On May 22nd, I went to a seminar on book cover design.
Before the information was presented on design, the author of Imposter Bride, Nancy Richler, read part of her first chapter and the story sounds intriguing. Lately, I am preferring to read the work of other Ottawa-area authors. Perhaps someday it will be my book that they read in turn. Currently, I am reading The Crimson Man by Patricia K McCarthy and though it is not in my genre, it is a fiery read. Ladies, you’ll enjoy it. So far it feels heated like 50 Shades of Grey, but with more substance and a higher level of writing skill.
At the beginning of the meeting, announcements were made about newly published works by members of the Ottawa Independent Writers group. The Autism Story is written as fiction by a university professor that specializes in the area. It sounds interesting as well.
Nancy Richler answered questions about publishing after she completed her reading. Here is what I took from it:
1. Avoid small press publishers. They often tank and your work doesn’t get the marketing required to make it successful.
2. Ways to find an agent:
– An agent may find you if you get enough renown by putting yourself and bits of your work into the world through things like blogging and social media. (I started putting more time into this area recently.)
– Attend writer’s festivals if possible as the opportunities exist to book 5 minute pitching appointments with agents there.
– Find an agent you find interesting, check them out (their website) and opinions of writers they represent if you can find that out; follow the guidelines for contact via their website; submit and wait about 8 months.
– Find out how to get invitations to book festivals.
3. Some things an agent will do and how payment works
– Agents help you through the legal stuff with contracts.
– Payment is a percentage of your earning off the book once published.
4. Manuscript submissions
– Some publishers and agents take unsolicited manuscripts.
– Go ahead and submit to more than one because they often take forever to get back to you.
6. Developing a name for yourself
– Do readings when possible.
– Many authors are starting out by self-publishing and then going to a larger publisher to build their audience further. This means you don’t have to choose one or the other. Having built somewhat of a fan base can make you a less scary writer to take on.
– An agent is not necessary for self-publishing, but there are many skills required to be successful
8. Book launches
– It can be hard to get people to attend book launches.
– It helps to align and work with other writers and share a launch.
Diane Dufour of Accurate Designs spoke about book covers and marketing. Below are the points I took from it:
– Needs to hook the readers. Colours help and so does title choice.
– How would it look if part was reused in other media like a movie title?
– It should make readers feel something.
– You could put small pieces of your work on Facebook or other social media platforms.
– Consider publishing pieces of the book in on-line magazines, which may garner interest in ordering your book. Perhaps not a chapter, but a short story version of your novel.
– eBooks are very popular. I think most of us know this already.
– Print on Demand is a good way to provide your book to those readers who prefer a physical copy without costing tons of money. This wasn’t news to me as I work at a publishing company, but it may be useful information for others.
3. Rich Media
– Whether in electronic or paper format, today’s books can have things in them like pictures that can connect the reader to a video when photographed with a smartphone.