Monday, February 25, 2013

Off The Page & Unplugged

Josh Adams, Lisa Williams Kline and Betsey Thorpe at
the Women's National Book Association
Some days I'm social media savvy, because every writer should network online. Many days I'm in my writer's cave, at the keyboard, because I live on the printed page. But my best days are spent in the company of my bibliophile friends - in real life.

So last Tuesday, I attended the Women's National Book Association joint meeting with Charlotte Writers’ Club, From Book Idea to the Bookshelf: The Process and Business of Publishing. 

The event drew a crowd of over 150 writers. Disclaimer. - Though I'm the WNBA Charlotte membership chair, the crowd was there to hear from the distinguished panel:

Kelly Bowen, Publicist at Algonquin Books
Josh Adams, Agent at Adams Literary
Betsy Thorpe, Editor at Betsy Thorpe Literary Services
Sally Brewster, Bookseller at Park Road Books
Amanda Phillips , MarComm Manager at Baker & Taylor, book wholesaler
Lisa Williams Kline, author with releases from Zondervan, Delacorte, and Cricket

So. Lots of great advice. Lots.

Kelly Bowen shared a publicity story about Algonquin release WEST OF HERE by Jonathan Evison.


at IndieBound
Since the story is set on the Pacific coast, WEST OF HERE got an interesting introduction to the book buyers' world. A nifty printed map, historic-style photo postcards, and a galley were shipped off in one of those wooden boxes that fishermen use for smoked salmon. You know the kind - wood with a cover that slides out. The clever part of the launch was the salmon company label on the top.

However...

Some recipients put the box straight in the fridge. Word got out a few days later and the galleys were rescued from cold storage.

Reminder: Writers should NOT come up with cute ideas like that to catch an agent's attention.

Josh Adams recommends that writers:

1) Write like crazy.
2) Read like crazy.
3) Put stuff out there and query.
4) Put themselves out there and network- preferably in real life.

He also mentioned that the odds of finding an agent are not in our favor.

For example, the statistics at Adams Literary are something like this:
1/1,000 if you cold query
1/100 if you meet Josh, Tracey, or Quinlan at an event
1/20 if you are referred through an industry contact

Don't like your odds? Do something to change them. Attend conferences, workshops, etc.
Just don't stalk. Or send creepy gifts.

3 comments:

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

That's good advice. It sounds like a productive get together with other writers.

LTM said...

Oh, no!!! The books almost ended up in cold storage? LOL! :D

Great post, and what a fun organization. In person networking is way more fun, yes?

<3

Matthew MacNish said...

Those are all Carolina peeps, right?

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