Friday, January 28, 2011

New Year, New Resolutions by Brenda Janowitz

This cycle, we’re supposed to be talking about our writing resolutions for 2011, which is tough for me, since I’m not very good at keeping resolutions.  I’m great at making them (eat healthier, exercise more), but I’m just not that good at keeping them (I like fried foods, I don’t like to sweat).

But I like the idea of creating a writing resolution.  That seems like the sort of thing I should keep!  And the funny thing is that I’ve never actually made one of those before.  Last year at this time, I was home with a newborn and barely had time to shower, much less write.  Ah, priorities!  This year, I’ve got things a tiny bit more under control (emphasis on ‘tiny’) and have been carving out lots of time for myself to write.  I’m getting close to finishing my third novel (yay!) and while my agent is reviewing it (as we speak!), I’m hard at work on novel #4.

So, I suppose my writing resolution for 2011 is to sell my third novel.  Or, have my agent sell my third novel, to be precise.

Selling a novel is always a thrilling and exciting thing.  A scary one, too.  You don’t know if you’ll get along with your editor, if your publisher will throw any marketing money your way, or if you’ll get co-op space at the big chain bookstores (think front table), which is sort of how books become bestsellers.  You have no control over so many things—in fact, the last time you held your manuscript in your hands was the last time you really had total control over it—so there are just so many different emotions going on when you sell a book.  Ahem, when your agent sells it.

People ask me if I was jumping up and down when my agent sold my first novel in a two book deal.  I am definitely a jump-up-and-down kind of gal when it comes to good news, but I didn’t jump.  Didn’t even bounce.  I was just so shocked by the whole thing.  I really wanted to write a book, so I wrote a book, and then I got an agent and she actually sold the darn thing.  I was too stunned to really react to anything, other than to tell my agent that she should accept the deal.

Now, publishing is a whole different world.  If you read our last cycle of posts, you know that even established authors are having trouble getting book deals these days.  It used to be that if you were represented by an agent, you had a really good chance of getting a book deal.  Not guaranteed, but the odds were in your favor.  Now, it’s tougher than ever to get a book deal.

And this is when I’m trying to get a novel sold.  Great.  But I have total faith in my amazing agent, so I’m sure that if this novel is meant to find a home, she’ll find it.  And who knows?  Maybe this time, I’ll jump up and down.

Brenda Janowitz is the author of SCOT ON THE ROCKS and JACK WITH A TWIST.  You can find her at


  1. My fingers are crossed, Brenda. Baby probably needs a pair of shoes. (Or Choos as Lauren would say.)

  2. Brenda, here's to you jumping in the near future.

  3. Brenda, crossing fingers for big news for you this year! And if you jump up and down, I will throw in a happy dance for good measure, okay? Rock on, girl!

  4. That's a resolution we can all get behind. Keep us posted!

  5. Thanks, Girlfriends!! The love and support on this blog is just amazing!

  6. Hopefully we'll all get past this challenging, confusing moment where getting our books out there is so darn hard. But the world needs good books and that will never change. Good luck to you!

  7. I hope you are jumping up and down soon Brenda. From a reader's standpoint I just want to see good books being written and sold.
    I'm really curious as to the impact and marketing of E-books on a books success. I still browse all the tables and shelves at B&N when I can, because I love to look, but I do love my still new Kindle. So hard to merge the two.

  8. Brenda, I hear you and am sending you good luck (!!) vibes on the project your agent is reading and on the new one you're writing. All we can do is keep going, amidst the highs and lows and weird curves this industry throws at us. I'll be jumping up and down *for* you when you share your next bit of good news ;).

  9. Brenda
    Congratulations on finishing #3 and starting #4. Also, another congratulations for finding the balance between new Mommy and can be a tough balance to strike.

  10. Brenda, you WILL sell this third novel because you are a wonderful storyteller with tons to say about love, family and men... and you say it all with great panache. And guess what? When you do sell it and jump up and down, you now have a whole community of fellow authors who are going to jump along with you... Maybe we'll rent out Bouncers and Slydos, lol. Wouldn't that be a blast?

    Meanwhile, just keep going!!!

  11. Brenda, according to psychologists, you're doing your resolutions just right: Develop a big goal (sell the next book) and then do all the things in your control that will contribute to making it happen! So fingers crossed...

  12. If you don't jump up and down, call me and I'll jump for you!!! And then we'll meet for another wonderful lunch (on me this time).

    Fingers crossed, my friend. The world needs another Brenda Janowitz novel!