Posted in agents, query letter

Here I go again…

DeathtoStock_Desk5So, about 7 years ago, I started looking for an agent or publisher. I had two finished manuscripts I was ready to send out. I also had a toddler and a kindergartener and a very supportive husband. What else did I have going for me that would entice and agent or publisher to pick me up?

Nada.

Had no clue about social media (wasn’t even on Facebook), no website, no publishing cred, no writing degree, nothing.

Guess how it went?

Nobody was interested. I had a tiny handful of agents or publishers requests a few chapters, then nothing. Admittedly, the publishing climate at that time wasn’t terribly open and no one wanted to take on a newbie. So, I decided to self-publish. I started figuring out the whole social media and marketing thing. I kept writing. I got picked up by several publishers along the way, having good and bad experiences, and now have 20+ books published either traditionally or indie, and even made the USA Today Bestsellers list as part of an awesome box set.

Now what?

I’ve got it into my head that I want to try the agent route again. I don’t know how it will go, but I’m going to do it anyway. That’s a big cliff to jump off of because it involves a lot of research, waiting, heartache, and more waiting.

To anyone else who is thinking about joining the agent hunt, I thought I’d share a few resources that can make it a little easier.

TIPS FOR THE AGENT HUNT

Death_to_stock_communicate_hands_1https://querytracker.net/ — Great for finding agents accepting submissions and what genres they want, and keeping track of your queries and responses.

Twitter and Facebook — great for seeing what the agents you’re interested in are doing and looking for “right now” and also for getting to know their personality and if it’s someone you’d be comfortable working with.

http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/ — Great for seeing what agents have been up to lately, when they’re last sale was and what publishing house the sale was with.

http://www.agentquery.com/ — database of literary agents, who’s taking what, and how to submit.

Comparable titles — know what your book is up against and be ready to tell and agent why yours will fit right in with other popular books readers are currently gobbling up.

QUERY HELP

If you need help writing a strong query letter, I recently did a podcast on the topic. Just click the Write. Publish. Repeat. logo below.

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Posted in write publish repeat

Write. Publish. Repeat. is branching out to iTunes and Stitcher!

 WRITE. PUBLISH. REPEAT. Podcast is branching out to iTunes and Stitcher!

WPR Header ImageThis podcast is aimed sat helping writers with a wide variety of topics in writing, publishing, and marketing. It’s a mix of lecture-style podcasts using information taken from the curriculum of the classes I teach and conversations with other authors willing to share their advice and experiences.

So, if you’re interested in writing, the publishing industry, or learning how to market your books better, you’ve found the right place!

Either click on the WPR Logo to subscribe to the RSS feed or click the episode link to download the file to your device.

Subscribe to the RSS feed by clicking on the WPR image below or check out the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher:

Podcast LogoWPR iTunes WPR Stitcher

Episode 1: How to Write a Query Letter Without Going Completely Crazy

Episode 2: Query Letters and Social Media with guest SeriouslyGina

Episode 3: Creating a Marketing Plan That’s Actually Doable – Part One

Episode 4: Creating a Marketing Plan That’s Actually Doable – Part Two

Episode 5: Author Collaboration with Guest Melissa Eskue Ousley

Creative Commons License
WritePublishRepeat by DelSheree Gladden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://delshereegladden.com/writepublishrepeat/.

Posted in publishing, query letter

Writing a Query Letter: Part 1

The query writing process incorporates some of the most frustrating aspects of publishing.

But…it’s necessary no matter what publishing option you choose

Typewriter illustrationWhat is a query letter?

According to Jane Friedman, the CEO and co-founder of Open Road Integrated Media, this is the definition:

To seduce the agent or editor into reading or requesting your work. The query is so much of a sales piece that you should be able to write it without having written a single word of the manuscript.

In other words, it’s your pitch to agents, publishers, and readers.

Query Letter Basics

◦ONE PAGE

◦Pitch to “sell” your book

◦Professional letter

◦First impression

◦Book MUST be finished!

But First…

How to sift through the billion search results to find an agent to query?

Blond Business WomanQuery Tracker

Agent Query

Publisher’s Marketplace

Preditors and Editors

Dark Markets (Short Stories/Mags)

◦Agent Interviews

◦Be as SPECIFIC as possible

◦Social Media Stalking 😉

Nest week I’ll be discussing the parts of a query letter in detail, or if you want the full lecture now, check it out out on the Write. Publish. Repeat. Podcast now.

Write. Publish. Repeat. Podcast: How to Write a Query Letter Without Going Completely Crazy

Posted in write publish repeat

Write Publish Repeat has arrived!

It’s taken me way longer than planned (June was a busy month!) but I finally have the first episode of my new podcast published. Yay!!

Give it a listen and see what you think. I’d love your comments and feedback and suggestions on topics you’d like to see next.

Listen Here: http://traffic.libsyn.com/writepublishrepeat/WPR_Podcast_Episode_One_Query_Letter_Tips_Final.mp3

Download Here: http://traffic.libsyn.com/writepublishrepeat/WPR_Podcast_Episode_One_Query_Letter_Tips_Final.mp3

Subscribe Here: http://writepublishrepeat.libsyn.com/rss

(Coming Soon to iTunes!! As soon as I figure it out 😛 )
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Click on the link below to open the player.
//html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/3658953/height/360/width/640/theme/legacy/direction/no/autoplay/no/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/preload/no/no_addthis/no/


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Posted in publishing

Publishing Primer: Publishers Part Two

Today we’ll be discussing some of the disadvantages of working with a publisher. To find the post discussing the advantages, click HERE.

So, let’s talk why you might not want to work with a publisher. With every publishing track there are negatives and positives.


bb5f5-clock2balarm2bclockTime

Publisher’s timetable
6 months to one year +
Bigger publisher = slower
Sequels or other books may be delayed to accommodate other authors
Publishers have to prioritize (money is a big deciding factor)


c4223-robotcartoonMarketing

Majority of the marketing (time and cost) will fall to you
Small publishers have limited budgets
Large publishers have larger budgets, but it’s funneled to large projects
Results of marketing (time and money) is split with publisher


Rope 2Loss of Control

3-5 years is not uncommon (may be less)
Lose ability to post or publish your work in any other capacity
Book production is up to your publisher’s discretion. You may be asked for input, but the final decision is theirs
Future works may automatically fall under the control of your publisher as well\


Dollar SignMoney

Royalty rates TO THE AUTHOR vary
Large publisher: 5-25% (5-15 on print, 25 on ebooks)
Small publisher: 30-40% (all formats)
Hybrid publisher: 40-50% (ebook only)
Royalties help publishers recoup the initial expenses
This can be a large percentage of money the author will never see


Choosing whether or not to work with a publisher is just as important and choosing a publisher. Research is key!

Posted in write publish repeat

Veturing into the world of Podcasting

I have been going back and forth lately about what platform I would like to focus on for helping other writers and have settled on podcasting!

I love listening to podcasts thanks to my husband introducing me to them and I like the flexibility and format and there will be an archive that is easy to access through iTunes and various other avenues.

Write. Publish. Repeat. will be launching soon!

Podcast Logo

I’m still working on editing the first episode, but I hope to have it up and ready to go next week. The first episode will deal with one of the most frustrating aspects of publishing. The Query Letter.

Titled “How to write a query letter without going completely crazy” I’ll be discussing the basics of what a query letter is, the parts of a query letter, and tips for making yours stand out.

You can follow the podcast now and it will soon be available on iTunes as well!

FOLLOW HERE

Posted in publishing

Publishing Primer: Publishers

What does it mean to have a publisher? Are you better off with one or without one?

DeathtoStock_Creative Community9What is a publisher?

This is a more difficult question to answer than you might think!

Later on, we’ll discuss the different types of publishers, but for now, let’s start with the basics:

A publisher is a person/company that issues books/journals/etc. for sale.

Prep your manuscript for publishing.

Other aspects depend on the particular publisher.

Dollar SignWhat are the advantages to having a publisher?

Cost
A reputable publisher should NEVER ask the author for money.
What costs are publishers fronting?
Editing: $500-600
Cover design: $100-600.
Formatting: $100-300

Time
Editing, formatting, design all take time away from writing
The author is free to pursue other interests like writing or marketing
Setting up a book for publishing also takes time

Expanded Distribution/Marketing Options
Publishers can get into places that authors often can’t
EX: book signings at chain stores, special programs, “in stock,” events, etc.
High volume production = better deals from printers or events

iStock_000023280434LargeHelp
Teamwork
More creditability (Sometimes)
Answers to questions

Marketing
Varies GREATLY
Smaller publishers = greater amount of marketing
Your success = their success
Larger publishers = bigger budgets and marketing departments
Some of the costs of marketing will be taken on by the publisher

Next time we’ll discuss some of the disadvantages of publishers.

If you’d like to learn more about the pros and cons of Agents, you can find part ONE here and part TWO here.

Posted in agents

Publishing Primer: Agents Part 2

Read Part One: Benefits and Drawbacks of Agents HERE.

iStock_000024086772LargeDo you need an agent?

Whether or not to pursue a literary agent is a personal decision based on what you need and what direction you want to take your book.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

QUESTION #1

What type of publisher do you want?
Small and indie publishers DO NOT require an agent.
Agent + “Big 5” publishers MAY = more positive response

QUESTION #2

How knowledgeable are you of the book industry?
Be willing to RESEARCH
Learn about CONTRACTS or get HELP
Put in the TIME

QUESTION #3

Are you willing to give up 10-15% of your royalties in exchange for the services an agent can provide?
The cost may or may not be worth the help.
There is no right or wrong answer.
Some authors do very well without an agent, and others have become successful thanks in part to the work their agents have done.

Stop back by soon for more discussion on Publishers, Agents, and Publishing in this new Publishing Primer series.

Posted in agents, publishing

Publishing Primer: Agents

What is a literary agent?Blond Business Woman

A literary agent represents authors and submits to publishers and editors on their behalf

  • They also:
    • Negotiate Contracts
      Promote
      Negotiate contracts outside publishing
      Mediate

What are the benefits of having an agent?

  • Open Doors

    Avoid the slush file
    Pre-vetted status
    Bypass slow steps
    Agent only options

  • šKnowledge

    š“In the know”

    šDepends on how good the agent is and how good their contacts are

    šAccess to specific information

  • Mediation

    Navigate disputes
    Knowledgeable in: publishing contracts, foreign rights, media rights, royalty negotiations
    Disputes are common occurrence
    **Getting a lawyer involved is sometimes necessary

  • Advice

    Guidance for new authors
    Knows the book market and current trends
    Marketing opportunities
    Timing

What are the drawbacks of having an agent? 702f1-girl2bwith2bbooks

  • Money

    Legitimate agents will NEVER ask you for money
    Do get a cut of the royalties
    Domestic sales: 10-15%
    Foreign sales: fixed rate of 20%
    Film/media sales are usually negotiated separately

  • Time

    Querying can be SLOW
    Once you have an agent, querying starts all over again with publishers
    How long?
    A few months to several years
    It may not happen
    There should be a time limit in your contract

  • Control

    Once you sign, publishing options may be more limited
    Submissions are handled directly by your agent
    Additional work you write may automatically come under the agent’s control
    Variations of your book that are produced (film, graphic novel, audio, translation, etc.) may entitle your agent to a cut

Stop back by soon for more discussion on Publishers, Agents, and Publishing in this new Publishing Primer series.

Posted in publishing

A Ten Year Journey

Crowd at ConcertI think two of the most common questions I get when I do public events are 1) How long does it take to write a book? …and… 2) How did you get you first book published?

Question #1 always makes me chuckle a bit because the answer varies depending on the book. Question #2 is kind of a long story.

So, I thought I’d share the answer two both questions today in regards to my very first book, Escaping Fate.

How long did it take me to write it? Well…I started writing Escaping Fate when I was fifteen, back when I knew next to nothing about writing and thought I was really good at it. I wasn’t. Anyway, a lecture in Mrs. Hume’s history class about Aztecs performing human sacrifices really got me interested and I started researching. Back then, that involved digging out an encyclopedia and scouring the library for resources since my parents weren’t big fans of the internet at the time.

The first version was super short. It fit inside a chunky 6×4 inch paper notebook. Yeah. It was short. Eventually, I started transferring it to my first laptop, which was a brick and weighed a ton, and I started adding to the story. Actually, I removed an entire character and rewrote the story with only the MC, Arrabella, and her grandfather. That took a while. A long while. REWRITE #1.fdd11-escapingfatefront

Some time later, I met my future hubby and found out he was into writing too. Don’ tell him I told you that, though. He likes to keep his writing on the DL even though it’s really good. And I’m not just saying that because he’s my husband. Seriously, it’s good stuff, and if he ever actually lets anyone outside me and his brothers read it, you’ll agree.

Anyway…my hubby and I chatted about writing and when I mentioned nixing poor Tanner from the book, he talked me into putting him back in. After all, every story needs a little romance, right? REWRITE #2.

Years later, after getting married and having two kids and doing some college here and there, I pulled Escaping Fate back out, reread it, decided it was still missing something, or several somethings, and went back to work ironing things out, changing POV and tense, adding in more story elements to keep things interesting, and who knows what else. REWRITE #3. 

40bf3-soulstonefrontcoverv2By the time I was ready to submit it to agents and publishers, I was 25-ish. Yep, it took me ten years to finish this sucker. And guess what happened? Zip. That’s right, not a single agent or publisher was interested in it. I had no publishing credits, no social media presence, nothing at all that would convince an agent or publisher to take me on.

I didn’t give up, though. I decided to publish it on my own. At the time, I had no clue how to market, but I learned how to format for print and ebooks, painting a picture of an Aztec god for the cover art, and put together a pretty good book. Escaping Fate is a book that will always be close to my heart because of the journey it was to share it with readers. Even though it’s not a big seller for me, it got my toe in the door, forced me to learn a lot about writing, publishing, and marketing, and put me on the road to some pretty cool things.

Escaping Fate was published in 2010. Since then I’ve published 15 other books, including a sequel to Escaping Fate that I never planned to write (Soul Stone), have made the USA Today Bestseller list as part of a wildly popular box set, got a pretty good review from Kirkus, and have more than one book in a top 100 category on Amazon. Even if Escaping Fate is never one of my more popular books, it was the first step. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to get yourself moving in the right direction.

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