Monday, June 02, 2008

A Brief Interlude

In classical music, an interlude is a brief calm spot between two movements. I've been in the middle of a brief interlude before I take off on another trip. I drove across on Saturday evening from Book Expo America. Today I'm doing a bit of follow-up work from that experience before I plunge into another event--Write To Publish in Chicago.

I acquired a great deal of valuable insight into the book world during Author 101 University and Book Expo. If you build relationships, I'm convinced the best days are ahead of us in this market. Yes there are plenty of doom and gloom folks out there to convince you otherwise about the numbers of books being purchased, being printed and being read. As I've written about in these entries in the past, can you follow a different course of action as a writer? I'm convinced you can. For example, Saturday morning in the press room of Book Expo, I met a writer who has sold over three million copies of a book since 2003. Now this title has never appeared on a bestseller list yet he is getting his message into the marketplace. In fact, this author sells 15,000 copies of his book each month to the U.S. Navy. Can your book move to this level? I believe it can if you focus on developing these relationships. One relationship that I started last week was with a nonprofit company called First Book. If you write children's books, explore this site and learn about what they are doing to get books into the hands of readers. It was remarkable.

I want to give you one quick example of a new relationship that I made last week. During at break at Author 101 University, Ali Pervez greeted me and struck up a conversation. He has a new book called Marketing Is King which I'm in the process of reading. Ali is in the process of writing another book that he called Black belt Marketing. When we talked, he gave me one of his black belt moves: "Make friends when you don't even need them because when you do need them, it's too late." Now there is a true statement.

One of the more interesting gizmos that I picked up at Book Expo was a small Denver company called XMarxit. I was fascinated with this little device and I'm going to figure out some way to use it in the days ahead.

Finally, just to give you an idea of what I'm doing at Write To Publish, I'm going to include the paragraph summaries that I wrote about what I will be covering during the Freelance Career Track. Each of the people in my sessions have published at least one book:

Day 1 – Publishing in Today’s Environment – a Real Look

Today’s environment is challenging for any freelancer but you can succeed if you understand the market conditions and trends in the marketplace and meet the editor’s needs. This session will examine a series of trends and strategies. Also for a few minutes, walk in the shoes of an editor and understand the importance of relationship. Learn the 10 characteristics of successful writers.

Day 2 – The Importance of The Pitch

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, that first impression is critical and the editor will make it in seconds. Have you poured enough energy into your pitch? How do you get ready to pitch? What is the process? How do you build excellence into your book proposal (whether fiction or nonfiction to make it stand out)? Why do editors read proposals and not manuscripts? What are the critical elements in a nonfiction book proposal? What elements are critical for a six-figure advance?

Day 3 – Insider Information about Contracts and Agents

Where do you get reliable insight about contract negotiations or locating a literary agent? This session will provide you with some resources and insight. A distinguished and knowledgeable panel of literary agents and book editors will be grilled about contracts and agents. This session will help you learn the details of contract negotiation and also what it takes to attract and keep a top literary agent.

Day 4 – Diversity For The Ever-Searching Freelancer

During this session, you will learn how to diversify your writing life and the importance of building your own platform with a direct connection to your reader. You will learn techniques and resources to become a more visible author in the marketplace and attractive to publishers and magazines. If you don’t have a platform or have stalled on ideas for getting published, this session will show you about collaboration and ghost writing for others. Opportunity is everywhere. Are you taking advantage of the possibilities?

I hope to write more entries while on the road, but if not, you can understand what I have in motion. My brief interlude is almost over.

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1 Comment:

At 1:10 PM, Blogger Krista Phillips Left a note...

Sounds like the conference will be insightful! I met Dennis Hensley at a conference in May, and he suggested I attend, but alas, my day job got in the way yet again! Maybe next year!

Have safe travels and I look forward to reading all your stories upon your return!


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