I saw parts of a movie, this past weekend, called “Begin Again”. It was described to me as being an indie film and what I saw of it, was great! The reason I mention it is because I guess the music world is as difficult to get into as the writing world. For example, there is a part in the movie where the lead female, Keira Knightley, and lead male, Mark Ruffalo, make an album and then pitch it to a record company. During this meeting, one of the associates explains to Knightley’s character, Gretta, that if the album sells for $10, the artist gets $1 and says, “It’s the same in publishing. It’s a buck for a book.”
When I wrote my first, nearly, completed manuscript, I did not try to have it published. I have, however, gone through the process of attempting to have other works published…to no avail, of course. Otherwise, this would be a completely different blog, unfortunately. So, during this moment in the movie, I felt I could relate and could not help but wonder if the information is true or at least to some degree. Also, earlier in the movie Ruffalo’s character, Dan, took Gretta to meet with the record company representative with only a song, which she sang while playing her guitar, instead of a demo. They are turned away and make their album themselves. The above mentioned meeting happens after they have completed the album.
How similar is that in the world of writing! Generally, as I understand it, a writer is asked to submit a query letter and, depending on the literary agent or publisher, maybe a synopsis and/or the first few chapters. The agent or publisher then responds with either a “thanks but no thanks” letter or a request for more of the manuscript. At least, that is how it was years ago when I attempted to get published. It might be different, now. I have not yet ventured to try it again. Maybe one day…maybe not. With the internet being as successful as it is, an artist can publish his/her material his/herself, all day, every day.
And now, I leave you with the scripture from one of the bible studies with my children, because I must go:
13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
(Philippians 2:13-16. ESV.)