Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Five Reasons to Be a Writer!

One: You’re a glutton for punishment
Two: You’re a glutton for punishment
Three: You’re a glutton for punishment
Four: You’re a glutton for punishment
Five: You’re a glutton for punishment

Seriously, the real reasons most folks write are because:
One: They think they have a great idea so why not write a book
Two: They want fame
Three: They want fortune
Four: They want to impress
Five: They feel led by someone or something to create

But being a glutton for punishment helps. There has never been a more difficult time to break into the literary industry than today because of limited opportunities. AND, there has never been a more remarkable time to break into the literary industry than today because of unlimited opportunities. HUH?
Okay, so you think I’ve been nipping at the cooking sherry. NO, I have not. Then what kind of message am I sending?
Yes, it is tougher for a new author to break into traditional publishing today unless they have a platform stronger than George Clooney, but it can be done. The trick? Amazing, well edited, finely tuned writing. And an author willing to work on the social media aspect of publishing. The slots are fewer right now for debut authors, but they are still there. You simply have to do a lion’s portion of the work when it comes to marketing. And if you’re also willing to work harder than others, you can find a way through smaller/indie publishers or self-publishing to get your word out. In this vein there are unlimited possibilities. Still, you have to be willing to sell yourself through social media. That is not going to go away. It is here, and it is staying. The days when a publishers threw thousands of dollars at a debut author are Gone With the Wind!
So who are you, really? Do you truly feel a call to write not just a whim? Or are you a glutton for punishment. Have you thought it through thoroughly and taken a realistic approach to becoming an author?
Whatever your reason to write, be prepared to WORK. It isn’t all about sitting down and writing a novel anymore.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Most Important Job for an Agent

To make lots of money!?! Well, yeah, that would be a nice takeaway, but what do I really see myself as being for the most part?
Something I NEVER was in high school. Too much time on the debate team…nerd alert!
But now? A cheerleader.
Why on earth would I see cheerleading as an important role for an agent?
Rejections…hundreds of rejections. Authors today are experiencing more rejections than they are new ideas for books and that says something. Writers have hundreds and thousands of ideas. But new authors have a tougher time breaking out today than just five years ago. And why is that?
Let’s see—too many reasons to list here. But one very valid reason is this: many publishers have either dropped or pared back their fiction lines. Many of these publishers had big name authors on their books. When they dropped their lines, the authors had to go somewhere, after all, they are the money makers. The remaining publishers have five slots open for the next year and look at this option: do we sign a bestselling author with proven sales numbers, or do we take on a new author who we have to start from scratch to build up? No brainer. They take the established authors. They sign maybe 3 or 4 established folks and only have 1 or 2 slots left, if new authors are lucky. And how do they decide which 1 or 2 to take? New authors with HUGE platforms or with endorsements from top, bestselling authors.
And that, for the most part, leaves out hundreds of amazing authors who now have nowhere to go. The end result? Discouragement, rejection, downhearted writers who are ready to give up. Enter the cheerleader.
Here I am. Me, me. I’m raising my hand, flapping it in the air, doing my best to convince those wonderful folks who came on board that we WILL make it. I will find them a house who will take a chance on that awesome new author I keep pestering the editor about. I will convince you to build your platform, attend conferences, network, grow your social media. I will do my best to let you know that I have faith in your work. And if I take you as a client that will be the truth, because I don’t take on any client who I don’t fully LOVE their work. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE their work. You see, I don’t believe I can fully get behind a work to represent it if I don’t fall crazy in love with it. I know that seriously resembles Polyanna, but hey, it’s who I am.
See why it’s easy for me to be a cheerleader this late in life? I fall in love with a novel or a nonfiction piece, and I can’t wait to get fully behind it. Can’t wait to take it to a publisher, and I won’t stop until I’ve taken it to every possible connection that I know. And as I’m shopping it around what do I do to keep your chin off the table?
I’m a cheerleader. Yesiree! The most important part of my job is to encourage. And if I’ve signed you, know that I’m fully behind your work. I love it. I can’t wait for the rest of the world to read it…and love it, too.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A special welcome to Anne Garboczi Evans who tells us her secrets for building platform!
My New York Times Bestseller Marketing Plan

Whether you’re an Indie, self-published, or Traditional author, we’ve all heard the doom-inspiring line. “In this economy, publishers don’t have the budget to market new authors.”
So in this market or sink world, we’re all looking for ways to make our book stand out. Problem is, if you haven’t made it big yet, chances are you also don’t have much of a marketing budget. But you do have one tool at your disposal—your pen. Use it wisely and you can skyrocket your book all the way up to the New York Times bestseller list. Or at least, that’s my hope, because I want my name on that list. J

1.     Guest Blog:
Guest blogging will exponentially increase your book exposure since, it not only provides links to your blog, but also drives up your Google search engine results. How do you get guest blog slots? Find blogs that attract the kind of readers that would like your book and start shooting out guest blogging requests.

2.     Write Online Articles:
Very similar to guest blogging, writing articles for online publications gets your name out in cyberspace. Thought Catalog takes articles on almost anything. It appeals to the 20s and 30s crowd and has a lot of “10 Steps to Dating” or “Why I hate Twilight” type articles, but is aggressively trying to build its current events reach.

3.     Write about Current Events:
Even if you normally avoid news like the plague, (yeah, that’s me), other people love it. Writing about current events is one of the fastest ways I’ve found to expand author platform. Find something, anything, in the news that interests you and write an opinion piece. Here’s a list of 100 Conservative Websites, many of which take opinion pieces. I use them because my target audience tends to be rather conservative. If you write for a liberal crowd, I’m sure there’s a comparable list of 100 websites.

4.     Be Edgy:
Tick people off. Seriously, do it. If everyone completely agrees with you, no one will read your articles. Many authors try to only write about things that everyone agrees on so as not to drive away readers. This is the wrong approach.
Write, “the sky is blue.” Everyone agrees. Nobody cares. Write, “gun control.” Nobody agrees. Everyone cares.
There are six billion people in the world. Your biggest marketing problem is not offending so many people that there’s no one left to read your books. Your biggest problem is that no one knows you exist.
(Note: Do not antagonize literary agents or publishers. There are very few of those and you need them.)

5.     Make Your Own Online Space:
No matter how many people read your articles, it doesn’t help your author platform unless they’re directed back to your site. An author blog is a “must” as well as a Facebook fanpage and Twitter. Once your book is published, you’re going to have to use Goodreads for book giveaways and the like. If you have spare time, feel free to experiment with the other social media out there, pinterest, instagram, linkedin etc.

6.     Start Small:
This is the most important step. Many authors get discouraged because the New York Times doesn’t want their editorial. If you’re a brand-new author you probably shouldn’t be querying the New York Times in the first place. (Though I did try it.) Query tiny blogs.
After you do guest posts for a hundred tiny blogs, query a small website. Do articles for a hundred small websites and you’ll get a query accepted at a medium website. Blow through a hundred articles at those medium websites and you’ll get a query accepted at a big one. Get a hundred articles published on big websites and you’ll get attention in huge print and TV media like the Washington Post or Fox. Get media attention from a hundred huge media outlets . . . and you really don’t need my advice anymore. Though if you’d like to offer me a promo spot in gratitude for my excellent advice, I won’t be saying no. J
Anne Garboczi Evans is an author with Hartline Literary Agency. She is currently working on a world religions book entitled, No Fear: My Tale of Hijabs, Witchcraft Circles, and the Cross.
Sound like she knows how to stir things up?



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What keeps you writing?

“Thanks for considering me to represent your novel, but I’ll have to pass:

I have a similar project.

I don’t handle this genre.

I don’t like your name.

I think this stinks.

I can’t handle fantasy. Don't get it.

Your grammar is juvenile.
Too much telling not enough showing.”

And on, and on, and on. Blah, blah, blah.

So what keeps you writing? Submitting? Fine-tuning?

Hope. Hope that one day an agent or editor will be the right place at the right time and you’ll have your work validated.

Don’t ever give up!

It only takes that one person to welcome a full read of your work and to like it.

Your contract could be right around the corner!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Last Chance for Freebies.

See the post below and leave a reason why you want to win one of the books.
Leave your email addy on that post and I'll enter your name.

Woohoo, summer reads for free!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

GIVEAWAY? All Right!

First Time Authors with punch!
Friend Me by John Faubion
If you're a teckkiem you'll love this 'online' look at how our lives have gotten way too
attached to social media and what that can mean to relationships
The Mistaken Heiress by Shelba Shelton Nivens
She thought the land belonged to her after her father's death, but she's surprised to learn it's been sold. Will the man give her back her land, or will she have to give up her dream?
For Such a Time by Kate Breslin
A Jewish woman is saved from being shot, but will her life be worse as secretary to the commandant of a German camp? Is he a Nazi she should fear, or is God directing her to the camp?
Let me know why one of these books would interest you,
and I'll toss your email addy in the hat for a chance.
Happy summer reading.

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