Making the Big Decisions

September 13th, 2010 • Kate

decisionSo Rexroth and I are currently debating a possibly huge decision — whether to make some renovations on Casa Implausible/Unfeasible, or find a new home for the growing ImUn clan. And I got to thinking how it compares to the big decisions an author might make in their writing career. Just last week, in fact, a soon-to-be-revealed client and I debated the pros and cons of two offers on her novel, and had to choose one of them over the other.

So how do you weigh that kind of a decision? Make a list of pros and cons? Get lots of advice from other people who’ve been in similar situations, or may know the people involved?

Yes, to all of it. There’s lots of hard facts to consider, but I think you also need to have a gut feeling about things. You and your agent may discuss pros and cons of various different publishers and editors, but most times, I’ve found, you also need to have a feeling.

That might be where we are in terms of maybe possibly having found a new house we like. (You like all those caveats? Maybe possibly?) It’s not perfect — I don’t know if “perfect” exists in real estate — I mean, I guess it does, but perhaps not on our budget — but it’s something we think we can see ourselves in for the long term.

Your deal with a publisher, with an editor, should feel like that. Even if it is a one-book contract, the ultimate goal is a long-term relationship that’s beneficial to both sides.

Those of you who’ve been lucky enough to be a part of that kind of debate — either in real estate or publishing terms — how did you make your final decision? Was there a single deciding factor?

Filed Under: Slushpile


12 Responses to “Making the Big Decisions”

  1. Trish Says:

    When it comes to buying a house, trust your feelings. We've owned three houses and each time we picked the one that felt right–and we haven't been disappointed yet.

  2. Olivia Says:

    I'm very big on Pros and Cons lists.

    Question: When you're rejecting a query letter, do you respond, or just ignore it? I've had some of both so far in my querying.

  3. Kate Says:

    Olivia — for the most part, I do my best to always respond. The only ones that get ignored are those with attachments, or cc'ed to me and several dozen of my agent colleagues.

  4. Olivia Says:

    And who can blame you for ignoring those? πŸ™‚

  5. Krista V. Says:

    Don't have any experience on the literary side, and very little on the real estate side. But the one time my husband and I bought a house, we made a list of pros and cons, and in the hour it took us to make that list, the decision became as clear as … something really clear.

    Good luck with your big decision. If all else fails, you can always, I don't know, throw pick-up sticks at blueprints or something, see how the pick-up sticks land. That's how you decide which manuscripts to request, right? πŸ™‚

  6. HeatherM Says:

    I have had to do this on the real estate side and like you said, it does kind of come down to a feeling. Of course a lot of factors weigh in but in the end you go with what your heart tells you. Hopefully some day soon, after I partner with a new agent, I'll have that kind of decision to make on the literary side!

  7. ChristaCarol Says:

    I have to agree, intuition has a lot to do with it. Once everything else has come into place, of course (like the price, the location, etc.). As for the other scenario, I'll let you know when I get there πŸ˜‰

  8. Becka (Fie Eoin) Says:

    I've not had any experience with publishing houses, but I have bought a house, and it was a harrowing experience! At the end, when we were presented with two houses to choose from we picked the one that was updated, only to get the paperwork in hand and decide just before we signed it that the other would actually be better for our needs. I'm not sure if you could call that a good feeling, but I certainly had a bad feeling about the other house when I had the pen in hand to sign the paperwork. It worked out in the end – we love our house πŸ™‚

  9. Charles Ravndal Says:

    I always trust my gut feeling when it's telling me something, but it's also nice to make a pros and cons list as a supplement.

    Btw, I'm wondering if you accept queries or submissions outside the US.

  10. Kate Says:

    Charles — Yes I do! There's no geographical limit on talent!

  11. Charles Ravndal Says:

    That's really good to hear! I'm writing a YA novel and I'll send a query once I'm done with it. I've only written 8 chapters so far, but I've already outlined each chapter with synopses until the end. So it's like fill in the blanks now. πŸ™‚

  12. Rissa Says:

    I've purchased 4 houses now. I always go with my gut feeling. Of course I only look at houses that fall into my must have list.

    You are a brave woman to think about renovating with a baby on the way. I've heard it carries a huge amount of stress. (renovating not pregnancy- though pregnancy does carry a different kind of stress)