older posts and change wherever I've mentioned your title.

Ishta Mercurio said...

Great new title!

I never talk about my husband or kids; I think I've mentioned that I have them, but I never talk ABOUT them. Or personal issues with friends/neighbors/other writers/anyone really. Or when I hate a book or movie. (It's why I don't do reviews.) Or big negativity in general. If I get a rejection, I might blog about getting one, but I try to put a positive spin on it, like "I got a rejection today from someone who will remain nameless, but they were really nice about it and I know where I'm going to send it next" kind of thing.

VR Barkowski said...

Love the new title!

I once wrote a blog post on "female think" and why men veer away from reading books written by women. Granted, the post was neither PC, nor diplomatic, but it was, IMHO, the truth, and I don't regret posting it.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I love the new title!!!! Very nice!

I moaned on my blog a couple times about my basment flooding, the hailstorm and my cat dieing but never anything about agents or editors...I hope I didn't cross any lines by doing that...Shoot, I just did it again, didn't I??? (Stupid basement!)

Annette Lyon said...

Great advice.

As for other unmentionables--here's one that has nothing to do with publishing: Don't ask someone about their reproductive plans or why they are or are not "done."

Furthermore, don't ask about their siblings' plans and if they had "only" two children by choice or if they were unable to have more.

(This recently happened. I wanted to slap the speaker.)

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