Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Discovered on Facebook and Other Publishing Urban Legends

We've all heard of them, they're the equivalent of the "supermodel discovered at bus stop solving Mensa logic puzzle" stories.

The unpublished writer who went to her wrtiers' conference and left three days later with both an agent AND a publisher. The unpublished writer who got found by an agent via Facebook after the agent saw their name on a list of contest finalists. The writer who got discovered because an editor was secretly reading her blog. The writer who met an editor on a plane and he liked her pitch. The writer who got asked for a proposal by an editor who saw her on Twitter.

Twitter? I hear you say? C'mon, that's not even an urban legend, that's just fiction. And I would have said the same, until that very thing happened to someone that I know. Yes, someone that I know. Not that mysterious "friend of a friend", not my cousin's boyfriend's sister's college roommate, a living breathing person who is my friend.

It couldn't have happened to a more deserving gal. But I've told her she has no idea what she's done. Once the story gets out, it's going to unleash a host of writers onto Twitter, all tweeting wildly in the hope that there's a tribe of editors lurking out there in Twitterland just waiting for their story.

I think it would be safe to say that with my overwhelming three tweets in the last six months, the most recent being a photo of my son with mash smeared all over his face, it's unlikely an editor will be finding their way to my Twitbox anytime soon.

But it's true, it does happen. So be careful out there in social media land people. You never know who's watching ;)

What about you? What's the strangest/most interesting way you've ever heard of a writer snagging an agent or editor?

Rumor has it that Stephanie Meyer got discovered because there was a new intern on the agent's slush pile who didn't know a young adult novel was meant to be 70,000 words, not 110,000.

1 comment:

  1. I love this article, Kara! My own journey is really nuts - basically a published friend sending some of my chapters to his editor, and voila. A contract. Can you imagine???! The problem with this (and no, I don't mean that it's a problem - LOL! It's one of the best things to happen in my entire life!) is exactly as you said: that this often "unreplicatable" method is just that - unreplicatable! For many, many people, doing the conference thing, interviewing with an agent, etc. is the surest way to success, and I know SO many incredible writers - better writers than me - who have done it that way. But when people ask if I can send Barbour their chapters, too (Barbour no longer accepts unsolicited manuscripts) or how they can do what I did, there's no easy answer. Sometimes the stroke of "luck" (read "blessing") is just that - for whatever reason God ordained it. Not because I'm a better writer than anybody else, or because my books are so great. (They're not!) The one thing I do hope is that people can see HOPE in stories like this rather than an avenue they have to copy. God is never the same, and He never approached people in the Old Testament the same way. His revelations were always personalized, unique, and individual.