Wednesday, January 31, 2007
  For Better or For Worse gets it wrong
I usually am a big fan of this comic strip, but boy did the author blow it today. One of the characters, Mike, finished his novel about a month ago, just before his family's apartment house went up in flames the day before Christmas. In today's script he gets a contract in the mail from a publishing house.

Hah! Fat chance.

We see him celebrating it was done, then his whole house is destroyed. Even if he put it in the mail the day after Christmas (while he was preoccupied with salvaging what he could from his house), they wouldn't have gotten it until three days later... Dec 29, the Friday before New Years. The earliest they could have possibly gotten to it would have been January 2nd. The chances of them hitting the slush pile after a week or two of vacation are pretty darn slim... but let's say the acquisitions editor did sit down and read it (before getting to the rest of the slush pile that's been pilling up since before Christmas, heck maybe even before Thanksgiving...), then there'd be meetings with the rest of the editorial staff, the marketing and publicity team, etc. All in three weeks. I just don't buy it, especially as he doesn't have an agent (or at least, we've never heard about him having an agent, or him trying to get one.)

Then there's the advance... $25,000. I know that debut novelists can get advances like that (I know one who got an advance four times that) but the average advance is more like 5,000 (at least in sf... thanks to Tobias Bucknell who did a survey of authors and found out that precious info.). The chances of an unagented author getting a higher advance is pretty slim. The woman I know who got the very high advance had a bidding war going on for her book -- several publishers wanted it and her agent was able to get an auction going for it. Just sending it off in the mail to the publisher is not likely to get an offer out of the blue for that kind of advance.

I wonder if dentists sit and pick apart the depictions of Mike's Dad's business, or if only authors go through this agony....
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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