This quote is appropriate to our present day economy, which impacts the larger publishing houses.
Children’s Book Insider interviewed Dian Curtis Regan, author of Princess Nevermore, back in 1996.
CBI asked Ms. Regan, “Do you have any advice for beginners?”
Ms. Regan replied with what she did back in the early 80’s. “I started going to conferences and I heard a lot of gloom and doom about the industry. During those years I felt it was my time to learn how to write and go to conferences. Then when the boom came in the mid-80’s I was ready. This is a cycle that inevitably repeats itself. The industry’s cutting back a bit these days, but if you do your homework now you’ll be ready when they open the doors again.”
In a nutshell, during the late 90’s the industry was cutting back. Now here we are about thirteen years later with the same scenario. Those who may not have the drive to write will throw up their hands and quit. Then there are those who would write even if they never publish a thing. I’m one of those. I have to write.
Recently, I read Agent Nadia Cornier’s post Why 2009 Can Be a Great Year For Books at http://nadiacornier.livejournal.com/ for January 3rd. In it she gives hope for writers during 2009. I agree with Ms. Cormier.
In my opinion, it is not all doom and gloom. After the first reports of lay-offs, I figured it was time to start a new middle grade story. Though, I won’t quit sending out my query letter. I even have my eye on a publisher that will take a complete manuscript and publishes what I’ve been working on for eleven years. I plan to send that publisher my full when it’s ready. For me this is an excuse to do what Ms. Regan did all those years ago.
For beginning writers, this is also a good time to become a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators’ and receive their fantastic newsletter. Like Ms. Regan said, go to conferences. SCBWI has a calendar list for area conferences and workshops.
I highly recommend receiving CBI’s newsletter, also, which is chocked full of industry information. You can receive it by postal or e-mail. Click on CBI’s link below under Professional Websites, and check out their site.
Until next time, write, read, and work hard on both. And never give up.