Monday, April 25, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
I was depressed for two days after my first rejection. No, not the ones I received, the first one I wrote. As heartbreaking as getting a rejection, writing one is much more difficult. I agonize over every word, worried I may be crushing someone’s dreams.
That’s why each letter I write is so tough and definitely not a task I relish. And whether it is an established author or a new one, the letter is still the same. The author should know why the story wasn’t quite ready for publication at TWRP. Could it have been in need of more showing and less telling? How about an adjustment on the amount of points of view? Does the sexual tension need to be increased? Was the plot good, but the mechanics needed some work? Maybe it was an overused plot. Or the manuscript lacked any type of proofreading. And in historicals, the accuracy plays a big part in acceptance or rejection, especially vocabulary. Someone from the Wild West isn’t going to say okey-doke. It wouldn’t fit the time period. (FYI – Okey-dokey wasn’t used until 1932.)
When doing a rejection, I make sure I’ve addressed the author by name, and that I’ve spelled it correctly. Next, I’ll look over my notes in track changes and write a paragraph for each major error I have noted. Finally, I’ll look them over again, just to make sure I haven’t missed anything. For the newer authors, I may direct them towards TWRP Greenhouse or suggest finding a critique partner. TWRP also has a critique group called The Rose Trellis. I’ll also include with the rejection letter a self-editing guide sheet. My established authors get the same helpful letters—a letter of suggestions, not criticism.
And still, knowing I’ve done my best to help the author, the anguish continues as I place my cursor over the send button and press. So, when you receive a rejection from any editor at TWRP, please realize we want to help you to continue blooming and growing so that you will become or remain a WRP rose.
As I always say at the end of my letters, I wish you all the best in your writing endeavors.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
I'm beginning to wonder if the notion exists that the epublishing industry and the fast food industry are on the same par. Short on nutrition and service, just get ‘em in, get ‘em served, get ‘em out.
In the past few weeks I’ve (or someone I know) experienced the following: (disclaimer: before you read this and think “gasp! She’s talking about me!” rest assured, I am not. If these were isolated instances, they’d hardly be worth mentioning).
Hurry it up! An established author urging her editor to “hurry up and finish” her edits because a friend had just received a release date and it was five months from now. So since release dates were “getting out there” the author wanted the editor to hurry up. Having experienced this one myself, I can tell you that the first reaction from the editor is to think “well, sweetie, maybe if you’d sent me a cleaner manuscript to work with…” Sure I may love your voice as an author, and your heroes may make my toes curl and the love scenes make my heart pound…but I’m still going to thoroughly edit your manuscript. If you truly want to shorten your turn around time, take a look at the last MS you and your editor worked on. What did the edits focus on? Less ly and ing words? Removing dialogue tags? Over or under punctuation? Before submitting your new MS, go over it one more time with an eye toward strengthening the areas you focused on last time. You and your editor will both be happier with the turn around time.
Response times. When I send an author edits, whether she’s a brand new author I’ve just rejected with a two page list of revisions or an established author whom I’ve sent a handful of edits on a contracted MS, I don’t expect it back in my inbox the same day. Certainly not the same hour! Boomerang resubmissions or jumping on your edits doesn’t show me how efficient you are, it tells me you don’t proof read, that you’re not careful, that you don’t—to borrow a line from Hallmark—care enough to send your very best. And that means I’m going to go over those revisions even more thoroughly since I can’t depend on you to do so. Which means I‘ll need to set aside even more time to work on them... which means you'll be waiting that much longer to get them back from me.
Did you get my email? Huh? Did you? Did you? I really love it (she said, tongue firmly planted in cheek) when my busy inbox is made even more full by this type of email. While you, the author, may only be working with one editor at a time, chances are your editor is working with several different authors at once. Most of us sort our emails daily and address them in order of importance. I try to respond to all emails within 48 hours, but like you, I enjoy taking the occasional weekend or holiday off, and –also like you--sometimes unexpected things arise that throw my best laid plans asunder. So if you sent me an email late Friday afternoon, please don’t send me a “did you get my email?” message first thing Monday morning... followed by another one Monday afternoon... and another one later Monday afternoon... Wait at least 48 business hours before checking back. Obviously if you have an editor who consistently ignores your emails, that’s a different issue, but 48 hours is a good rule of thumb for checking back on a non-urgent email.
And none of that can be accomplished in the time it takes to visit your local drive through.
Monday, April 11, 2011
My Space, blogs, Yahoo loops, live chats, websites…
An author has an arsenal of options available to them—so choose your weapon.
The best advice I can give you is to do something you enjoy. If you’ve never been a blogger, don’t enjoy visiting and posting on other blogs, then don’t start a blog. If you don’t like a lot of email in your inbox, then posting to yahoo loops isn’t for you. The Internet is limitless in its reach, but it can also be overwhelming. Don’t try to do everything, but plan the best use of those marketing minutes. And if something isn’t working for you, move on. You can easily take the pleasure out of writing by trudging through promotion hell.
So starting with the basics
• A signature line – Every email you send is an opportunity to tell someone about your book. However, don’t overwhelm your contact. A simple signature line will include your name, website, and perhaps the title of your current release. If you don’t have a website, use your publisher’s website, but make the website link to your book buy page.
• Blogs – Blogs are free and easy to use, but the important aspect is to be consistent and be persistent. It takes time to build a readership.
• Websites – They should do more than look good. Most authors have a website, but are you using yours as a promotional tool? It’s nice to have photos, signing dates, release information and buy buttons. But your website can do more. Showcase your talents. This is a reader’s first taste of your work. Give them excerpts and give them a reason to return. One option would be to offer a free short story to anyone who signs a guestbook. Hold monthly contests. This is a great way to start building a mailing list. Also, update your page. New reviews, new releases, any news should be posted.
• My Space, Twitter, Bebo, Facebook, the list is endless. These sites are very user friendly. These sites are also free. Like all public venues, it is important to make a strong professional page. Social Networking is also a promotional juggernaut, but it doesn’t have to be a huge time drain. Check your page once a day, Tweet once a day, spend thirty minutes a week requesting friends and utilize the features. Social Networking can give you a great web presence without overwhelming your promotional minutes.
• Live chats – Many review sites have chat rooms and many publishers have chats. The Wild Rose Press holds a weekly chat in their website chat room on Tuesday nights at 9 pm ET. These are great places to meet readers. When hosting a live chat be sure to let your author personality show through. If you write romantic comedy, you’ll want that light jovial tone to come across. This is a way to let readers get to know you the author.
• Yahoo loops – Do you start your own or work with what’s out there? Once again this boils down to time. Most review sites and publishers have Yahoo loops for promoting your books. However, I think one of the best solutions is combining forces. If you’re going to start a loop, ask a few fellow authors, writing in similar genres, to join you. Then you aren’t alone in keeping the loop active. (I also think this is a good idea for starting new blogs.)
However you choose to market your work, be sure it reflects you as a writer. Think about whether you want hot, nearly naked men on your website if you write sweet romance. When someone visits your website or other promotional spot, they should instantly recognize your brand. Branding helps a reader understand who you are as a writer and what they can expect from your books regardless of the genre.
The Wild Rose Press
Thursday, April 7, 2011
We are announcing a new series in the Champagne Rose line this morning. Its called "The Millionaire's Club" and we are open for submissions as of today.