The Rule is Don’t Write a Novel

12 01 2018

THE FIRST RULE OF NOVEL-WRITING IS DON’T WRITE A NOVEL

ELIZABETH PERCER: NINE NON-RULES FOR WRITING

If you’d asked me 15 years ago how I saw my future, I would tell you about all the hard work I’d put into earning my doctorate, about the post doc that promised me a way into a fantastic research opportunity; about the tenure track position I hoped to secure one day. I would tell you all this with a clenched jaw, a fierce smile, and a knot in my belly. Because although I’d spent most of my young life envisioning academic achievement as the pinnacle of success and fulfillment, these goals were forged from a lifetime of trying to measure up. I’d shoved my quirky, not particularly scientific self into a mold that suited my family of physicists, mathematicians, and software designers. But somehow along the way, in measuring myself against those I loved and admired, I forgot to check in to see if there was a form within me that was more essential and less shapely, to see if I had measures of my own to follow.

It wouldn’t be until after several life-altering events—most notably, the birth of my three children in somewhat rapid succession—that I would slowly relinquish my grasp on borrowed titles. Once liberated, however, I found myself in the distinctly uncomfortable position of realizing that original compositions are so much harder to develop than derivative ones, not least because they don’t have the same examples to follow.

Still, like any good academic, I tried for years to work at my writing the same way I’d worked at anything. I pushed myself. I was stern with myself. I created strict rules to follow and chastised myself when I didn’t follow them. When that didn’t work, I looked to experts, who told me that I needed to write for about the same time every day in the same place, or that I should seriously consider getting an MFA, or that I should seriously consider not getting an MFA, or who told me that only the most talented writers could succeed, or that true creative talent would never realize any kind of commercial success, or who told me I was too young, or too old. It’s no wonder that in looking for others to tell me how I needed to be, I got into the habit of showing up to my writing at the same time in the same place and freeze

1.  Don’t write a novel
2. Keep your publishing dreams in check
3. Writing doesn’t always look like writing
4. Books do not respond to timelines, spreadsheets, or graphs
5.  Make space for what comes
6.  Procrastinate
7.  Get to Know the Demons on Your Block
8.  Go Gentle into that Dark Night
9.  Don’t Neglect the Rest of You

Read further @ Literary Hub





Write a Book Proposal

28 02 2016

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New authors looking to get into the publishing business deal will need to have a book proposal to get a publisher or agent to even look at their work.

Publishing consultant Jane Friedman outlined some great tips for writing a book proposal. These steps are great insights to help you get started in writing a book proposal. Here!





How to Market Yourself as an Author

28 02 2016

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Literary agents often get a reputation for being cruel and heartless. It is true that not a one of us has escaped sending out many, many rejection letters. I am sure that there are a few slightly sadistic agents out there, but for the most part, authors, please know that we take no pleasure in saying no to you and your project!

It is true! We WANT you to be our clients. We WANT to sell your book and make you and us both a trillion dollars (okay, at least a million dollars). Everyone at my agency has received angry, resentful and oftentimes threatening responses to our rejection letters. While we can understand being disappointed by a rejection letter, if we have sent one to an author it is for good reason — the book project is missing something (or things) that we need in order to effectively sell the book to publishers.

Six examples of what even great writers do badly:
#1: They Don’t Think Like Marketers
#2: They Don’t Know Who to Pitch Their Book To
#3: They Don’t Understand Their Book’s Place in the Marketplace
#4: They Don’t Offer Something N.D.B.M. (New, Different, Better, or More)
#5: They Hide Their Voice
#6: They Give Up

Read further @ Huffingtonpost





So You Want to Get Published?

27 02 2015

Publishing a Novel: INFOGRAPHIC

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Read further @ GalleyCat





Social Media for Book Promotion

8 10 2014

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How to Use Social Media Effectively to Promote Your Book

While the actual act of writing may come naturally, the steps involved in marketing and self-promotion can be tricky areas for potential authors. As part of Mediabistro’s Journalism Advice series, we spoke to three publishing veterans, who revealed how building a writing platform can help prepare you for life in the spotlight.

Along with sharpening your public speaking skills and getting feedback from trusted peers, using social media effectively is key to gaining insight from would-be readers. But remember not to stress about your lack of Twitter followers:

[Regina Brooks, lead agent and president of Serendipity Literacy Agency,] says that the focus should be on communing with existing and potential readers. “You can buy Twitter and Facebook followers. They have algorithms out there. Now, are those people reading your blog? Are they replying to your tweets? Are they really engaged with you and the topic? Probably not,” she warned. In short, concentrate on quality, not quantity. High numbers may initially impress — and kind of make you feel like the popular kid in the cafeteria — but publishers and agents prefer the development of an actual audience to the smoke and mirrors of a manufactured one.

Read further @ GalleyCat





Marketing Yourself: Part of the Process

26 07 2014

 

 

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The Key Element To Success Many Writers Avoid: Self-Promotion

We all know that success as a writer depends on: 1) writing something worth reading and 2) getting published. (Thanks, Captain Obvious!) But while most writers have no problem understanding and even embracing the time and effort required to accomplish these two goals, there’s a third, essential element of becoming a successful author that many writers shun: self-promotion.

“Oh no!” you say. “Oh yes!” we reply. Why the reluctance? Some writers are simply shy by nature. Others don’t want to seem boastful or self-aggrandizing. And the remaining curmudgeonly bunch just doesn’t want to be bothered. Yet, like it or not, self-promotion is a necessary part of achieving success as an author in today’s publishing marketplace.

Accept that marketing yourself is part of the process. Having more people aware of you and your writing translates into more people interested in reading your work. But as budgets at publishing houses and literary journals continue to shrink, you can’t depend on publicity being handled for you. And many publishers have come to expect a certain amount of promotional support from their authors.

So it’s important that you overcome any reservations you may have about promoting yourself. The truth is, you should be proud of what you’ve accomplished. And if your writing has been published in literary journals, won awards, or your book is being published — wonderful! So much the better! Book sales in particular can be influenced by positive buzz.

Read further @ Huffington Post





The Global Warming of Self-Publishing

14 09 2012

Decoding the Self-Published Author

Every author knows that producing a book requires an extreme act of concentration, discipline, organization and stamina. It is an achievement requiring enormous effort, time and isolation rarely matched by other forms of artistic creation.

Despite all the revolutionary changes that roil the publishing industry and are currently upending the old methods of presenting books to the public, the bedrock fact remains that a published book, whether presented on paper or on screen, still carries with it a measure of prestige and achievement.

Despite the difficulties involved in a book’s creation, there is no shortage of people determined to produce works that reflect their own vision, whether they are motivated by chasing the false gods of fame and fortune or simply satisfying their overwhelming need to be heard and their views, talents and interests projected beyond the confines of their own minds and imagination. There are perhaps millions of people worldwide currently bent over their desks composing works they hope to share with others.

A few short years ago, the pipeline for these endeavors was strictly regulated by time-honored methods of filtering. A band of business-minded publishers, fed by a gaggle of first look agents, would submit choices to publishing houses whose editors and marketers filtered out their own choices. These choices were then cataloged seasonally, and an army of salespeople was dispatched to book buyers of independent and chain stores who subsequently made their own choices based upon past sales, and perhaps a few gut choices of their own.

The road to marketing and publicity channels was well rutted. Mass media outlets had their own filtering process to determine which books they would feature in their review columns, and advertising sections of books were well established. A few well-respected critics could be relied upon to filter their own choices to public scrutiny.

Continue reading @ Huffington Post





What’s the Future of Books, Nowadays?

17 02 2012

The future of books, today

There is much talk of bright tomorrows for publishing at New York’s Digital Book World expo, but how optimistic are readers?

While we’ve all been thinking about Andrew Miller and the Costa’s new enthusiasm short stories and Rushdie’s troubles in Jaipur, in New York, publishers have been looking to the future.

Many reports from the Digital Book World conference are brimming with positivity, with the independent publisher Dominique Raccah singing the praises of books created “at the end of a community-building process”, the author and futurist David Houle celebrating the astonishing fact that “more books [were] published this week than … in all of 1950” and Barnes and Noble’s James Hilt suggesting that the flood of data sweeping through an industry which is finally catching up with the digital age “helps us all”. But gloom isn’t that far behind – optimism “wanes” when executives are asked about the future for publishing and readers alike.

Continue reading @ The Guardian





Profiling your writing on the WWW

14 01 2012


How to Make Your Writing More Visible Online

Writers and publishers invest lots of money into creating mobile and digital versions of their books, but the toughest part is finding readers for these new works.

Author and Altimeter Group analyst Rebecca Lieb just published Content Marketing, a book showing how authors can make their writings, books and apps more visible online. She shared her advice in a keynote presentation at the Publishing App Expo. Here are some extra pointers.

Lieb explained: “To achieve search visibility, you have to create content, pure and simple. But this is great news for authors. Why? Because with search (like in the Bible) it all begins with the Word, and authors are natural wordsmiths. Search engines can’t listen to podcasts and they can’t watch videos, but they can (and do) read the written word.”

She continued: “So what authors have to do to achieve online visibility is to create and publish lots of relevant content online. What’s relevant? Stuff that’s related to the subject matter of their book, of course – but not necessarily all about their book. Target terms people may be searching if they’re interested in the subject matter.”

Read full article @ Galleycat