Thursday, September 18, 2014

FIRST PAGE & QUERY WORKSHOPS

For those who requested the FIRST PAGES WORKSHOP & the QUERY WORKSHOP... Time yourself and read your query and/or pages out loud for 5-8 minutes. Now, come read that to The Plot Whisper Martha Alderson & me, Literary Agent Jill Corcoran at the A Path to Publishing OFFICE HOURS and receive a 7 to 10 minute critique. Then sit back and learn from all the others being critiqued.

Receive a critique of your First Pages, Query, Concept, or get help with your Characters, Where to Start your Story, Crisis, Climax, etc. It is your time...your choice.

The 2nd Thursday of every month starting Dec, 2014.
9:30-11:30am Pacific Time
CHOOSE from Active Participant or Observer.

ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS
8 authors will have 15 minutes each to work with The Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson and Literary Agent Jill Corcoran on whatever they want help with. They can read part of their manuscript, their query, energetic markers, concept, discuss plot, characters, etc and receive feedback which they can immediately apply to their work.

OBSERVERS
We provide space for 15 people to observe. These 'observers' do not participate/read their work but listen and learn from others.

http://apathtopublishing.com/office-hours/


Here's to all of your publishing dreams coming true!

Come join the A PATH TO PUBLISHING Facebook Group to talk with 1,500+ other likeminded authors, editors, agents and illustrators:    https://www.facebook.com/groups/apathtopublishing/



Sunday, August 31, 2014

RESEARCHING AGENTS-Updated

I am often asked, how does a writer go about finding an agent. Here is a short list of sites I compiled and recently updated. If you have more, please put them in the comments and I'll add them to the post.

Websites for researching Agents

AgentQuery : http://www.agentquery.com/default.aspx

Absolute Write: http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=22
Writer’s Digest Guide to Literary Agents Blog http://www.guidetoliteraryagents.com/blog/

Literary Rambles (Agent In-Depth Reviews) 
http://www.literaryrambles.com/

Preditors and Editors: http://www.anotherealm.com/prededitors/pubagent.htm

For Kidlit  - SCBWI Blueboards: http://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php

QueryTracker: http://querytracker.net/

Lots of agent interviews, vlogs, blogs, twitters, etc all over the net. Google them and have fun researching.


Here's to all of your publishing dreams coming true!

Come join the A PATH TO PUBLISHING Facebook Group to talk with 1,400+ other likeminded authors, editors, agents and illustrators:    https://www.facebook.com/groups/apathtopublishing/



Thursday, August 28, 2014

Why I Reject a Novel Based on Your First Page

Someone asked me the other day if I nix a manuscript based on the first page. Truthfully, I do.

The first page indicates your voice and the quality of your writing. As an agent with a pretty full list of clients, I am looking only for writers who are as good or better than the writers I already represent. Why? Because my reputation as an agent is based on my ability to spot talent. I owe it to my clients to uphold the reputation they have helped me build, to the editors I work with and hope to work with so I do not waste their time, and to myself.

Here are a few examples of what I consider fantastic first pages that represent each author's voice and talent. As I typed them out I realized that one thing that stands out to me in all these examples is the specifics the authors use.....

From A MATTER OF SOULS by Denise Lewis Patrick, edited by Andrew Karre (Carolrhoda LAB)

The Colored Waiting Room

Elsie Timmons had gone through the wrong door. Maybe it was a mistake. All she knew was that her mama, Luther Mae, was hollering at the top of her lungs for her to "Bring her womanish behind back, right now!"

In fact, there didn't seem to be any other sounds at all on that late summer day in front of Dr. Baker's neat brick office building. Just the strange, trumpeting tone of Luther Mae Timmon's words.

"Girl, I said come back here!" Elsie had to turn around. Her mama's voice sounded shaky, that way it always did when Pap bought her a tiny sack of peppermints along with his paycheck, or when that big black phone would ring and she'd sit down hard, because somebody-some cousin or aunt, or uncle's first wife-had died.

Elsie had to shade her eyes; fall hadn't set in deep enough yet to dull the brightness of the Southern sun. As the automatic glass door began to shut, Elise could see her mother out there, slapping her thigh in frustration...no, it was fear! The navy pleats fanned in and out each strike, and Elsie imagined the nasty red welts that must be rising on her mother's Carnation-milk skin. Elsie put her brown hand on the door handle. She was torn, and just a little bit worried.

But before she eased her mother's mind, before she let herself go back to being the "sweet, levelheaded child" that everybody at Galilee Baptist said she was, she had to see.


From SUPER SCHNOZ AND THE GATES OF SMELL by Gary Urey, edited by Kristin Ostby and Kelly Barrales-Saylor (Albert Whitman)

My name is Andy Whiffler and I was born with a humongous honker.

I'm talking a nose so big it should have come with a warning label, a schnoz so enormous little people could use it as a sledding hill, a pie sniffer so massive that if someone was walking beside me and I turned my head suddenly to the left, I'd knock them out cold.

You get the idea.

The weird thing is that everyone else in my family has adorable little button noses. Noses so perfect they'd make a supermodel jealous.

There's a reason why I have a huge beak. When mom was pregnant with me, the pharmacist mixed up her pre-natal vitamins with a steroid for nasal congestion. The effect was disastrous. The steroid overstimulated a gland in my brain that made my nose grow and keep on growing. And I can never have a nose job because there's a major artery that connects from my nasal septum to my brain.

If I snip off my snout, I'm a goner.

Besides the lawsuit money, there's only one good thing that came from the ordeal-I have an amazing sense of smell. I'm talking super-power worthy. I was around the age of two when I first became aware of this talent. My earliest memory is sitting in the living room when a luscious aroma wafted into my nostrils.

Chocolate-chop cookies.

My nose told me the smell wasn't coming from our kitchen. I toddled out the door in my diaper and walked into the street. Since Mom was asleep on the couch and Dad was at work, no one saw me leave.

The sweet scent let me across a main highway, through an auto salvage yard, across a set of busy railroad tracks, and finally to the little white house with yellow curtains. The two-mile journey took me four hours to complete.

From DRAMA QUEENS IN THE HOUSE by Julie Williams, edited by Nancy Mercado (Roaring Brook Press, Macmillan)

The theater is lit up like an opening-night gala celebrating the first show of the season. It's graduation night, the second Thursday in June, and this gala is all about me.

JESSIE JASPER LEWIS...my name on the marquee in lights.

well, the marquee actually reads THE JUMBLE PLAYERS. But a dozen Japanese maples dotting the patio are sparkling with lights. All the windows in the old mansion part of the theater are twinkling, too.

And there IS a huge banner strung across the stage door that reads WAY TO GO, JESSIE!

My dad hops out of the front passenger seat and runs around to open the limo door for me.

My best friend Bits leans over me, letting out a huge sigh. "Oooooh! I never see it like this. I'm always inside by now."

"I know! It's gorgeous, isn't it?"

"Like Broadway!" From Bits that's the highest praise. "And tonight it's all for you!"

She gives me a shove.

I tumble out into the driveway. For such a tiny person-not even five feet tall-Bits sure is strong.

She slides out after me. "Let's go see what David's got to eat..." She's also skinny as a rail and always hungry. I'm always hungry, too. But when your five foot eight at fifteen that's a given.

Mom had gracefully alighted from the massive Hummer limo. I envy that grace. She and Bits are the same hight and so much alike you'd think Bits was her kid, not her niece. (My aunt Loretta looks like a linebacker.) Like Bits and unlike me, Mom has full control of all her limbs.

She grabs my dad's hand, and they lead the way towards the stage door.

Let me just say, that though we live a dramatic life, we are not accustomed to this extravagant mode of transportation. Okay, the truth is I've never ridden in any kind of limo before. And Hummers are-well, kind of disgusting. Plus, we live only two houses down from the theatre (572 steps to be exact), and my main transportation for going anywhere else has always been the city bus system. If it weren't for our tech director's other life running a limo service, we'd be in the theater van.



From BLIND SPOT by Laura Ellen, edited by Karen Grove (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Winter stopped hiding Tricia Farni on Good Friday.

A truck driver, anxious to shave forty minutes off his commute, ventured across the shallow section of the Birch River used as an ice bridge all winter. His truck plunged into the frigid water, and as rescuers worked to save him and his semi, Tricia’s body floated to the surface.

She’d been missing since the incident in the loft six months ago. But honestly, she didn’t come to mind when I heard that a girl’s body had been found. I was that sure she was alive somewhere, making someone else’s life miserable. Maybe she was shacking up with some drug dealer, or hooking her way across the state, whatever. But she was definitely alive.

Easter morning that changed.

“The body of seventeen-year-old Tricia Farni was pulled from the Birch River Friday night. A junior at Chance High School, Tricia disappeared October 6 after leaving a Homecoming party at Birch Hill. Police believe her body has been in the water since the night she disappeared.”

I couldn’t wrap my brain around it. Tricia was a lot of things, a drug addict, a bitch, a freak, but dead? No. She was a survivor. Something—the only thing—I admired about her. I stared at my clock radio, disbelieving the news reporter. Ninety percent talk, AM 760 was supposed to provide solace from my own wrecked life that weekend. I thought all those old songs with their sha-la-la-las and da-doo-run-runs couldn’t possibly trigger any painful memories. I guess when a dead girl is found in Birch, Alaska, and you were the last to see her alive, even AM 760 can’t save you from bad memories.

Come join the A PATH TO PUBLISHING Facebook Group to talk with 1,400+ other likeminded authors, editors, agents and illustrators:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/apathtopublishing/

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Follow the Money! A Freelancer’s Financial Life

Follow the Money! A Freelancer’s Financial Life by Jen Arena
Invoices, W-9s, royalty statements. There’s more to freelancing than just writing—sometimes it means dealing with the financial side. Last week, I went back over the past year to get a sense of where the money was coming from. How much came from the books that I dreamed up and my agent sold? How much came from my licensed writing? I broke it down into percentages below.

I won’t tell you how much I actually made, but I’m relieved it’s significantly more than what The Guardian recently reported an average writer makes in a year. (To make things simple, I figured this out based on what I booked this year. So for example, if a received an offer on a picture book in May, I included the entire advance even though I may not get paid part of that advance until a year—or more!—later.)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers pubbing Sept, 2014

The breakdown:
Advances (3 books): 29.9%
Licensed writing (5 books): 29.7%
Flat-fee writing (2 books): 24.6%
Editing: 8.9%
Royalties: 6.9%

Here’s a little explanation of each category in case the terminology is unfamiliar.
Advances. This is the way many traditional book publishing contracts are structured. The publisher offers the author an advance against a royalty. The advance is a dollar amount and the royalty is a percentage of sales income. So, as a simple example, a publisher could offer a writer a $5000 advance with a 5% royalty. The copyright is in the author’s name, and sometimes the author will earn money years later on this book through royalties. The author may also earn money from subrights, such as translations, book club sales, etc. My books 100 Snowmen and Besos for Baby were advance/royalty contracts.
Flat fee writing. For a flat fee contract, the idea is often generated by the publisher and farmed out to a writer. The publisher offers the author a flat fee to write a manuscript, for example, $3000. Once the author completes the project, she’ll see no more money afterward. Sometimes an author will have the copyright in her name, and sometimes she won’t. Fair Is Fair and The Rainbow Mystery were flat fee projects.
Licensed writing. A license is a brand, like Barbie or Sponge Bob, or a movie, like How to Train Your Dragon. The licensor hires an author to write a book about characters it created. Like with a flat fee contract, for a licensed contract, the author is paid a set amount (for example, $3000) and doesn’t receive any money after that. The copyright is in the name of the licensor. Blondie: Rapunzel’s Royal Pony and Monsters University: Roaring Rivals were licensed contracts.
Royalties. Once a book earns out its advance (see above), the publisher pays the author royalties. Looking at that original example, on a book that costs $10, the publisher would need to sell roughly around 10,000 copies at the 5% royalty for the author to earn out her advance. (10,000 x .05 x $10 = $5000) I’m still earning royalties on my books Slinky Scaly Snakes and One Little Flower Girl.
Editing. In addition to writing, I freelance edit manuscripts for publishers, agents, and authors. Freelance edit jobs are a great way to smooth out the rollercoaster of writing, because they’re usually paid quickly and can be finished in a couple of days or a week.

What’s the takeaway? For me, the key is diversity. These five areas are ones that have worked well for me, but your five (or three . . . or six) may be different. School visits, for example, can be another way for children’s book authors to earn money, or teaching creative writing classes. By diversifying your sources of income, you spread out the risk. One year, you may do well with licensed writing and not so well editing, and the next year, those two categories may be reversed. Diversity is a great thing to add to your freelance career in other ways, too, such as writing for different age levels, writing different formats and genres, publishing with small publishers and large, or publishing traditionally and self-publishing.
Don’t let yourself be pigeonholed into just one category—you might surprise yourself with the different talents you have!

JENNIFER ARENA: Formerly an editorial director at Random House BFYR, Jen Arena has written over 50 books for kids under her maiden name, Jennifer Dussling, and under the pseudonym Tennant Redbank, including fiction and nonfiction, licensed and original. Some of the books she's written are Gargoyles, Bugs, Bugs, Bugs, Slinky Scaly Snakes, Pink Snow and Other Weird Weather, Fair Is Fair, Deadly Poison Dart Frogs, Gotcha!, and The Rainbow Mystery. Her books have been published by Scholastic, Grosset & Dunlap, DK, Scholastic, Kane Press, Two Lions, and Bearport Publishing and translated into French, Spanish, Korean, and Arabic. 


Booklist called Jen's recent book 100 Snowmen "adorable and educational, too," and One Little Flower Girl, published by Scholastic, won an Oppenheim Gold Award and was featured on Martha Stewart's wedding website. She has a number of books coming to print soon including Besos for Baby with Little, Brown, Marta Big and Small with Roaring Brook/Macmillan, Lady Liberty's Holiday with Knopf/Random House and a biography for Grosset & Dunlap's Who Was . . . ? series. When she's not writing or editing, you can find Jen in her garden, on a volleyball court, or curled up with a good book. http://www.jenarenabooks.com/

Come join the A PATH TO PUBLISHING Facebook Group to talk with 1,350+ other likeminded authors, editors, agents and illustrators:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/apathtopublishing/



Monday, August 25, 2014

WHAT AM I LOOKING FOR IN SUBMISSIONS, FALL 2014-and yes, adult novels included:)

I am currently open ONLY to the following submissions:

I recently read ‘Flora and Ulysses' by Kate DiCamillo and ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’ by Maria Semple and LOVED them!

Both have a unique voice with an interesting take on their world. Plus, they made me laugh.

If you have a picture book, chapter book, middle grade, young adult or adult novel with this type of stand-out vision, I would love to read it.

Please send query plus the first 10 pages of your manuscript pasted into your email to queryjillcorcoran@gmail.com. All attachments will be deleted due to computer virus concerns.

Thank you and I look forward to reading your work,

Jill Corcoran
Jill Corcoran Literary Agency


WHAT MAKES A BOOK SELL?

What makes a book sell to a publisher, and sell-through to readers?

It is NOT how fabulous your website or blog is. It is NOT how many facebook or twitter friends you have, how many publishing links you forward or put on said website, blog, facebook and twitter. It is not how much editors and agents like you, though being a pain in the arse will NOT help you in any way, shape or form.

What sells a book is THE WRITING coupled with an ORIGINAL, COMPELLING CONCEPT!

You have heard that great writing will rise to the top and find its way. Yet we all know that not all great writing sells. There is marketing and sales to contend with, and even in my 4.5 short years of agenting I have had quite a number of books that editors loved and sales and marketing told them that it would sell, but just not enough....and the books are still not published. Breaks my heart. Breaks the editors' hearts. And oh, the author. So very unfair. BUT, publishing is a business and fair is not the leading part of the equation here.

But couple GREAT WRITING with an ORIGINAL AND COMPELLING CONCEPT and you are 75% there. The rest is luck, timing, bizarre unknown factors that none of us understand but we kill ourselves trying to, and kismet. When HARRY POTTER, TWILIGHT, WIMPY KID, 13 REASONS WHY, etc were brought to acquisitions meetings and given the green light, publishers made an educated guess that these books would sell. They make those educated guesses on other books (and in some cases pay big advances and pump marketing dollars into them) that are equally fantastic but for some mysterious reason never find their audience. I worked in marketing for a couple of decades and this is just how it goes. What made the Pet Rock, Silly Bands, Chia Pets, Fuzzy Wuzzy was a Bear Soap, etc sell? Don't know.

Is it all word of mouth? Is it superior product--maybe yes in books, but in Pet Rocks?

So let's talk about 'superior product in books'. In my opinion, the ORIGINAL, COMPELLING CONCEPT outweighs mediocre writing, but the better writer you are (LEARN YOUR CRAFT!) the stronger CAREER you will have as a writer be it traditionally published or self-published.

And to the self-published, $0.99 sales price may get you a heck of a lot of first time readers (if you are so lucky) but if your writing is crap, who the heck is going to buy your second book? Let me quote my friend and 80+book author Kathleen Duey: Almost no one expects musicians to get good on an instrument without years of lessons, books, years of practice. There is a similar learning curve for writing. (read full post here)

So, my advice to writers other than the all important LEARN YOUR CRAFT---

1. Brainstorm concepts and pitches before you commit to a new book.

Even if you love your your new idea....write 10 more to get your creative juices going and see if you can come up with something better and/or improve on your original idea.

Brainstorming without self-criticism is an excellent way to unearth your creativity.

2. If you have a critique group/agent--consider picking the 3 that you most want to work on and share it with them to see if you are on track to writing something truly original and compelling.

3. Find the manuscript voice you want to work with. This is not Author Voice--Author voice is your unique voice that permeates all your work, this is the Manuscript Voice--the tone you want to tell this particular story in.

4. Write 3 chapters in your chosen Manuscript Voice and see if it is working. Share it with your critique partners, and, if you have this kind of relationship, with your Agent. While these first chapters may end up in the dumpster as many first chapters do, it is the tone/ characters/ setting/ concept/ freshness/ uniqueness that must shine through. Sometimes we come up with an amazing concept but we just cannot write an amazing manuscript to do the concept justice. I find this all the time in queries....amazing concepts with pages that are not compelling. If you cannot write to the chosen concept, pick another one. You have a list of 10+. Or brainstorm again.

5. Be absolutely mindful of every character you choose to put in the book. Why are they there? How do they move the story forward? What is interesting about them that will make a reader care about following them from page to page to page? What would make a reader demand book 2 and 3 because they can't bear to say goodbye to these characters? This is a must even for stand-alones. Don't you love that feeling when you slow down at the end of a book because you just don't want it to end?

6. Plot the heck out of the book. If you are a pantsers (as opposed to an outliner), no problem. Just make sure you go back through one full revision with the plot in the forefront of your mind asking How can I make this book UNPUTDOWNABLE?

Come join the A PATH TO PUBLISHING FACEBOOK GROUP to talk with almost 1,400 other likeminded authors, editors, agents and illustrators:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/apathtopublishing/

  • "The amount of time, heartache, frustration, and hell that these videos are saving me from is immeasurable." Kirsten Walgren Tulsian
  • "I've made it through 4 of the videos and I'm loving them. I'm not sure why I spent thousands on a creative writing degree when I could have learned it all for $75! Thanks Jill and Martha!"  Mikey Brooks



"These videos are amazing and worth their price. They are perfect for all genres. Between Jill's and Martha's picture book intensives and their videos, my writing has improved dramatically. Jill and Martha tell you EVERYTHING you need to know to become great at your craft. The classes and the videos are a perfect marriage. I highly recommend these videos to anyone who wants to become an incredible writer." Zaniab K.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

ACTIVATE YOUR STORY

I have been doing a lot of first 10 pages critiques lately, and I find myself writing…START YOUR STORY and ACTIVATE YOUR STORY on almost 100% of the manuscripts. Choosing where to start you story is so very important in grabbing your reader and willing him to keep reading, captivating him so he cannot put your book down.

Unfortunately, so many writers start in the wrong place. They start in what seems to me like they are talking to themselves, working out what is happening or who their characters are or what the back story is and putting that in the first chapters rather than starting where the book needs to begin. Starting right before everything changes for your main character.

Right before? Yes, I know you have heard so many times to start in the action, to start at the moment your character’s life is about to change, but by doing this we often do now know who your character is so we don’t care that their life is changing. We don’t care about who they are or what is their peril.

Don’t start by describing what is going on. Don’t start by having your main character ‘think’ about/tell us about all that is happening in their life. Don’t start with shot from a gun, waking from a bad dream, dialog of people fighting, random thoughts from your character that does not activate your plot and bring the character and the reader into the character’s world. Don’t write a passive, telling, descriptive beginning.

START YOUR STORY. Show your character in his world, interacting with other characters that give us a glimpse into who your character is, what problem is he facing and why this problem means something to him, and to us the reader.

In one of my favorite books, Gayle Foreman’s IF I STAY, Gayle does not start the book at the moment of the car crash. We first see the family together, we actually fall in love with the main character and her family so when the car crash happens, we are devastated along with the main character. Gayle starts the first line of the book with an intriguing sentence….a sentence that activates us to pay attention to this first meeting with the main character’s family. That foreshadows the doom and gloom to come:

Everyone thinks it is because of the snow. And in a way, I suppose that’s true.

And then we are back in her world.  A world where the main character is not telling us what is happening but shows us through other characters’ actions and dialog, as well as her own.

Look back at the first pages of THE HUNGER GAMES, SPEAK, LOOKING FOR ALASKA, DRAMA QUEENS IN THE HOUSE, STARGIRL, SWEET EVIL the list goes on and on.

These are captivating beginnings that establish voice, character, plot, setting without plunging us blindly into the ‘problem’, the ‘crisis’. They also do not bore us with little details that talk down to the reader to make sure they are going to ‘get it’, that make sure the reader knows everything they need to know so they can follow your story.

Often you have to finish your book so you can rewrite/re-envision your beginning. Often you have to toss out your first couple of chapters. Do not mourn those lost words.  Thank them for helping you get started, for helping you understand where you book is going, for activating you to write rather than spend your years like so many wannabees saying I have a story I want to write but I just don’t know where to start. Congrats. You started. You got to the end. Now rewrite that beginning. Activate your story.

*originally posted in 2010. Still holds true:)




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50% off Scrivener, Final Draft 9, Highland and Slugline in the Mac App Store

Apple is running an Explore Your Creativity promotion in the Mac App Store. That means for a limited time, you can buy several screenwriting apps at 50% off their regular prices. If you’re looking for more minimalist screenwriting tools, now would be the time to check out Highland or Slugline. If you’ve wanted to pick up Final Draft 9, but stayed away because of the sticker shock, 50% off may be the right price for you. You can even pick up Scrivener at half off. The Explore Your Creativity promotion in the Mac App Store is only for a limited time, though, and Apple is playing coy with the deadline.   Read full article here: 

50% Off Screenwriting Apps During 'Explore Your Creativity' Mac App Store Promo  by

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Write, Revise, Repeat...

Martha Alderson and I talked for a long, long, long time tonight and realized that we truly want to share our passion with more people--we meant it when we said our goal is to help you all learn about the craft of writing and the book biz. What we are hearing is that the cost of the videos are a bit steep for some of you. To help, we have decided to drop the cost of all video series to $75. And, for the picture book series we will offer a $25 Pre-Order discount so for now the Picture Book Series is $50.

Also, with the incredible response to the one-day workshops, we plan to start offering them on a variety of topics approx. once a month. A schedule will be going up on apathtopublishing.com soon. The one-day workshops will also be $75.

Happy writing and revising, All!

For PLOTWRIMO: REVISE YOUR NOVEL IN A MONTH go to https://vimeo.com/ondemand/reviseyournovelinamonth


To pre-order HOW TO WRITE & SELL A PICTURE BOOK go to https://vimeo.com/ondemand/writesellpicturebook



Monday, July 21, 2014

WRITING IS AN ART. PUBLISHING IS A BUSINESS.

WRITING IS AN ART. PUBLISHING IS A BUSINESS.

The word "Gatekeeper" regarding publishing is BS. I am not a gatekeeper as I am a woman/mother/wife/businesswoman (in that order!) that sees the opportunity cost of time with every client I work with, and Publishers are businesses that must make a profit (hello, are you a shareholder of any business that you hope will grow their stock price) and who invest not only time but a good deal of money In every book they publish...money includes but is not limited to rent, utilities, salaries of all 25+ employees that impact your book, development, production, marketing, conferences where they display and sell-in books to retailers, libraries, consumers, etc.

So enough with the gatekeeper argument. Don't blame agents and editors and publishers for not investing their time and money in your book. The books that are not chosen are books agents/editors/publishers did not see as a good investment of their time and money. It does NOT mean your book is not fantastic. It just means that the people you sent your book to did not choose to INVEST in it. And, if you choose to self-publish you are investing in yourself just as you invested your time and money to learn the craft of writing, and to write and revise your book. You are choosing to give up (opportunity cost) other things in your life that cost money and take time, to self-pub/market your book and in the end, there are no gatekeepers. Just choices.

FYI--I posted this on FB the other day but wanted to also post it here on my blog:)

Come on over to the A Path to Publishing Facebook Group to ask Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson, Literary Agent Jill Corcoran and 1,500 other agents, editors, writers and illustrators your questions. Created by Martha and Jill, the APTP FB Group is a safe, smart, fun alcove for writers and illustrators to share and learn about the craft of writing and the book biz. This is NOT a place to sell your books but a wonderful forum for us all to advance our skills, our creativity, and our dreams.
www.apathtopublishing.com
https://www.facebook.com/groups/apathtopublishing/


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Armed with the tools and the self-confidence of truly understanding the craft of writing, each one of you will make your writing dreams come true.

So here's the thing...(and this is NOT a sales pitch but what I truly believe) you will DEFINITELY have a better understanding of on how to solidify your story's concept, identify its energetic markers, plot your novel scene by scene, amp up the drama, flesh-out your characters and deepen the meaning of your story plus much more if you watch all 8 videos and COMPLETE the 30 writing exercises.

Martha Alderson and I wrote those scripts and then went off script to elaborate and drive home everything we know you need to both WRITE and REVISE your stories. In every workshop you do with us, you will be far better off watching all those videos first so you know, deep down know, the hows and whys of concept, writing and revising.

You have these videos for a full year so each time you watch/complete the 30 writing exercises with either one book or a whole bunch of books, you will learn something new. Just as each sentence/piece of dialog/scene should move your story forward and/or deepen your readers' understanding of your characters/theme/etc, so too does each viewing of the videos/completing the writing exercises move you, the writer, forward and deepen your understanding of the craft of writing.

I know, deep in my heart, that hanging with Martha and me for the next year via these videos, via the A PATH TO PUBLISHING facebook group, and if you choose via a workshop, that each one of you will grow into your best writer self. Armed with the tools and the self-confidence of truly understanding the craft of writing, each one of you will make your writing dreams come true.

Friday, July 4, 2014

STATE OF THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY HAIKU

paper books not dead
self-pubbed e-books part of whole
readers reject dreck
©Jill Corcoran 2011
Three years later and my haiku commentary stands:)

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