Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Music, Again

Dad is fine, you'll all be glad to know. He's sore and tired but for some reason, he came into work today. Well, that's Dad for you.

Right, onto the post proper. I was going to tack this on to the end of yesterday's post, but decided that the post was too long as it was. All of you must be now aware that I love music. All kinds of music. It doesn't have to be any particular genre, but it does have to move me. I stumbled across this next group quite by accident. They are:

Two Steps From Hell.

And here is one of their remarkable pieces:

Brilliant, is it not? This is the kind of music that takes me places, let's me see things I wouldn't normally see.

Unfortunately, they don't sell their music to the general public, only movie people. I'm extremely depressed about it! I am particularly attached to everything I've heard from their Shadows and Nightmares collection, even the ones that are only about 30 seconds long (30 seconds of pure genius, I tell you!), and would dearly LOVE to have that playing on my iPod as I walk to and from work. But, alas, I cannot.

If anyone from Two Steps From Hell happens to chance across this post, please, please, please sell your music to us plebs. I am on my knees!

As to my submission statuses (stati?), today is the 12th (obviously) and the last day of the waiting period that one of the agents noted on their site. It also said that if I haven't heard from them by today, they weren't interested. Thus, if I hear nothing from them today, I know they weren't interested and I can cross them off my list and move on.

In other news, there were two more profile hits. Unfortunately, both were looking for that other one. How do I know? Well, for starters, the one from Beverly, OH used my first name. Since I don't know anyone in Beverly, OH, and unless they were super-sleuths (and why would they be?), they shouldn't know my first name. The second one, from Arlington, VA actually used the words 'sonia carriere french porn star' in their search. Learn to spell her last name if you please. Hint: there is no 'i' in it. I am vaguely amused that I am extremely familiar with a porn-star's last name.

Righto, I have a short story that needs rewriting, so I'm off to do that. Have a lovely Wednesday!


KuietKelticGirl said...

I admit, at this point, that as much as I have been cheering you on, I realize that I may have missed the explanation. And as I'm leaning more towards laziness than to potential embarrassment: What does an agent do, and do for you?

S.M. Carrière said...

An excellent question!

Well, for starters, a vast number of publishing houses will not accept manuscripts unless they come from an agent. Bloomsbury is one example of many. Authors are fortunate that some publishers do still encourage unsolicited manuscripts. Baen Books does so (and I do hope to be published by them, if by reputation alone).

Of course, in order to get published, you must sign a contract. Agents are familiar with publishing contracts, they know the standard market rates, and, as they are paid on commission, they will negotiate the best possible deal for you (and by extension, them).

Experienced agents are intimately familiar with the editors at major publishing houses, and can direct your work to the editor that is most likely to love it.

Often times, they will work with you to polish your manuscript to a level you never thought possible.

They will also help you with marketing the book - negotiating spaces in book stores and sometimes (if your agent is very, very dedicated) appearances at conventions etc. Though, increasingly (and nonsensically, if you ask me) the bulk of the marketing work is expected to be handled by the author. I would think the agent would want the author to spend more time writing - more books = more commissions, but what would I know?

There's a lot of debate about whether or not an author needs an agent. I suppose if one is very 'street smart' in publishing terms, then an agent wouldn't be necessary ... except for that pesky problem of publishers who won't look at a manuscript without an agent.

Right, I think I covered everything. If anyone else is reading, do add to the list!