Tag Archives: Publishers

What Does THAT Mean?

Brian A. Klems is the Online Editor for WritersDigest.com. I always look for and try to heed his good advice. On Sept. 8, 2015, he posted a blog called “11 Common Publishing Terms All Writers Should Know.” In it he opined that if you’re a person who wants to write, sell or publish, you need to be aware of the basic terms those in the industry will recognize; he added that even if you’re reading advice articles on writing to help you understand the ins and outs of the business, you may have problems interpreting advice‑driven articles which are strictly printed to give you a hand.

He listed a few common publishing words you’ll need in order to read and/or communicate with others in the literary world.

# MANUSCRIPT (MS)

# MIDDLE GRADE (MG)

# NARRATIVE NONFICTION

# NEW ADULT (This one is relatively new to publishing jargon ‑‑‑ most others have been used for decades . . . and “we” need to know them all! BB)

# PLATFORM

# PROPOSAL (and we’re NOT talking romance here! BB)

# QUERY

# SAMPLE CHAPTERS

# SYNOPSIS

# UPMARKET (a more uncommon term, but has probably been used for a while ‑ BB)

# YOUNG ADULT (YA)

Not sure what a few of them mean? Don’t know how to use these terms with assurance? Check out his full blog (including links to a few add‑ons which may be of interest) at http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/11-common-publishing-terms-writers-know

 

Follow him on Twitter @BrianKlems.

 

Love, LuAnn

I’ve always had Three Loves: teaching, theatre, and writing (the order changes from time to time). Before I began kindergarten, I “knew” I wanted to be a teacher. (It’s probably always been a control issue.) When I played “school” with my little pre‑kindergarten friends, I was always the teacher. How did I even know what a teacher would do?

Then I began school, and was learning to read. I remember The Day I “got it!” I was looking at a very long word, which I didn’t know. As I sounded it out in my mind, I realized I DID know the first part of it: “may”. Then I realized I knew the second part of it too: “be”! May Be. Maybe. It was like a bolt of lightning zapped through my head. Neither of the two words means the same thing as the combination means ‑‑‑ it was a word I didn’t recognize, as written, but once I’d puzzled it out, I was beyond thrilled that I knew THAT word too! At least, when hearing or saying it. It was MAGIC ! That had to be when my love affair with words began.

Many, many years later, when I’d already been teaching for a few decades, I met a like soul: LuAnn Brobst Staheli: the consummate teacher and wordsmith. I think we “recognized” each other upon our first meeting. She always had wise words, and that broad, welcoming smile! (How I miss her now.) I ran across an old blog of hers, and would like to pass along a few nuggets. She had become discouraged, at one point, and feeling that ‑‑‑ in spite of “small” successes with a couple of books through “niche presses” and what could only have been the beginnings of writing awards she received, she was ready to give up: too many “No, thank you,” “not right for our list,” “We’ll have to pass on this,” and “Good luck finding a house for your work” rejections.

Was she writing the wrong things? What would be the next Big Thing? Editors and others could only answer, “We’ll know it when we see it.” She was asking the questions most prolific, but unpublished, writers ask themselves. Then she made a decision and set a goal: “

LuAnn tried to look at her writing ‑‑‑realistically ‑‑‑she loved to write, knew how to tell a good story (that could have been from all those years of capturing the attention of her hundreds of junior high school students!). She knew she could write for a broad audience: middle grade, YA, adult, fiction and non‑fiction with topics just as wide ranging from memoir, education, history and all kinds of swirling, yet‑unrealized topics and subjects.

“So in December, I made a decision,” she wrote. “If publishers didn’t want to buy my books, then I’d need to move on without them. I had readers who were tired of waiting and I was too. . . . I made a list of all the books I had already written that were sitting on my hard drive, waiting for a home. I added the manuscripts that were nearly done as well, and found, that even with not yet counting the two manuscripts

I had out waiting for a response from traditional publishers, that I had enough books close enough to completion to meet my goal. (Since then, both of those books have been formally rejected, so they are now a part of my master list of books that will be lining up on Amazon, ready for an instant download to the readers who want them.)”

And so her 2013 goal came into being: she would publish a book‑a‑month, even if she had to do it on Kindle. She began with Leona & Me, Helen Marie, based on her mother’s stories of childhood, growing up in southern Indiana, which she’d written shortly after her mother passed away. The cover showed her mom, Helen Marie, and her aunt, Leona Mae.

LuAnn’s February release was A Note Worth Taking, with a cover which “placed it into the Small Town U.S.A. series. She noted that “[a]lthough some readers have tried to read themselves into this novel . . . it’s a story I made up in my mind . . . some of the events are based on truth, but the conflict and resolution, and the characters who play key roles are purely fiction. . . . when it comes to girl drama, there is nothing new under the sun, so you could change the names a million times and people would still wonder, ‘Is this about ME?’“

Having gone through this process herself, Luann wrote on her blog May 16, 2013, “Thinking of giving up your writing career? Time to get energized and take a new direction. Read my story here: T.he Book of the Month Club.”

LuAnn Brobst Staheli was NOT a quitter. She was more likely to follow Winston Churchill’s wise words: “Never give up. Never, never, never give up!”

And so should we all.

(Thanks, LuAnn, and “Winnie” ‑‑‑ I needed that!)

Some other books by LuAnn Brobst Staheli:

  • When Hearts Conjoin (Utah’s Best of State Medal for Non‑fiction Literary Arts)
  • Tides Across the Sea
  • Just Like Elizabeth Taylor
  • Men of Destiny: Abraham Lincoln and the Prophet Joseph Smith
  • Living in an Osmond World
  • Been There, Done That, Bought the T‑Shirt
  • Books, Books, and More Books, vol. 2; A Parent and Teacher’s Guide to Adolescent Literature
  • Temporary Bridesmaid
  • Carny
  • Ebenezer

What’cha Sellin’ ?

My 2016 WRITER’S MARKET DELUXE EDITION just arrived. Do you buy this? I always get the “deluxe” edition because it includes a year’s access to the online publisher database at WritersMarket.com. That means, if an editor moves from one house to another, you can find out at their online source. If a publishing house closes down altogether, you’ll be in the know.

IF you are serious about SELLING your writing, particularly if you write short pieces like articles, essays, etc., for the magazine market, I think it’s a Must‑Have. On the other hand, I generally only buy it every other year. It’s not ALL about their wonderful lists of info on ALL kinds of publishers. They also include lots of informational essays on writing concerns.

For instance, this edition is listing:

  1. From the Editor
  2. How to Use Writer’s Market

FINDING WORK

  1. Before Your First Sale
  2. Query Letter Clinic
  3. How to Find Success in the Magazine World
  4. 9 Secrets of Six‑Figure Freelancers
  5. Earn a Full‑Time Income from Blogging
  6. Funds for Writers 101

MANAGING WORK

  1. Building Relationships in the Publishing Business
  2. 4 Ways to Create a Productive Home Office
  3. Removing Invisible Splinters
  4. Contracts 101
  5. 7 Habits of Financially Savvy Writers
  6. Making the Most of the Money You Earn
  7. 6 Apps That Make Freelancing Easier
  8. How Much Should I Charge?
  9. Use Video to Promote Your Work
  10. Blogging Basics

Then there is the actual list of various markets and so forth:

  1. Literary Agents
  2. Book Publishers
  3. Consumer Magazines
  4. Trade Journals
  5. Contests & Awards
  6. Resources (Includes Professional Organizations, and a very helpful Glossary)

All is followed with Indexes on Book Publisher Subjects, plus the General Index.

You can occasionally find copies in your neighborhood library, but I can’t promise they’ll be the most up‑to‑date. Still, the information, similar to what’s listed above, can be very helpful ‑‑‑even in a year‑old or two‑year old edition; especially if you’re new to selling your work, or even just curious about it.

Check It Out ! ! !

Episode #52 – Working with Publishers with Anne Sowards

Anne Sowards
Found at http://www.armadillocon.org/

Anne Sowards is an executive editor at Penguin Group (USA) Inc., where she primarily acquires and edits fantasy and science fiction for the Ace and Roc imprints. Some of the great authors she works with include Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, Rachel Caine, Anne Bishop, Ilona Andrews, Jack Campbell, Karen Chance, and Rob Thurman. When she’s not reading, she listens to Chinese rap and spends way too much time playing video games. Follow her at twitter.com/AnneSowards.

About James Duckett

James is a geeky, nerdy dude. He writes, sometimes. He blogs, sometimes. He's helpful to people, sometimes. He doesn't like to repeat himself, sometimes. He's funny... looking... always.

His hopes and aspirations of the future is to one day find a way that people will pay him while he sleeps. It is his dream job.

How to Write an Opening Chapter Worthy of a Bidding War

I posted this on my own blog and it got some great feedback. I thought I’d share it here too. A while back I had the opportunity to hear Jennifer A. Nielsen teach a class on writing middle-grade books. During her instruction she shared a little about her book The False Prince and how it made every author’s dream: it got into a bidding war with publishers. Nielsen said what made the publishers so interested in this book was the opening chapter. Like any smart writer I immediately went out and got hejen-nielsenr book. I read it in about two days (which for me is amazingly fast). It was that good! The story was fresh and kept me turning page after page. However, the whole book is NOT what got Nielsen into a bidding war—it was the first chapter. So I went back and started pin pointing the things that made this chapter so compelling. Without spoiling this book for anyone who hasn’t read it I am going to try to give an analysis on some of the things Nielsen does to make a book worthy of a bidding war.

  • (Write the story in the correct POV.) Every story is different and not every book should be written in the save point of view. Nielsen chose to write The False Prince in 1st person. I thought this was a bold move considering the secrets Sage keeps from the readers throughout the book—or does he? Reading back through its amazing how many clues Sage give the reader about what is to come in the first few chapters of the book.
  • (Start with questions.) The first two sentences immediately start the book by posing questions in the readers mind. “If I had to do it all over again, I would not have chosen this life. Then again, I’m not sure I ever had a choice.”  Who is this? What life are they leading? What life did he leave behind? Did he have a choice? Who forced him into this situation? These are questions that readers take on. Instantly we want to read more because we want answers.
  • (Don’t start slow—start with action or suspense.) Next the reader finds themselves in a chase scene. Sage has stolen a roast and is being pursued by a meat cleaver wielding butcher. We learn that 1. Sage is hungry, 2. He is an orphan, and 3. He is a thief. The chase scene lasts a whopping four paragraphs before Sage is caught. It’s fast.The False Prince
  • (Show more character and pose more questions.) When Sage is caught, a nobleman gets him off the hook by paying for the roast. Sage is forced to follow the nobleman to the orphanage where we have a brief conversation with the caretaker, Mrs. Turbeldy. We learn that the nobleman is named Bevin Connor. We also learn that Sage wasn’t stealing this roast just for himself—he is trying to feed the other boys at the orphanage, so he is willing to risk his neck for others. Then the questions start in the readers mind. Who is Bevin Connor? What does he want with an orphan boy?  Who is Sage?
  • (Give more information about the main character.) Nielsen chooses to do this by Connor giving an interrogation of Sage (which also poses the question in the readers mind: who is Connor looking for?). Sage is identified as being illiterate, no good with a sword, a thief, and a liar. We also learn that Sage is snarky and has authority issues. A  s readers we like this kid!
  • (Create more questions and end the chapter on a cliff hanger.) Next Connor tells Sage to get his things. Mrs. Turbeldy says he’s been bought and paid for. You get another hint at Sages character as he alludes to the fact he can’t be owned by anyone. Good, so Sage is a freedom fighter too—all the more reason to like him. When Sage doesn’t come willingly, Connor’s men knock him out. Nielsen ends the chapter with Sage being taken away into the unknown by a complete strange not opposed to violence.

Add this chapter to the fantastic hook Nielsen has and you have a book worthy of an agent or publishers interest. “An orphan is forced into a twisted game with deadly stakes. Choose to lie…or choose to die.” And that’s how you write a killer fist chapter. the-runaway-king

Let’s review just the bullets here:

  • Have the right POV.
  • Start with questions about your main character.
  • Speed it up—don’t start slow.
  • Create a character easily related to that shows us good characteristics.
  • Pose more questions.
  • End on a page turner or cliff hanger.

If you haven’t read The False Prince I invite you to go out and get the book. It is well worth your time and you will NOT be disappointed. I can’t tell you enough about how much I love this book. It will keep you turning pages and surprise you with the way it ends. Try to craft an opening chapter using the key elements I have found in the first chapter of this book. Not every story is going to be the same and not every story should start the same, but they should all start RIGHT. Happy Writing!

Mikey Brooks

About Mikey Brooks

Mikey Brooks is a small child masquerading as an adult. On occasion you’ll catch him dancing the funky chicken, singing like a banshee, and pretending to have never grown up. He is an award-winning author of the middle-grade fantasy adventure series The Dream Keeper Chronicles. His other middle-grade books include: The Gates of Atlantis: Battle for Acropolis and The Stone of Valhalla. His picture books include the best-selling ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures, Trouble with Bernie, and Bean’s Dragons. Mikey has a BS degree in English from Utah State University and works fulltime as a freelance illustrator, cover designer, and author. His art can be seen in many forms from picture books to full room murals. He loves to daydream with his three daughters and explore the worlds that only the imagination of children can create. As a member of the Emblazoners, he is one of many authors devoted to ‘writing stories on the hearts of children’ (emblazoners.com). You can find more about him and his books at: www.insidemikeysworld.com.

A Publisher in Sheep’s Clothing

by Debra Erfert

Preditors & Editors pic (1)

I found out from a good friend of mine yesterday that her friend from Tucson has just had a book published. I did the happy dance with her! Figuring for sure I’d recognize her, since we’re both Arizona writers, I asked her name. I didn’t know Samantha (her name has been changed to protect the innocent) and I found out this is her very first book. Being the dangerously curious woman that sometimes gets me into trouble, I did a search on Sam and came up with her open-to-the-public Facebook page. She’s a very nice looking young woman with a husband and new baby. I also found out who published her beautiful book. I could see the cover art in one of her Facebook pictures, but the title wasn’t clear.

Some of you may know I write mystery romances, and therefore my detective skills are really quite good. Really! After carefully reading Sam’s profile I noticed she “worked at” writer for Tate Publishing. Hmmm, I thought. That sounded odd. Acting on a hunch, I Googled Tate Publishing. I landed on the splash page of a subsidy vanity publisher. I still wasn’t sure if this was Sam’s yet, so I input her name in the author’s search box, and much to my disappointment I found her beautiful book and discovered her title.

I clicked back to the publishing resources splash page to do some reading—just to make sure I wasn’t interpreting the signs wrong. Yes, they do beautiful custom cover designs just for each book. I loved Sam’s. And believe me, at $4,000; her cost for being published with Tate, it had better be top shelf. She also was promised the best in editing and text layout. And her book is “set up for nationwide distribution.”

This is what I found so very disheartening, and really what angered me enough to spend time away from my editing to write this post: Sam’s book isn’t on Amazon.com nor BarnesandNoble.com, the two biggest book-selling websites, like Tate’s Publishing alluded it would be. I checked first thing last night. I also checked five minutes ago. So you see, I couldn’t look to see if she had the best in editing or text layout since I can’t reach it in the standard ways we’ve grown accustomed to.

Sam has her box of paperback books at home, took pictures with them with a radiant smile on her face, but the only place you can buy her book is through the Tate’s website. I didn’t even know about them until I hunted it down like an odorous escaped convict.

With that disturbing evidence, I clicked over to Predators and Editors http://pred-ed.com/pebt.htm and found this: Tate Publishing: Not recommended, a subsidy publisher.

This got me curious about subsidy publishing. I did another web search. I came up with this blogpost by the Raynfall Agency. Claire Ryan wrote a post on the Anatomy of a Subsidy Publisher that I found more than informative. There was also another link to an article in the post about Tate Publishing firing 25 employees last year and outsourcing their work to the Philippines that is well worth your time in reading before you even think about submitting your baby to this publisher.

http://raynfall.com/497/the-anatomy-of-a-subsidy-publisher/

Friends, if you are nearing the end of writing your first book, be it a novella or full-length manuscript, please do your research before you submit it to any publisher or literary agency. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to publish your work. Don’t believe smooth-talking salesmen when they promise you the moon only to end up with a box of goods instead.  Ask, and you will be helped in the right direction, whether you want to be traditionally published or independently published, there are authors on the Think Tank who have gone both routes and can show you the way. You aren’t alone.

 

About Bonnie Gwyn Johnson

Bonnie Gwyn wrote her first book, about a talking grandfather clock, when she was six – and hasn’t stopped writing since. In fact, she can’t “not write,” and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She hasn’t missed a day of writing in her journal for the past four years!

As a winner in this year’s National Novel Writing Month challenge, Bonnie produced her latest dystopian novel, "Escaping Safety," and is now working on its sequel. She is also close to completing a fantasy romance series, "The Legends of Elldamorae," whose characters have captured her heart and can’t wait to have their stories revealed.

Bonnie’s mantra is, “I write because I believe every story deserves to be told.”

You can learn more about Bonnie, and read her inspirational blog posts, on Where Legends Begin at http://www.bonniegwyn.blogspot.com/

Bonnie Gwyn handles all guest bloggers on this website. Contact her if you would like to volunteer your time to share writing advice for The Authors' Think Tank.