Adventures in Publishing
- Currently 10,000 books are self-published each day
- Many con artists are trying to capitalize on the self-publishing trend, and offer ridiculous deals... for a fee. Don't EVER pay to get published. A publisher should be paying YOU
- A great example is "Atlanta Nights" by "Travis Tea" - read the story here: http://www.sfwa.org/members/travistea/backstory.htm
- Check the Writer Beware website for daily updates on scams aimed at writers: http://www.sfwa.org/other-resources/for-authors/writer-beware/
- Make sure your book stands out: title, cover, and story must be professional and captivating
- Revise, revise, revise. Even the greatest writers in the world make mistakes (Shakespeare's "Othello, The Moor of Venice" when Desdemona is killed). Try reading the book aloud to see if it makes sense; play the story as a movie in your head.
- KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE. Make sure you define a target audience before you set out to write. "I'm writing for myself" is no excuse to create a book or story that is no good unless it really is just for you.
- Act like a writer; introduce yourself a writer or author, get business cards
+ Traditional publishing
- Although things are changing, you will usually need a literary agent to get your foot in the door of a traditional publisher. Getting an agent is often more difficult and tedious than getting a book deal. Be sure you have a query letter that stands out. For general tips on writing a query letter in all genres, go here: http://www.agentquery.com/writer_hq.aspx
- The best way to land a literary agent is to find NEW agents who need to fill their portfolios quickly. Magazines like Writer's Digest are great with this. Check their website (http://www.writersdigest.com/) for a blog on new agents, updated daily. If you wait until it's in print, it's probably too late.
- If someone negatively criticizes your work, THEY'RE WRONG! Do not waste your time arguing with the person as I've seen many self-published authors do on Amazon.com. Remember that your reputation is your greatest asset!
- Many great writers (Steven King was one) have three, four, five or more books rejected before they get published.
- Once you query an agent, wait one month before following up with a quick note or email. Do not contact an agent more than once after you query them, and don't wait more than 6 weeks. Most agents read EVERY SINGLE query they receive - this is how they make money, by representing writers. If they do not respond, they're not interested at that time, but they may be for a different book.
- Create a website and Facebook page
- Tweet often. Join Tweeting groups/ websites: Blurb.com, Triberr, HootSuite, and the like
- SEO - Search Engine Optimization. VERY IMPORTANT! Find someone who knows about computers (http://www.abcwebservice.com/) to help if you don't know how to do this
- Create a book trailer. This is the new trend in marketing books. Search on Youtube.com for book trailers to see some examples.
Elevator Pitches (My examples):
The Wistful Heads
Children are turning up dead around Staten Island, and a new dwarf detective is assigned to solve the mystery and stop a madman. Needless to say, things get really crazy.
Killer On The Noose
When serial killers are found hanged to death in New England, FBI Special Agent Tim Marrow, a little person, must make the toughest decision of his life: let a killer run loose, or hunt down his greatest ally.