Thursday, September 4, 2014

Publishing Advice

I find it interesting when other authors, and aspiring authors, ask ME for advice on writing and publishing. HAHHAHAHHA. Like I really know all that much. But it is flattering nonetheless and I DO try to share my knowledge of the business.

The first thing I ask: Is the book written? from my experience, publishers want a finished product to review for consideration. Perhaps in the past a chapter or two was fine, or a proposal, but now it is about the ability to FINISH what you start. Is the story solid all the way through? Are the characters consistent? If you only have five chapters, how am I to know the answers to those questions? Because I can't know, you've waisted my time. Do you see my point.

Years ago when I was looking into Random House etc, it was also a MUST to have a literary agent. Most BIG MAINSTREAM publishers will not talk to the authors directly. They talk to the agent they trust. Like a middle man. The agent is the one you query and he/she passes judgment on your writing to know whether you are an author they want to represent. MANY time the agent will request only the first several chapters initially, but they WILL want the rest if the first bit is good. That's why it is important to FINISH the book first. If you get all tied up in HOW DO I GO ABOUT PUBLISHING without a finished product, you are promoting air. There's lot sod air out there. So stop. JUST STOP.

Concentrate on writing the best, CLEANEST, manuscript you are able to write. When the story is finished, then move on to the next step. (And by clean I refer to grammar etc.)

One item a publisher wants to know, or an agent if you use one, is WHO will read this book? Back in the day when I was writing Sci-Fi (still on the back burner, don't you worry) I was mixing genres. I wanted a Sci-Fi with more romance than most, and a romance with more action. So, I made my own. This was circa 2006. When I started looking for an agent, they wanted a specific category to file it in. "Um, it's a Sci-Fi Romance," I said. "Well, it needs to be one or the other because we need to know the demographics," they'd say. I found out quickly that I didn't fit. I colored outside the lines and no one wanted my book. Of course, things have changed and there are many publishers out there now, mainly Indie, who specialize in mixed genres. Publishing is always changing. But still , you do have to have an idea of who will read your book? Are you targeting men? women? both? what age group? Sometimes when you write these things are NOT on your mind. But later, when you want to sell this manuscript to a publisher and you consider it an adult audience and never use words over two syllables, that may effect your acceptance. OR if you use HUGE words out of context of the character because you learned how to use a thesaurus, it will show.

Pen-names… Are you going to use one? Many authors do. It depends often on what you are writing. Erotica authors who teach elementary school should be wary that the public will not react well. I know of a teacher in my town that was fired for it when her "style" leaked out. In the LGBT community, even gay men who write gay characters have pen-names. Why? Well, I'd say that it's their own business. Pen names simply put distance between the real you and the writer you. If you are 100% comfortable writing under your personal name, great!

I have a pen name ;)

Where do I start once I have those things? Facebook. I recommend it. Join under YOUR name OR your PEN name and seek like minded people. Join book groups. Read posts. Find reviewers, publishers, bloggers, and other authors to talk to. I NEVER understood the type of mind I had until I talked with other authors. OH MY GOSH! Talk about clarity! The way I think made total sense to other authors. I found that I was not the only one who thought about my characters 24 hours a day. Random moments took me to scenes and people I met inspired a storyline. How my ideas pop around like a pinball machine yet they are in complete harmony with my creative mind. Creative people need to know they are not odd, but special. Hearing voices in your head is normal! ;) And as far as finding publishers, read book jackets. Or poke around on Goodreads and see who books are published through.  All books on Goodreads have the publisher listed. You can even search for "lists"on Goodreads and find the genre you write in. The style you want. Find out who publishes those books and visit their websites. Read the submission guidelines. Follow the guidelines and submit your book.

You're published. What next? Go to conferences. Meet people. Readers want to connect to their authors. Especially if they LOVE your book. They want to know you. And before you go to a conference, you are only a name on a page. One diminutional. And besides readers, other authors read too! In meeting other authors and talking about your writing, you will find that people might be interested in reading your book and then you know what they do? They TALK to other people about it! I know I do. I recommend my favorite books. Now, of course, with ME I rarely read. So don't hold your breath for me to recommend your book around. But many people do. Authors are in the world together and we need to support each other. As I have said before, one reader can read WAY more books than one author is able to write. It is not a competition. I came up with Friend Friday as a way of promoting others. Some I have read, most I have not, and a few I have actually MET.

To Blog or not to Blog? I say BLOG. Readers , as I said, like to connect with their favorite authors. Even if you think you are boring, like me, someone out there is enjoying what you say. Even if it is because you make THEM feel normal. I had toast this morning with jelly on it, and a Greek yogurt. Maybe someone reading this had the SAME breakfast and it gives them a chuckle. Connection made. :) Or, in the more meaningful sense, you write about fear or pain or hurt because that is where you are right then, and someone online read it and knows they are not alone. My character Hannah Dixon says, "Alone is a horrible place to be." No one wants to be alone. Especially the ones who are pushed out or abandoned because then they are not alone by choice but by force. Help them connect. Be real.

Write believable characters. Readers want to feel that the character is a person they could meet. Even an Elf or Dwarf or a guy with tentacles coming out of his head! If the character is written well enough, it will FEEL REAL. Many readers read as an escape. If a reader is sucked into a story and feels like they are living it, not merely reading it, then you have succeeded in writing a good tale!

I think that is all I have for now. I wanted to write this morning but I'm tired because the dog woke me up at 3:30 to go out. argh.

Another note: I was on Amazon this morning because I had another "review" of JOCK so I checked it out. But the one at the top was one from January 2013. I liked what it said:

Another great book from Wade Kelly. This one is a lot more light and humor filled than the other book I read "When Love Is Not Enough"m but the writing is just as great. Wade really knows how to write characters no matter the personality and make them seem real. About 4000 locations and 19 chapters (there was a chapter 7.5 which comprised of a flashback)

This is mostly told through Cole's narration of events, but a few times we get Ellis or a secondary character's narration. Cole is just a bit (note sarcasm) of a Negative Nelly and somewhat socially awkward, but his biting sarcasm was a hoot to read. There is some seriously LOL moments throughout the story. Ellis is the not so typical jock who has learned how to manage Cole's drama queen moments. It's essentially love at first sight, but never you fear there are misunderstandings and other hurtles to clear before the HEA.

I wanted to point out, "Wade really knows how to write characters no matter the personality and make them seem real." because that makes my point. Readers notice! So write your heart out and make it real.

Friend Friday might be revamped and pushed a week because i forgot to get the interview questions out. This week has been a challenge for me personal and the brain isn't working. Sorry Whitley. But on an up note I have been writing some pretty good stuff. I strive to write emotion well, and when pushed to an extreme emotional response, I write the emotion better. That could be bad but I'll see it as good. Misplaced Affection is over 100,000 words and very fast paces and angsty. I re wrote the blurb yesterday because the original one seemed to happy. It does have happy moments and will have an HEA, but it is not a happy, fluffy book. It is a Wade Kelly Special all the way!

PRE-ORDERS thru me:

Names Can Never Hurt Me from Dreamspinner Press is currently #10 on their Best Seller List.
If you are going to GRL, you can PRE-ORDER paperbacks of any of my books and I will bring them to you in Chicago to sign :)  I have an updated the form HERE, but it only tells me what to bring not who ordered it. Sending a payment through Paypal with a note works best. I will message you back to let you know I got the payment and I know what to bring. Thanks to Jason and Lauren for sending me a note attached :) PAYPAL:   cost is $14.50 for any paperback of mine. See you in Chicago!

Also, Dreamspinner is having a sale right now, so if you want books, GET THEM! DSP was offering a PRE-ORDER promo code and I do not know if it works on sales, but you can try. Most likely it will. Promo code: GRL2014   order your paperback and pick them up in Chicago. No shipping and get them cheaper than most other places. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS METHOD! Plus with DSP you get the eBook free with paperback. ;)

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