With less than two months before we gather again for another frenzied weekend of writerly unrest, things are beginning to get tight on the optional Advance Readers front. Literary rep Matt Hudson is sold out as of today, and several other agents, authors and editors are filling up fast…
Upside is that writers of all ilk are writing and submitting material to working authors for empirically qualified feedback on what they’ve written, to editors for the prospect of landing a home, to agents who might not gong the brutal gong of rejecting them as clients. Downside is that the deadline for submitting is Sept. 5, and long before that near-distant day many of these readers will no longer be available. Given the volume of submissions coming in we’re happy to report that Jean Jenkins has been added to the schedule and will, as usual, also be accepting a limited amount of material in mystery, thriller, police procedural, suspense fiction & narrative nonfiction. Many of you know that as a freelance editor Jeanie’s been personally responsible for shepherding several a book to publication with such houses as Random House, Avon and Donald I. Fine through the SCWC, and usually sells out as well.
If you registered early and selected reader(s) “to be announced” this is the time to let us know who you want. If you haven’t registered, yet plan to do so with an optional advance reader submission, get on it. This is YOUR precious. This is YOUR opportunity. This is the moment to shine — even if ever so dimly — in effort to validate one’s purposeful being through the publication of a book. Or at least justify in some way the incalculable hours spent writing the damn thing. (Be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed to keep apprised of who remains available.)
Engage, inspire, entertain or incite, heal, inform, argue or upset, regardless of what motivates any of us to spark intellectual flame to blank, conceited page, what most every writer shares is one ultimate aim: getting readers to pay money to read what we’ve written. Whether that’s a lot or not is what has the New York powerhouses of publishing — until today the gatekeepers of authorial eminence and profit — flailing.
The ever-expanding avenues for writers today to foster, bolster and, more greatly, personally profit from, a readership is unlike any before. The phenomenon that has taken traction, the reality so swiftly sweeping aside the arcane mainstream publishing modalities and perceptions, is, in a word, eBooks. And like them or not eBooks are here to stay.
So in addition to addressing the myriad issues regarding effective marketing strategies to better build an author platform — too often the subjective “lack” of which is now arguably the cornerstone of inadequately informed justification by said gatekeepers to reject otherwise exceptional material that warrants an audience — we’re going to deal with what might turn out to be the greatest compliment to a writer’s arsenal. It is Scribd.com (pronounced “scribbed,” as in scribbling).
As cited in our June 22nd update, Bay Area conferee Hyla Molander joined us for the first time at this year’s SD24 conference with her manuscript-in-progress, Drop Dead Life: A Pregnant Widow’s Heartfelt and Often Comic Journey about Death, Birth, and Rebirth. An especially good writer with a wicked sense of social networking savvy, Hyla turned to Scribd amassed some 30,000 readers in only three months. Despite rejection from three agents who truly dug the material, but expressed reservations on the audience, her accomplishment this past week resulted in two very large, very serious NY houses contacting her directly about it. Writer’s Digest’s Jane Friedman interviewed Hyla for her There Are No Rules blog, and we’ve added Hyla to the schedule to conduct “Scribd Success: How to Accumulate Readers on Scribd.com.”
Don’t forget that the $25 discount for advance registration expires Sept. 1. It’s going to be a fantastic conference with lots of fantastic writers, so be sure to be one of them. Also, for those who can’t make Newport Beach but do plan to attend our extra-long Presidents’ Day Weekend event in San Diego, where we’ll be unveiling our new 3/10 Power Pen track, register for SD25 by Sept. 1 and save a whopping $100. More soon.