Claire King

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Claire King Edited Choices (10 of 10)

Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

No-one is buying debut novels

Posted on: May 24th, 2011 by Claire - 53 Comments

No-one is buying debut novels these days. Publishers don’t want them. Agents don’t want to take on new writers because they can’t sell debuts. Booksellers are closing down and the way forward is 99cent ebooks. It’s all doom and gloom out there. So why bother? The chances are infinitesimally slim that you will ever get the book deal your heart is set on. Why not go to the pub, or get comfy and watch re-runs of Friends instead?

‘They’ would have us believe that this is true. I wonder if the reason ‘They’ would have it that way is because ‘They’ are writing their own books and don’t want the competition? Maybe not. Maybe just because dismal news seems to sell. Unlike debut novels.

But wait!

For about 18 months now I’ve been using Twitter to meet and chat with writers all around the world. A few of them were already published writers, but most were like myself – scraping time to write in jam-packed days, entering writing competitions, occasionally getting shortlisted, or getting short pieces accepted in literary magazines. For me it’s been one of the best things I ever did in my writing career – in my Twitter stream I’ve found encouragement, wisdom, cheerleading, information, coaching, tips, consolation…and I hope I’ve managed to give back, which is in the spirit of Twitter.

And recently, in the last few months, some of the debut novelists on my twitter network are having breakthroughs.

These people are not different from you and me. They are not better educated. They are not richer. They are not people with industry connections. They are people who sat down and wrote. A lot. And re-wrote. They have families and day jobs and they are busy too. These people are getting agents and they are getting book deals. Three cheers for these people:

Maria Duffy, who signed with Sheila Crowley at Curtis Brown last autumn and has just signed a two book deal with Hachette Ireland. Her debut novel, Any Dream Will Do, will be published November 2011

D.J. Kirkby, who writes fiction and non-fiction and after self publishing her first novel, Without Alice, has just signed up with Judith Murray at Greene & Heaton

Liz Fenwick recently signed with Carol Blake at  Blake Friedman and signed with Orion for her debut – A Cornish House - and a second novel…

Claire LeGrand (Who is 24, by the way!) has just sold her debut novel to Simon & Schuster

Kate Brown who just signed with Jamie Coleman at Toby Eady Associates for her debut historical novel.

Mariam Kobras who just signed her contract with Buddhapuss Ink independent publishers for her debut contemporary romance The Distant Shore

Kerry Hudson whose debut novel TONY HOGAN BOUGHT ME AN ICE-CREAM FLOAT BEFORE HE STOLE MY MA comes out from Chatto & Windus in summer 2012

Claire McGowan whose debut novel sold in February to Headline and will be published in 2012. See her blog post about living the dream here.

Jonathan Pinnock whose debut Mrs Darcy versus the Aliens is out this September from Proxima Books

Rebecca Emin whose children’s novel New Beginnings will be published next year by Grimoire books.

Hip, hip, HOORAY! And many congratulations to all these writers!

I’m NOT saying that it’s easy. The market is difficult at the moment and I know several brilliant writers who have got great agents and are still waiting for a publisher to buy their book. That must be so frustrating after that magic moment of finding an agent raises your hopes…But what they aren’t doing is sitting around moaning about it. They are all, without exception, writing the next novel.

And as well as those people there are still many of my twitter friends submitting to agents, getting rejections, revising and submitting again. And of course there are those still climbing the first draft mountain. But I’m convinced that many of them will succeed because it’s clear they are determined to do so.

So, what’s stopping you?  Write. Write today. And come and find us on Twitter – make friends, watch others succeed and be encouraged (keep an eye on the #writegoodnews hashtag). Or occasionally drown your sorrows together.

Claire King on Twitter

 

Notes from an ex-Twitterphobe

Posted on: June 27th, 2010 by Claire - 9 Comments

Not too long ago I was a Twitter-phobe. Then my good friend Martha Williams said to me ‘No, really, there are some cool writer people on Twitter – agents, publishers, writers and more writers. Loads of writers’
‘Ooh,’ I thought, since I live in the arse end of nowhere and nary a writers group for miles. And I signed up. Claire King was taken. I became @ckingwriter. That was some months ago. Now near to 700 people know me as @ckingwriter. All (but 3) people I have never met.
I’m glad I jumped in because there are some fabulous people out there twittering all sorts of interesting things about writing: the craft, the exertion, the route to publication, the tenacity, the need to laugh at ourselves and yet take ourselves seriously and so on.

I’m not too caught up in the rage for thousands of followers. In any case, if I build it (the regular flow of best selling novels, for example) then I’m sure they will come. However I have come to the conclusion that there are two kinds of people that I follow on Twitter. They both fall into under the heading of writers (for everything else there is linked in, facebook oh yes and actual meat space). Here they are:

1) Peers – people who write. Struggling, successful or just zen, but in any case willing to strike up a conversation and offer a bit of mutual support. A network of like minded souls. Just like real life, you give a little, you get a little.

2) People who would never follow my tweets in a million years but who tweet a stream of useful literary awesomeness. Thanks, you know who you are. Actually you are not reading this, but still…

This is how I justify the few minutes a day I spend twittering when maybe I should be writing, or taking more showers.
You?

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