Today I went out to Summit, NJ to visit MONK creator/showrunner Andy Breckman and his staff. They aren’t exactly keeping a low-profile in town, as proven by the picture on the left of their building (click on the picture for a larger image). On the train ride out there, I came up with the plot for MONK #8 which, much to my relief, Andy liked. We talked for an hour or two about the murders for the book and then I sat in to hear the beats for the 100th episode — it’s g0ing to be a great one.
I returned to Manhattan in time to attend the MWA’s Agents & Editors party, where I ran into Mel Berger, who was my first agent ever, and chatted for a bit with a woman who loves me, which is always a thrill.
At the party, author Twist Phelan told me that she’d met a woman today who introduced herself as a "pre-pre-published author" and said she was attending the Crime Writing conference to meet an agent.
"What does ‘pre-pre-published’ mean?" Twist asked.
"I have an idea for a book but I haven’t started writing it yet," she said.
"And that’s how you plan to introduce yourself to agents?"
"Yes," the woman said.
Twist said don’t, and went on to tell her just how stupid calling herself "pre-pre-published" was. That was definitely a new one on me.
8 thoughts on “Pre-Pre-Published”
I have enough problems with “pre-published.” I would prefer “unpublished” writers use “unpublished” or, if they feel that’s too accurate and descriptive, go with “aspiring.” I have a hard time not feeling that “pre-published” is arrogant, but that may be that I just look back on my particular road (not all that unusual from most writers) and see all the potential stumbling blocks and really DO understand why so many people give up.
Pre-pre-published is idiotic.
O, I didn’t say “stupid,” Lee! (I try not to be mean.) Perhaps I should have. After I suggested that perhaps it would be better to instead say she was working on a book about XYZ, she responded, “But I want them to know I’m serious about writing.”
Congrats on pre-pre-publishing Monk Book #8.
I must be a pre-pre-pre-published writer then. I don’t even have an idea yet.
I guess my pre-schooler is pre-pre-pre-published.
He hasn’t learned how to write.
I have a friend who gave up on saying “pre-published” because several people not in publishing thought it meant she’d sold a book and it just wasn’t on the shelves yet. She got tired of explaining, that no, she didn’t have a book sold yet. She went back to using “aspiring”, which is a perfectly sensible and accurate word, or just saying she was working on a book.
I get to see my friend Twist in about a month or so at a conference and I’m going to tell her I’m post-post-published. That gives me a month to figure out what it means.
I sort of feel sorry for her. The clueless just wander around, lost, hoping somebody would put them on the right course, suffering set-back after set-back, blow after blow to their self-esteem. It might have been a great achievement for her to have gotten as far as having an idea!
Not really germane to the topic, but I just wanted to say how much I like the sound of the name “Twist Phelan”. It just has that “aptness” that the late Lin Carter always said was important….
Ah, yes. The ultimate wannabe writer’s fantasy: how to get an agent and a book deal without writing anything.