The Things I Learned at the Avondale Writers Conference –
Nov. 3, 2012
As a speaker on The Ideal Query Letter at the Avondale Writers Conference I also stayed for the day as a participant. The conference was a success – congratulation to the planners.
I attended the following speaker sessions and had two agent pitch sessions – one that may prove to be a door opener! Thank you to all those who contributed to the
day; it was a worthwhile event. Here are my comments on my conference notes. The
handout for my talk is available upon request.
Patricia L. Brooks, author, book shepherd firstname.lastname@example.org
Gordon Warnack, agent – Never Give Up
Be ready to share what else you write if an agent asks.
Yes, there are 12 million books on Amazon – so what!
What is it you’re Writing?
What are your Goals?
What are your Abilities?
Do your research.
Agents love to spot break-out books.
Get out there and be the next hot title.
Review other books – determine where you fit best.
Don’t be jealous – there is room for all of us.
Maralys Wills, author, educator – Turn Real Life into a Story Maralys@cox.net
What is your story about?
Who will tell your story?
What is the time frame of your story?
Where will the story begin?
How will you shape the story?
What details will you include?
What are the limits of the fictionalizing?
Research can be fun – give it a try.
Writing is the most important thing that you can do!
You know things others don’t – remember that.
What’s funny about the story? What did you learn?
Imagine where you are going.
Picture you writing and succeeding and publishing.
Live richly – live extra lives in your writing.
Start your story where life is never going to be the same.
Put all downward spiral episodes in one area.
Move events around to make them work.
Save good things to the end.
Darlene Quinn: How to Get Published – www.darlenequinn.net
Big Six in publishing – take all the control.
Don’t give up if this is your goal and dream.
Small independent publishing is worth a look – may not require an agent
Limited promo funds with self-publishing – may be for you
What are your goals? Do you want more control?
Vanity printers are costly.
POD’s make their money publishing not on selling.
Distribution is still Ingram and Baker and Taylor.
Consider hiring a book shepherd – it will cost you up front.
Competition is fierce but there is always a market for a great story.
Partnership Publishing – less costly and other perks.
They have an excellent reputation with booksellers.
Share in expenses too – they may have a creative director to help you.
eBooks is completely different and should be researched thoroughly.
One out of every five readers is estimated to be an eBook reader.
Few authors succeed the first time around, but it does happen.
Today the only way to fail is to not try or to give up.
Michael Larsen, agent – Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents
Readers are the new gatekeepers – they are running this industry.
Words start with love – your work is love made visible.
Now is the best time to be a writer ever.
You are the most important person in publishing – you make it go.
There are more than 30,000 publishers and more open all the time – get over it.
Writing is a forgiving art – you can write as many drafts as you need – lighten up.
You can sell most non-fiction books with a book proposal.
Finding an agent is easier than ever.
Technology is the greatest tool for writers since the printing press – use it.
Nielson Bookscan accounts for 75% of book sales figures to publishers.
The two KEYS to succeeding as a writer faster and more easily are Content and
Connection – understand them.
Content – creating value for your readers.
Connection – reaching your readers.
You must have a boundless passion for writing and reading, people and community.
You must understand books, the writing craft, communication and publishing.
Shorter books and shorter chapters are becoming the new normal.
80% of books published fail – just know this is reality.
There are 700 bookstores in the US and Amazon.com sells more books.
Two million manuscripts are produced every year – stay the course.
Sometimes people need a story more than food to stay alive!
It takes five books to build a writers audience and bring out the break-out book!
An agent is a mediator, scout, mid-wife, matchmaker, advocate, and mentor.
Agent Panel: Closing
It is easier to fix a story than the writing.
A platform is critical for the non-fiction writer.
All books and authors need a promotion plan.
Get name recognition – get out there – use all the tools available today.
Name dropping is okay in a query letter.
Find a famous person to read and review your work if at all possible.
Referrals work best with getting an agent, but don’t give up.
Always tell the agent in your query letter if you are doing multiple submissions.
You need a captivating voice in the letter too.
Remember – Gone with the Wind was rejected 69 times.
It took The Help 3.5 years to get published with the 61st publisher!
Be sure to personalize the query letter to a specific agent.
Research the agent’s guidelines thoroughly.
Do not assure the agent it is a best seller – leave your ego out of it.
Tell the agent the crux of the story – don’t write the obvious.
Patricia L. Brooks, author, book shepherd www.blog.brooksgoldmannpublishing.com
President and founder – Scottsdale Society of Women Writers
www.avondalewritersconference.org for more information