Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Thoughts on books vs. magazines

Home, now, from New York and Pennsylvania. I was away for a week, and at the beginning of that time and even in the middle of it, it seemed like I wouldn't be seeing my boy for such a long time. And then I was back home and it seemed as if I had never left.

The ASJA conference was great--such good panels with wonderful speakers. I met Andrea, the editor of Pen on Fire and she was just wonderful. Others, too, that I've only had contact with online or on the phone or via email--great to put a face to those people.

I want to respond to a comment Jordan made on a previous blog. He said, "I admit to being a snob, but having done so, where is your 'writer's mind' now that your book is in the stores. A book, it seems to me, is permanent. Magazine and newspaper articles are transient things. Do you have any thoughts on this?"

I do have thoughts on this, Jordan.

Some people are book people, others seem to be more into magazines. While I subscribe to, and read, magazines, I'm definitely a book person. And every day I'm grateful that I have added my own book to the book population of the world.

That said, books can take a very long time to write. Writing a magazine article--or an essay or a story or a poem--and getting it published is much more of a short-term venture. I like seeing my work in print and when you do shorter works, you get that more immediate gratification of sending your work out and seeing it in print and knowing others will see it in print, too. And it's always fun to deposit checks in your credit union account, too.

For an author, there's one more benefit to publishing magazine articles: You can usually mention your book in your bio at the end of the article, which will hopefully garner more book sales for you--always a good thing. Promoting your book is ongoing, much as I'm sure you hate hearing the "P" work, Jordan.

7 comments:

Lucinda said...

Dear Barbara - Sometimes I think it's the nation's loss that you entered the world of letters rather than the world of diplomacy. I think you handled Jordan's question perfectly. Apparently he is a snob but I give him credit for admitting it.

Jordan said...

Interesting answer to my question. But as is usual, one question generally leads to another. Here's what I'm wondering. Do you think it was a good idea to actually meet your editor. Editors, like teachers, I think, should be surrounded by an air of mystery. One should stand in awe before them in order to get the job done. What if "Andrea" would have been a well tattoed 20 year old with her hair up in curlers and a pierced whatever?!

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

Tattoos, piercings, curlers ... that would have been fine, too.

It wasn't so much Andrea's style as her personality and how we got along. We hit it off and that's what mattered. If it had been a drag, then yes, I would have preferred her to remain mysterious.

Jordan said...

Returning to books v. articles: This is what I'm getting at. On the one hand you state that you're a book person but, of course, writing a book is a long term commitment. Articles, on the other, are a source of immediate gratification. If that's so, is there a danger that the immediate gratification will dilute the energy and drive to get on with the book?

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett said...

I'll respond by posting to my blog. See my most recent entry, to come.

William J. Cook said...

On Jordan . . .

Snob = ego

idea + desire + ability + ego = $$$$$$$$

Remove ego from the equation and on right of the "=" you will find:

????????, or
$$, but definitely not
$$$$$$$$$

Bill Cook,
Seattle

jordan said...

Apparently, Mr. Cook got stuck somewhere between algegra and English. I, myself, am cixelsid.