Thursday, July 30, 2009

New Website May Spark Writing Ideas

For a good laugh and perhaps some good ideas, check out Emails from Crazy People. Scroll past the first entry or so to "Damn Dams" and read from there. Some funny stuff.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nathan Bransford Contest Entry

Today I entered Nathan Bransford's latest contest for guest blogs. I wrote an entry entitled, "Working with your Partner, the Writer." I think it was a pretty good entry, but as with all publishing, winning your chance to be published can be very competitive! If I win, I'll put up a link to his page and notify readers. If not, I'll post my entry on To Write and Publish.

Update: My blog entry was chosen and will appear on Monday, August 3rd on Nathan Bransford's Blog.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Library Cold Calls . . .

In an effort to continue to build relationships with librarians and reach new fans for his book, my significant other spent today calling individual libraries in and around the Chicago area (beginning with those who had stocked his thriller), to see if they were open to booking him for events such as Q&A's, book talks, or workshops. Topics could range from writing in general to his personal experiences to publishing and self-publishing. Timing was part of the equation, as he felt better about cold calling libraries after his book won a major award. So far the results are promising: 10 events are definitively scheduled. Based on this experience, I would recommend that new authors, whether self-published or traditionally published, consider what types of events they might be able to participate in at local libraries. It's a great way to establish yourself in a community, often earn compensation, and get your book(s) out.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Midwest Writers Workshop- Publishing Your Novel

The Midwest Writers Workshop ended today and it was definitely a worthwhile experience. Today's day was filled with how to write a winning query (with Diane Freed), facing the dreaded synopsis (with Joanna Stampfel-Volpe), how to do wounds and physical damage correctly with John Gilstrap, and more.

The most helpful advice I received, repeatedly, regarded the marketing of a writer who is self-published to a published agent. For those of you in this situation, here was the basic run-down I received:

1) Querying about your self-published book is probably a waste of time. It's already published. Unless it rapidly sold 8-10,000 copies, publishers won't want to look at it now, which means that agents won't want to look at it.

2) Awards count, and the success of your self-published book DOES count. If your self-published book has won awards, or you have vigorously marketed it, that is something you can add to the query letter for your next book that gives you credibility.

3) Work on the next book. Write a query for the next book. If you land an agent, sell the book successfully, you may then be able to approach your agent about re-publishing your self-published book.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Midwest Writers Workshop- Agent Speak

Today's workshop began with an agent panel with Joanna Stampfel-Volpe of Nancy Coffey Literary and Media Representation and Diane Freed of Fine Print Literary Management. Both were very helpful and interesting to talk to.

Diane Freed emphasized the importance of finding a good match between writer and agent.

Joanna Stampel-Volpe named 3 resources for researching the right agent for you:

GLA (the link to the GLA blog is already on this site)

Contrary to some of the debates out there, both admitted a willingness to look at and even represent self-published works (Diane has successfully represented 2 already), though Joanna said that she would be more interested in seeing the newest work by an author who already has a successful self-published novel to his or her credit, as opposed to representing the already-published work.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Midwest Writers Workshop Day 1

Today's day at the Midwest Writers Conference began with an intensive session with John Gilstrap entitled, "Adrenaline Rush: Writing a Thriller." We began a positive session with these words:

No one can teach anyone to write anything.

You learn structure by watching others. (Reading other works)

You learn the mechanics of writing by writing.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Midwest Writers Workshop

This week I'm getting the opportunity to learn more about writing and the publishing biz at the Midwest Writers Conference. There'll be daily updates! Tomorrow starts with a day of work with John Gilstrap- author of Nathan's Run.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Blog Alert

Okay, it's not a writing blog. But it is the blog about a girl on a journey to learn about life, health, and herself. She is an old friend of mine, has a great voice, and you just may find her blog interesting, too.

Check it out:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Hollywood Book Festival- Entering Contests

When taking any book- self-published or traditionally published- one has to throw lines out in many directions to try to see what takes hold, especially new authors.

So this blog began as my arena to vent the trials and tribulations, and glean encouragement and advice from others, for my significant other and I as we journeyed toward trying to take his self-published work and make it, and him, successful in the literary world.

Today we learned of one success in our efforts. I've written before about entering contests, and we entered his book in a handful.

Today we learned that his novel, Winter Games, was the Grand Prize winner in the 2009 Hollywood Book Festival. This week he will be flown out to receive his award in Hollywood at a ceremony concluding the festival.

Hopefully this opportunity will lead to connections and contacts that can land him an agent and other publishing opportunities. We shall see . . .