Today I wanted to share with you a beautiful blog I follow called Searching for the Happiness created and authored by Wendy McCance.
She's graciously given me the opportunity to guest post for her about how I became a publisher. Anyone interested in publication, self-publishing or those curious about the life and times of those who choose to be the slaves of writers...this is the post for you!
Wendy's blog has been an inspiration for me, and this is also a chance to get the word out about her journey as she carries us along in her adventures! I hope you'll take a look and also join me in my own endeavors!
As always, I cherish your thoughts.
Query First or Last?
The Troll Is In
Wendy McCance has an extraordinary take on life. She blogs daily about it at Searching For The Happiness and I highly recommend signing up for her posts!
While responding to one of her offers in which she asks those who subscribe to her blog to share their blog in an effort to spread the love, she asked me the following:
I’m hung up on whether to send out queries first or should I not worry and just get the book done. I also don’t know if I should be looking for a literary agent or if I should just go straight to the publisher. It’s all so new to me.
It depends on if your book is fiction or non-fiction when sending out queries. If you have a work of fiction–finish! Then edit. Then get your critique partners to look at it. Then edit it. Then send it to an editor. When you get it back from the editor, edit. Sending to an editor will happen a few rounds. Then query. Of course, after you find an agent you’ll do the edit thing over again. Then when your agent finds a publisher, you’ll do the edit thing over again. After that, you will no longer want to see your book. :) LOL
If you have a non-fiction topic, then query. Query until someone says “YES!” Then see the steps above and continue on without the query part.
So fiction–finish then query.
Non-fiction–query then finish.
As for agent/publisher topic–it depends on your goals,time and connections. The huge publishers would rather have a buffer between the writer and themselves. The agent acts on the writers behalf and makes sure each party is understood.
If you go straight to a publisher, please be careful, do research and for heavens sake don’t pay them for printing/publishing unless your going the self-publishing route. Even then, don’t pay them. You can do just about everything for free. Including the printing. Don’t you dare spend a dime until you have researched that company and know what they are about and what you can expect! Go to the “editors and predators” site and check them out!
Writer's--just research your options before going forward! I'm here as your advocate and my answers to you are always free. Write me --
Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer with two blogs featured in The Oakland Press. Wendy has gained popularity from her original blog Searching for the Happiness. Now in transition, Searching for the Happiness is being redeveloped as an online magazine with the same great content, but additional features for readers to enjoy.
Questions To Ask An Author.
The number one question from fans to writers: "Where do you get your ideas from?"
A forgiving, patient writer will smile and move on to the next question or give a vague complacency that won't make sense.
A rude, tired, hassled writer with no bed manners might quip, "How do you finish your homework?"
It's an amateur question filled with awe and amazement that I too think about asking my favorite authors. But what the question really alludes to is, how did you build a world that is so real?
Letting your mind wander in the still moments you have, or sometimes don't have, gives me the pieces I need to complete the world, the characters and the story.
A book isn't finished until the author says it is. Sometimes I feel the reason why there are series is because both reader and writer don't want to let go of their characters. Exploring the world I've discovered can be too great not to delve into more.
Here are the top 3 amusing questions I've seen asked of authors:
1) What celebrity would you cage-match?
2) Tell me about the most inspiring place for your writing.
3) Do you write drafts with pen and paper or keyboard?
Writers will sometimes get questions they don't want to answer. Heart rates go up, eyebrows drip sweat and hands literally shrivel up from the lack of moisture.
Top 3 questions you might want to stay away from (unless the author gives permission) and why:
1) What's your writing process?
Every writer has one. They are all different. Some know what their process is. Some don't. But it's like asking, when you make love to your signification other, do you kiss?
2) Where do you get your ideas?
Well, if you're an erotic writer, ideas might be from real life. Yes, everyone wants to know your favorite sexual position! What? You can't tell from reading my books?
3) Who's your agent? Can you give me an introduction?
This one is great! Next time someone asks this question, I might ask them if I can date their boyfriend/husband. Because agent/writer relationships are very intimate, it would be a valid request.
Now go forth--and ask your favorite writer a question!
Who Is Your Reader?
Listening to advice of writers and seeing how others put themselves out there makes me:
1) Awed they are doing it.
2) Realize how different strokes for different folks really applies.
When thinking about who your reader is, you make up this fictitious person and try to get into the head of who these people are.
But, readers are real people. And there are so many different types of people and different genres people enjoy.
I'm listening to a podcast called the self-publishing podcast with three hosts and three different opinions. The thing is all these opinions are based on what is working for those authors. So instead of trying to bottle your marketing into a tidy conglomerate check-marked boxes, why not open that pandora's box and see who comes to it?
Some people will like your stuff, some people won't. Don't sit on your laurels. Instead, I see it as a way to observe and identify your reader. Which is why a call to action in the back of your book is a must for reader engagement. Reader experience is important. It's also how you can find more readers.
So, I have links I found very inspirational, educational and productive all for finding more readers:
Jeff Goins is very inspirational -- http://goinswriter.com/find-your-tribe/
Jonathan Gunson shows you a productive step by step "how to" with twitter -- http://bestsellerlabs.com/how-to-find-readers-on-twitter/
Richard posted a very awesome, educational study with stats and charts! -- http://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/343-how-do-books-get-discovered-a-guide-for-publishers-and-authors-who-want
If you have a link you found valuable please post it in the comments!
Shhh! Don't let it get around but...I've been schooled. By one of my very own authors.
You see, I love my kindle but I didn't know you could download .epub files directly to it. It's simple. So simple that I'm embarrassed to admit this to you, but I had no idea of the extent of my Kindle's power.
Now I'm downloading PDF files, word docs and yes, .mobi files. I can purchase a title from another publisher with full confidence that I can get it to my kindle. The even more wonderful thing is, no one can download anything to my kindle without my approval. I attach a document to my kindle email. Want to learn how?
1. Hoover (or click) on Your Account (where it says in the upper right hand corner "Hi, (your name)"
2. Choose Manage Your Kindle. If you hoover--you'll see it in the box half-way down. If you clicked it's under Digital Management.
NOW, if this is your first time here ever, then you need to approve the email you will be sending attachments to. So if your email address is email@example.com then you will need to approve that email on Amazon. It's easy!
3. Click on Personal Document Settings on the left hand side of your screen.
4. Click Add a new email address at the bottom. Add the address and now you can email attachments!
5. Make note of your E-mail Address in Amazon which is on the same page you just added an email to--pretty much in the middle of the screen. That's the email you will be sending your .epub, word docs and such to.
It couldn't be easier! But if you don't know something's there...how are you suppose to know! Sheesh, I'm just the publisher.
My efforts are to make this a learning blog where writers can see the flip side of publishing. If you have comments that will improve your experience or have a certain topic you'd like discussed, please contact me through email - HERE.
~ Sincerley, Your Editor
Troll River Publications
Books on Kindle