Saturday, March 31, 2012

Publishing Workshop @ RCRW Spring Intensive

Entangled publisher Liz Pelletier let us in on what goes on as a book moves through a publishing house and onto the bookshelves.

The path to a published book ::
1.       Query letter. This is the basis for the blurb for most publishers. Make sure it will sell the book. Include a positioning statement on your story might be marketed, a high concept that will help your editor. Readers of SEP will love this heartwarming sexy contemporary. (facebook followers, twitter, platform, tribe, served on boards, memberships)
2.       Editor makes the request to see more. When it comes it, it is sent to two interns (Entangled has 45). Interns read and writes a letter explaining yes or no. Two no means a no, a split vote gets a 3rd intern, two yes means it gets sent to the editor to read. The intern summary lists five things they love and five things that need work. From that, editors can gauge how long it will take to fix it. Sometimes, an agent will get an editor excited about it and the book might skip the interns.
3.       Acquisitions form where editors have to present to the board (which includes marketing and finance) with 5 swaying reasons why they want to buy your book. (platform, marketing, multi-published)The more you can put in your query to help the editor pitch it in the meeting, the more likely your story will be contracted.

4.       Key titles – every season a few books are selected and the majority of the marketing effort for a publisher goes into those titles. The books that are thought to sell the most.  
5.       Cover  – the cover should sell the book not represent it. It is just packaging.

6.       Distribution catalog – someone in production has to pitch it to the sales force. 43 sales people, 13 directors, 60 seconds per title to make them think this is the hottest title ever. Then marketing has 60 seconds to work that angle with promotion (sales, book tour, advertising, etc). They call out numbers…B&N, Booksamillion, Airports, big box, amazon, grocery…or they ‘skip’. This gives a general sense of the print run.
7.       Co-op. Table space, faced out, new release shelf and end caps. Publishers pay for the space at the front of the store to build interest. Publishers have to be nominated by the distributor, and then the book store decides who they would like to feature. There is a lot of money involved in getting your book positioned in the book store.
Our industry peeps really enjoyed sitting in the back of the workshop
When writing your query, and writing your book, look at it as a business.
We can release fast enough to ride a trend, but mostly you make your own trends. Like aliens in high school…maybe hackers will be next.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Jan's Paperbacks Website Launch Party

A collection of Northwest authors - including some of our Roses - came to celebrate the new website for local bookseller Jan's Paperbacks. We schmoozed with readers and authors from other genres and of course one another.

The desserts were the highlight of the night, including Delilah Marvelle's infamous exploding cake. Her hubby had the task of cutting the cake without turning it into a mess of mush. The man has skills!

Best of luck to Jan's Paperbacks on this new venture.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Working On My Fitness

Next month I'm one of the team captains for the Lucy Monroe Reader Fitness Challenge -- a free event for readers that will give out prizes and encouragement as we take this journey together.

It's simple - just sign up over on Lucy's website and track your progress for a chance at an ereader and weekly prizes like books and workout DVDs.

Lucky for me, it starts AFTER Spring Break. I'm pretty good when the boys are in school since my daughter is a fruit fiend. But my boys are carb crazy. Even when I stay away from grains, they'll tempt me into latkes and chocolate covered bananas.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Chocolate Chip Mug Cake

One of the things I really miss since I started avoiding grains is chocolate chip cookies. I could eat a whole batch...hence the current state of my jeans size. But I still want that cookie!

My compromise? Chocolate Chip Mug Cake. Just enough to kill the craving, no so much I'll be eating the rest before bedtime.

3T almond flour
2T coconut flour
2T butter, melted & cooled (in the mug)
2T coconut palm sugar (tastes like caramel, yum)
1/2 t vanilla
1 egg
pinch of salt
handful of chocolate chips

Mix in the mug and microwave for 2 minutes. Because you melted the butter in the mug, the cake turns out perfectly.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Get 'er Done!

I have placed my order for a drama-free week. Anything riddled with theatrics will be returned to sender, post-haste.

I'm full up in drama for a while. Real life has enough issues, I don't need anyone to spew things at me better used for garden fertilizer.

This week...I'm ignoring everything rife with melodrama and manipulation. I have plenty of joy to focus on. Including a story set in the warm, sunny Caribbean. Since it's hailing outside, I'd rather be there.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Reaching Out

A few weeks ago, there was a devestating tragedy in my family. My cousin was pulled from the shower by her former boyfriend and shot. He'd already gone after her roomates, killing one and injuring two others, before lighting the house on fire. After shooting Shaunna again, he turned the gun on himself.

She's lost all her belongings in the fire, and probably vision in one eye - deeply concerning since she makes her living as a graphic artist and so cannot work right now. My Aunt Kerri set up a fund to help - http://www.indiegogo.com/Mother-of-Domestic-Violence-Shooting-Victim-Reaches-Out-For-Help

I know it is personal, and so shouldn't be on my professional page, but I can't help myself.

For more on Shaunna's story, listen to her tell it in her own words in this interview (Well, as best she can considering her jaw is wired shut) http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/03/01/woman-targeted-in-east-hollywood-shooting-tells-her-story/