Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Adventures in Publishing

Adventures in Publishing

+ Self-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.

+ Rejection
                - 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.

+ Marketing
                - 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.