Wednesday, January 26, 2011

If it weren’t for Bad Luck I would have any luck at all.

Poor writing does not emanate from a broken quill but from an untrained mind./edf 2011

What is Bad Luck? Is it something you earn on your own merits or is it dealt out at birth? Do you consider a rejections Bad Luck (BL) and continue sending out query letters.

I define BL as an unplanned setback. In the past two months, I experienced a trio of BL. First, my windmill—my only source of water—broke the gears in its motor. It took me three days to find and put up a pump-jack; water again flowed. Second, I had the gasman add one hundred gallons of propane to my outside tank. The valve failed and within two days, my tank was dry. This took place during the coldest snap of this winter season. Temperatures dropped down to minus nine and I lived inside the house huddled next to my fireplace. When the gasman returned he found a screw that needed tightening and refilled the tank. Heat filled the house again. The next day I heard water running and discovered that two pipes in the ceiling of my downstairs bedroom burst, collapsing the ceiling and soaking everything in sight. I fixed the damaged pipes and had water inside the house again.

Three unexpected setbacks that ended with positive results (well fixed, heat restored and water running). I look on rejection letters as positive information. They whisper two things to me, the agent did not think my manuscript was a fit for her or my query letter needs tweaking. Weighing the rejection letter in one hand and my passion for my writing in the other the obvious answer is to draft another query letter. How do you handle rejection letter?

Friday, January 21, 2011

How do your Writing Habits affect your Novel?

When I first take the weight off my feet to write a scene or chapter I find that I can quickly churn out 1500 to 2000 words.They might be great words—they might be horrible words—taking up space on a book page. For me the important thing is that I had an idea for a place for something to happen in my book and wrote it down. I read over what I wrote, take mental notes, turn off the computer and think about until the next day.

The first thing I do when I turn on my computer again is to read the events leading up to my new scene to see if it flows in a logical progression (one scene to the next). After that, I reread my previous days writing, flesh out the conflict/action and catastrophe (if any) and mentally move to my next action. I find that I usually add another 100 to 200 hundred words every time I do this. This process lasts about three days before I am satisfied and move on to the next scene.

How do you tackle scene or chapter writing? Do you first motor through to the end of your book, go back and edit or do you attack each scene/chapter, one at a time?

Writers Quote, for inspiration:”It is my goal to one day write a novel that every reader I’ve ever had feels is the best thing I’ve ever written.” By award winning author Nicholas Sparks

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Twenty agents eager for your manuscripts.

Agent Query has done it again. This month’s newsletter is chocked full of great articles on writing including a list of 20 agents looking for new manuscripts/writers.

It's January and the publishing industry is back in session! Agents are busy pitching to publishing editors and on the hunt for new, fresh manuscripts to sell, sell, sell. That means the first month of the year is one of the best times to query agents—and querying new agents, junior agents, and associate agents at veteran agencies is one of the smartest strategies to help an aspiring writer snag an agent.

For this reason, we've pulled together a list of over 20 literary agents at some of the most elite, established agencies—Victoria Sanders & Associates, Andrea Brown Literary Agency, J A Bberwocky Literary Agency, Nancy Coffee Literary Media and more—who are actively building their clients lists. Just remember: you only have one-shot to capture an agent's attention, so make sure you check out our industry-approved, top Google ranked "How to Write a Query Letter" guide in order to ensure your 250-word query letter is all SHAZZZZZzam! with zero flow-fizzzzzle.

Tip of the day from Bree Ogden of Martin Literary Management

Start marketing yourself right now. Use the Internet in every way possible. Get your name out there. Build a powerful blog and get a following. Join writers' groups. Get beta readers. Join sites like Attend writers' conferences. Do your research. There are so many tools to help you achieve your goal. You just have to really really want it. This isn't a process you can rush through. You have to fine-tune everything before you move on to the next step in the business

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What do you see happening with e-Books this year?

Michael Hyatt is the Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the largest Christian publishing company in the world and the seventh largest trade book publishing company in the U.S. His answer to this question appears below and is worth reading. I subscribe to his RSS feed and have learned a lot about creating and improving my writing skills.

Welcome! If you find this page useful, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for my updates. You may also want to follow me on Twitter.

I don’t know exactly how things will shake out long-term, but I believe we will see the following six trends in 2011:

1. Bundled Books. Some publishers have experimented with this, including my company. However, I believe it will happen in earnest this year. The major e-tailers will make it possible for you to buy different kinds of e-bundles at a discount—a bundle of the same book in both print and e-formats; a bundle of of one author’s complete library or most popular titles; or a bundle of several titles on a particular topic.

2. Social Reading. I have seen several concept demos of this already. (Here’s one.) But this is the year it will be widely implemented. Imagine hosting a digital discussion group, inviting a dozen friends or co-workers and being able to see one another’s highlights, comments, and questions—and reply to them. This interaction could happen in preparation for the group meeting or in place of it.

3. e-Book Clubs. With over a million new books published in 2009 (the last stats we have), we are awash in content. We need curators more than ever. A single editor or a panel of them will pick the best of the best. Since it is all done electronically, readers will choose the frequency in which they receive new titles. Just like the book clubs of yesteryear, etailers will give them an e-book bundle in exchange for a commitment to purchase a specific number of titles at a special membership discount.

4. e-First Publishing. We are already seeing this, of course. But again, I think the trend will accelerate—especially since 19 of the top 50 books in 2010 sold more e-copies than print. Publishers will see this as a way of reducing risk and testing the market. The print copy will be manufactured for those who prefer them (still the majority of readers) or printed on demand for those who want a souvenir.

5. Free e-Readers. E-tailers will do this as a premium for readers who buy bundles or join e-book clubs. Or they might provide a dramatic discount to induce the next segment of holdouts to try digital reading. More and more the dedicated reader will be seen as a commodity, just like razors are to razor blades. In the near-term, expect to see the major e-Readers drop below $100.

6. Monetization Experiments. We will begin to see publishers try new ways of monetizing content. This will include in-book advertising (or commercial-free for a premium), sponsored links, subscription delivery, and even all-you-can-read options for one price. Most of the infrastructure for this already exists. It’s just a matter of someone capitalizing on it.

 Tell me what your thoughts are concerning the future of eBooks.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tip on where to sign your book at your book signing?

When you attend your own book signing where do you sign your name? There is a standard place that published authors sign their books. Any guesses. Drum roll please.

The accepted place to sign a book is on the title page. More specifically, it is below the title. Some authors sign over their printed name. Others cross out their name replacing it with their signature. Now you know as much as I do.