I just wrote a synopsis for At the Foot of the Throne1. Since I’m trying to find an agent, of course, the first thing in my mind is, “Will this be interesting, entertaining and make the sound of a cash register ding in the back of the mind of the agent reading this?”
We all know that 15% of nothing is nothing, so you gotta make it marketable. Miss Snark used to say that good writing trumps everything. She’s right, of course, but I think that the “good writing” has to be in the sales pitch, too.
I’m too keenly aware of my own inexperience in this, too. On the one hand, I am a writer, an artiste. I create Great Art, dammit!2
But the creative person is also an entrepreneur — or needs to be if he doesn’t want The Dreaded Day Job. Oh, I love to write. I fall in love with my characters, I growl when something Just Doesn’t Soar. The creative process… Well, it’s fun and glorious and so very glowingly alive. Nothing in the world like it.
Where I think a lot of creative people fall down in trying to make a living at it (and me too), is that we forget that we have a great product — something people want. That experience of being alive with the heart soaring up and down in the leaps and dives of the ocean of consciousness? You help people feel that. That’s worth a lot. What a wonderful thing to be able to give when you can.
Don’t be modest or reticent about it — get the people with the printing presses and the distribution systems excited, too! We all need it.
1And by the way you guys do realize that the working title usually doesn’t wind up being the sales title, right?
2 Or at least try to…