Sunday, March 25, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Trust Me...I'm a Writer: Is Your Character a Zombie?: With the season finale of The Walking Dead still fresh on my mind, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the zombies vs. survivors dynam...
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
ADVERTISING THROUGH YOUR SUBMISSIONS by Linda Joy Singleton While the writing process can seem magical and wondrous, one basic fact remains: Writing is a business. We sell our product to an editor, who (usually) then sells it to her associates, and then once purchased, the "book product" is sold to readers. As with most businesses, selling involves advertising. And for a writer, your first advertising tool is the query. A query can appear in many forms depending of the publisher and submission specifications. For a picture book, a short query will introduce you-the-author and your manuscript. For non-fiction, a query will describe the project and request permission to submit. And for middle-grade of young adult, you might send a brief cover letter, synopsis, and sample chapters. No matter what form your query takes, use it well. Think of your submission as a commercial. This is your chance to snag an editor's interest. Your cover letter/query/synopsis should be fresh, dynamic, and compelling. Editors read through hundreds of proposals, so make yours IRRESISTIBLE. Here are some guidelines: #1. KNOW THY EDITOR. Some editors prefer a short, breezy query or synopsis. They want the essence of the story without a lot of wordy explanations. But other editors demand scene-by-scene details. Study submission guidelines. #2. CHARACTERS. Characters are the breath and substance of a successful book. When you think of your favorite books, it's usually the characters you remember. Create a character trait chart and know your fictional people as if they were alive. Then write from your heart. Emotion is a key to strong, memorable characterization. #3. BE A PRO. This goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway. Write professionally. Follow tip sheet rules. Don't send a picture book to a non-fiction publisher or middle-grade series to a hardback single-title publisher. And make the manuscript look GREAT. Use a dark ribbon, double-space, use proper margins, and check for misspellings and grammar problems. The quality of your product is a reflection on YOU. Strive for PERFECTION. #4. RAZZLE DAZZLE. Editors are people, too. But they are over-worked people who see similar plots and situations repeatedly. Don't be cute or silly (no pink perfumed paper or cute kid photos or stickers). Think past the ordinary and let your own natural style WOW the editor. Open your a query/synopsis with an irresistible hook, follow through with a suitable submission, and then wait for magic to happen; the kind of magic that starts with blank paper, grows with imagination, and then materializes into a book with your name on it. ---------------------------------------------------------------