LA2 conferee John Rosenberg, winner of our Outstanding Fiction award for his then novel-in-progress Monday in the Tropics, is about to make his book debut. A non-fiction title, also evolving from an SCWC nudge, The Healthy Edit: Creative Editing Techniques for Perfecting Your Movie is out December from Focal Press. Way to finish, John!
New World Library editorial director Georgia Hughes is accepting a limited number of advance submissions in the areas of spirituality, personal growth, inspirational and sustainable business, nature and animals, women’s issues, parenting, and alternative health. Given the amount of material along these lines coming in at the moment, it’s likely she’ll fill up fast. Other readers now getting close to maxing out include Denise Dumars, Mollie Glick, and Taylor Martindale.
As posted in last week’s update, the Age of the Entreprenurial Author is here. But now that Dorchester has joined Medallion in announcing plans to cut its mass market paperback line to focus on ebooks, and given that authors who elect simply to bypass the house and sell their ebooks directly through Amazon’s Kindle service can earn as much as 70% for each sold, versus a mere 8% to 12% on hard copies sold through traditional publishers (at least those fortunate to sell enough books to cover any advance granted), what we’re really discovering is that it’s the Era of Author Autonomy that has arrived.
Even name authors long published by established or independent houses are beginning to recognize it. Many of the most successful have always been entreprenurial in devising fresh ways of finding an audience, selling their books, and building their brand. Thing is, will you jump aboard? Should you? Is it true that traditional publishers are only interested in preventing authors from making as much money from their work as they do?
Fact is, it’s a brand new paradigm. How to survive and flourish in it is what we’ll be addressing a lot at both September’s and February’s SCWC events. No doubt we’ll be addressing it for many other conferences to follow.
The official LA8 schedule is nearly dialed in and should be posted this week. In the meantime, there’s plenty of room at the conference regardless of where you’re at as a writer. Need ideas, feedback, advice, information–or just want to break free of writing in isolation? Join our .COMmunity and come to Newport Beach. You’ve earned it. Discounted Early “Bard” Registration expires Sept. 1.
And for those following Neva, Penny and Russell’s writers’ conference adventures, here’s episode six of Writer Replay.
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.
As we never seem to get enough time with author Steven M. Thomas (Criminal Karma), this year we’re doubling the dose. In addition to handling advance submission critique duties he’ll be conducting two new workshops being added to the schedule, “Addictive Fiction: Using Conflict to Capture Readers” and “Words of Life: How to Write Killer Dialogue.”
Aboard for the first time is literary agent Dana Newman. Representing her own agency, Dana’s got a keen interest in exceptional narrative and practical non-fiction. Historically, of course, the SCWC has delivered a lot on the non-fiction front with such choice books as Stacey O’Brien‘s Wesley The Owl, Karen Ronney’s Proud Parent’s Guide, and Peggy Vincent’s Babycatcher, just to name a few. Given the quality of material coming across the advance submission desk, we thinks she may score here her first time out.
For the entrepreneureal author, perhaps at no other time in history has there been so many tools to find and cultivate an audience than those available only a mouse click away today. Author branding, now such a crucial part of the publishing puzzle, is all the rage and for good reason. Thing is, there’s so much noise out there, so much distraction and misinformation, that plenty of it amounts to nothing more than a tremendously ineffectual time-suck for writers who’d rather be finishing their books. Understanding the social networking tools and tactics to successfully build a platform on which to bolster the potential of success for your book is the subject of another new workshop: “There’s No Such Thing As A Good Book, Only A Good Brand.” Being led by the team behind startup BackMyBook.com, make no mistake that Gk Parish-Philp, Tay Nguyen and Wayland Myers know the terrain and how to walk it. Check out their bios. This is probably the number one subject everybody’s been wanting us to address this conference.
Don’t forget that Drusilla Campbell’s NovelCram: Building the Better Book is on again for LA8. We’ve sold out this immersion track the last four conferences so if you’re looking to expand your tacklebox of writing tools (forgive me, Lynn), this might be the one for you.
Finally, it’s another new Writer Replay — Woo-hoo! In this episode, Penny prepares for her first ever read & critique workshop.
Two books herald further success from SCWCers. From SD22, author/artist Christine Renhard Stenstrom’s Cherry Blossom Trees: Literary Writings and Artworks was a finalist in this year’s national Indie Excellence Awards, Art Category. The lavishly produced coffee table book combines 68 of Christine’s lush, contemporary artwork with 100 interactive and visually inspiring prose-style literary writings.
SD23/24 (and upcoming LA8) veteran conferee Jennifer Hilborne reports that her debut novel, Madness and Murder, was released July 1 from Echelon. In a marketing strategy that’s been used to great effect with the east coast publishing house, Echelon is making the title available first as a Kindle and other popular e-book editions, to be followed by a paperback release. The Fallbrook Village News did a nice piece on Jennifer, which you can read here.
On the LA8 side of things, from the Ashley Grayson Literary Agency, Denise Dumars will be joining us, accepting a limited number of advance submissions to be followed by one-on-one consultation at the conference. Denise is interested in New Age nonfiction, science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Also, award-winning editor-in-chief at Sunbelt Press Jennifer Silva Redmond, will be with us as well. She’ll be handling advance submissions of fiction, nonfiction and short stories, and conduct a workshop any we’re certain a great many writers should pay attention to, particularly in this dawning day and age of total authorial independence.
Another staffer on the schedule with a new workshop, author Gayle Carline will be conducting “Funny How? How Am I Funny?” Whether you’re writing a humor essay, comedic novel, or a humor-infused thriller, the tools to translate “funny” to the page is what Gayle is all about. And speaking of the schedule, the working version has been posted with plenty more coming to fill it out. Don’t forget that mid- to late-July is when we start getting slammed with advance submission requests. If you’re opting for an optional reader don’t vacillate too long. Of course, if you need guidance finding a good fit for your material, just email or give us a call.
More to come.
Ernessa T. Carter, two-time conferee and Outstanding Fiction award recipient at LA6 for her then-titled novel, Molly Ringwald Ending, is back in a big way. In hardback, in fact, with the retitled and just-published 32 Candles (HarperCollins/Amistad), which she’ll discuss with us as a special guest speaker in Newport Beach.
Yet another special guest speaker has just been confirmed and we’re delighted to have her. Wry, witty, wonderful, none other than author Claire LaZebnik will be with us. Her enchanting fourth novel, If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home Now, launches September from Grand Central/5 Spot.
And in yet another bit of good muse, longtime conferee and periodic flash fiction workshop guru(ess?) Julie Ann Weinstein informs that she’s just signed the contract for her second book. An anthology of most of her published stories, Flashes of the Other World will be published by All Things That Matter Press. Way to go, Julie Ann!