I belong to Science Fiction Writers of America and the latest issue has an article on digital books and publishing. (He basically said you were crazy if you didn't make your out of print back-list work for you). The author makes a good point about the writer as a business person. If you don't keep up, you'll be left behind.
As a writer you are madly juggling work, family and writing and you are expected to promote your books as well. Even if you have an agent, you need to be watching your genre to see who is publishing what and what the trends are. You can track your sales on Amazon, that's new. But I only found out that copies of book 3 of my first trilogy are selling for anything up to $200 from a reader who didn't want to pay this much.
I really should teach myself to do podcasts. I know I should, but with work and renovating and writing I just don't have the mental space for it right now. With so much to keep track of it's a wonder writers get any writing done.
Now, if you have managed to finish writing your book and you're looking for somewhere to send it, consider sending it to Angry Robot. They're opening their doors to submission in March. They say:
'All our books are “genre” fiction in one way or another — specifically fantasy, science fiction, horror, and that new catch-all urban or modern fantasy. Those are quite wide-ranging in themselves; we’re looking for all types of sub-genre, so for example, hard SF, space opera, cyberpunk, military SF, alternate future history, future crime, time travel, and more. We have no problem if your book mashes together two or more of these genres, but they must have that genre foundation – no thrillers with the merest touch of SF, for example.
Our books will be published in all English-language territories — notably the UK, US and Australia — so we’ll be buying rights to cover all those. If you are only offering rights in one territory, we will not be able to deal with you. We will be able to offer e-book and audio versions as standard too, plus limited edition and multiple physical formats where appropriate. We are not contracting any work-for-hire titles; we offer advances and royalties.
Beyond all of this, what we’re really looking for in your writing is this:
• A “voice”, that comes from…
• Confident writing
• Pacy writing
• Characters that live, have real relationships and emotions, even in extreme situations
• A sense of vision, a rounded universe that lives and breathes
• Clever construction, good plotting, a couple of surprises even for us jaded old read-it-alls
• Heightened experience – an intensity, extremity or just a way of treating plot or situation in a way we’ve not come across before. “Goes up to 11″, if you know what that means.
Do all those, and it will be almost irrelevant that your story is one or other sub-set of SF, fantasy or horror!'
There's a list of FAQs and some tips on presentation. Best of luck.
Tell me, are you also scrambling to keep your head above water, or is it just me?