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Traditional Publishing – Where do we start?

11 Apr

Everyone at the moment is constantly talking about self-publishing and how easy it is. They lie, I tell you. They lie!

No seriously, one of the first things I talk about in A Simple Guide to Self-Publishing is that it is not easy. anyone who says it is either hasn’t done it, or doesn’t like to admit to having to work hard to fulfil a dream. Well, OK, some people get lucky but they will certainly be the minority.

Anyway, I am not writing todays post about self-publishing. Today, I want us to consider the traditional route of publishing. How do you go about it?

How much do you need to write of a novel? What do you send to an agent? Do you even need an agent? How do I find their contact details? These are just a few questions that I think should be answered.

This post will not do that.

No, this post is to tell you fabulous people that I intend to start writing about the stages of approaching a publisher. Unlike my earlier posts of unfulfilled promises, this will happen (I fully intend to fill those promises at some point – promise). It has to. I need the answers as well, plus, it will be helping me to complete part of my creative writing portfolio. (I have to include the first three chapters with synopsis and letter etc totalling 10,000 words).

But as much as I have an understanding of the process, I am not stupid enough to think I know it all. I would love to hear your suggestions of things that need confirming. What myths have you heard? What have you experienced? If we can explore this together, it may not seem such a daunting prospect. As for those who say publishers are on their way out – as if!

Drop me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

(By the way, no the chart upload thing still hasn’t worked (see last post), and those random blog posts for my assignments have slotted within past posts so haven’t shown up as new. However, I have written some articles that I may upload just to show I can diversify my writing – honest!)

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Publishing sales figures

9 Mar

I have read a lot, and I mean a lot recently about how e-book sales translate in the publishing world. What share of market do they have?

I have compiled this chart which shows the breakdown for December 2010- but this only includes US trade sales. Show me where I can get the figures for self-publishing sales and I willl happily add this to my data.

I have also included this chart below. It is the breakdown for the past eight years of trade e-book sales. Each column represents each years quarter. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to collate the last quarter of 2010. That aside, I think the figures speak for themselves.

Apologies that images are not that clear, if you would like to see exact figures I would be happy to give them.

Do you have a Pseudonym?

3 Mar

In my last post about social networking, I questioned if the work life crossover was suitable for me, you, us.

Isabella commented and said how she had a Twitter and Facebook account in her pen name. A pen name!

OK  a pseudonym (pen name) is nothing new, but I wondered why I hadn’t seriously considered this option myself. being as nosey as I am (i see this as my right as a writer -how can you have well-rounded characters if you don’t pry into the workings of other people) I asked, ‘why?’

This is where I slapped my head.

Sometimes I really don’t think my brain works as it should. You see, among other reasons, Isabella has changed her name to protect her family, and as she says, ‘I feel more free and able to write the erotic scenes that the “pretty” girls would make fun of me in high school for, wondering if I even know what sex was!’

Ah yes, the erotic scenes. Well forget about protecting the family, how about protecting me from them reading those scenes and I knowing it is my work. Weirdly enough, earlier today I missed a creative writing lecture where my friend had to share an almost intimate scene with the rest of the group. I feel his embarrassment, I really do. If I can get away with it my stories don’t even have kissing – I think I may need to get a grip and grow up.

But you know what, I think if my work warrants it, then maybe a pen name is the way to go. Maybe I would feel more free as a writer if it wasn’t actually me writing it. Does that make sense?

How many of us actually think about our reader audience in terms of those we know? Do we sensor our work to suit what our ‘loved ones’ would deem proper?

Would love to know your thoughts – do you have a pseudonym? If so, why?

Never judge a book by its cover

8 Feb

How often have you heard the phrase, never judge a book by its cover? and how many times have you completely ignored it?

We all do it.

My personal favourite reads are crime thrillers, but I really don’t like there covers. My favourite covers are Sophie Kinsella type designs, light and fluffy if you like – I will admit I am partial to reading a bit of chick lit, and I am not ashamed.

As most of you know, i read whatever comes my way. I like my books to be well read. I feel guilty reading a brand new book….I don’t know why, I think it has something to do with the way I abuse books. My worse habit is reading in the bath, and yes I have often dropped them.

This as a whole, leaves me little room to judge. However, given two or three books at a time, I will read them in order of my favourite cover. Oh yeah, and have i ever mentioned that I don’t read the blurb on the back?

Anyway, as many of you know I have thought about my book cover, what I want, what appeals. We now know, what I want doesn’t matter, it’s what my target audience wants.

But how do I know? What if they are like me and actually don’t care? Or, what if, they do care, and a slight misalignment puts the reader off? As for all of this with it must work as a thumbnail image….do people actually look? I for one, when looking at texts online (normally for uni so I accept this is slightly different), care more about the blurb, and reviews. the cover doesn’t come into it.

So what is important to you? Is it the content, the cover, or the review? All three perhaps? – Or is it you are just attracted to your own favourite genre style? Have you ever dismissed a book to then later realise your mistake? Thoughts please.