Monday, March 5, 2018

Birthing A Book: Raising Your Book Right

We're taking a break to recharge! Fairday's Riddles and Lizzy's Book Review will be back next week. Here's advice for writers interested in publishing a book...

Seeking A Story Home
By Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson

— You’ve cultivated your story seed and delivered a book. The next phase in a writer's journey is the metamorphosis from manuscript to published work, and there are many paths to take as you step further into the literary forest.


If your decision is to turn toward traditional publishing, be sure you understand which side of the mushroom you’re eating.

Will you shrink or grow?


 Brick & Mortar Binding 
(PATH TO PUBLICATION: PART 1)

Tips to help find the right publisher for your work:

1. To really understand the publishing world, it’s essential to attend writers’ conferences, book fairs, and events. By networking with professionals in the industry, you’ll learn about the book buisiness and be inspired by people who have the same goals. The hardest part is going, but once you’re there, the scene is motivating. You’ll connect with agents and editors who will give you key tips on how to have your manuscript received and read by publishers.

Book events we found beneficial:
2. Your words are going to be sliced and diced by editors once a publisher acquires your manuscript, BUT that does not mean you should wait to edit and revise. When you’re ready to seek a home for your book, your manuscript should be clean and concise. Hiring an editor to review your work or joining a critique group prior to submission is recommended. Once you’re satisfied with your words, it’s time to develop an AMAZING query letter and find a literary agent. In traditional publishing, this step can’t be missed. It’s rare a publisher will pick up an author who isn’t represented by a reputable literary agency. Developing a good query letter is not an easy task, but it's a challenge that will help you grow as a writer. The most important thing to remember about writing a query letter is this  you’re trying to peak someone’s interest enough so that they want to read more of your words. 👀

Now, pretend you’re an agent receiving thousands of letters from writers who'd like you to represent their work. 😧

Exactly. Whew! Just thinking about all those inquiries is dizzying. You’d learn to skim the pile until one sparked your interest. The query letter is a great tool for both writer and agent because it precedes the relationship, establishing a level of professionalism. An agent will be able to tell right away if they’re a good fit to sell your book. If you didn’t follow the agency’s submission guidelines (typically listed on their websites) or you’ve reached out to an agent that doesn’t represent your genre, it will be obvious and your letter will be tossed aside, unread.

Resources we found useful:
Freelance Editor Referrals: Betsy ThorpeNicole Ayers
Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson with their agent Gina Panettieri from Talcott Notch Literary at B&N in Milford
3. Once you’ve found an agent who LOVES your book, (and this is the highest priority- they must be over the top, thrilled, excited, can’t wait to dive in and sell your words, in love), they will take on the next step of querying editors at publishing houses. This is a good time to develop your reader platform and keep up with your writing craft. No matter what anyone tells you, growing an online presence takes time and diligence. It does not happen overnight, and there’s a lot to learn. If you taylor your platform to inspire your writing, it's good practice and the work will be fulfilling

*For example, on this book blog, we write as our main characters, Fairday and Lizzy. Fairday writes riddles on Monday to clue readers in on the theme for the week, which is decided by Lizzy's book review on Friday. Jess loves writing rhyming poems, Stephanie is a media specialist, and has read pretty much every book out there, so the overall flow of the blog helps keep our writing skills sharp. We also interview authors, which is a great way to network, plus it's cool to find out the story behind the books we love to share with our readers. 

Traditional publishers may help sell your book, but don’t count on it. Be prepared to generate your own marketing strategies, schedule book events, and spread the book buzz with friends, family, and authors you network with. Set up a budget. Marketing materials, like bookmarks, posters, mailings, and fliers, are expensive.


If you've signed on with a good agent, they will walk you through the details and negotiate with the publisher. We would advise having your own attorney look over the information before you proceed with the deal. It seems glamourous to be listed with a notable publisher, but it's not all roses in that book garden. Publishing contract terms and conditions vary, so it's important to understand what's involved. 

Things to consider if this is the route you want take:

PROS:
1) No worries about cost or production of book
2) Book distribution is handled
3) Your book will receive trade reviews 

CONS:
1) You lose creative control of your project
2) Waiting to hear from agents, editors
3) Managing deadlines set by the publisher

*You'll receive a monetary advance, which is paid back by a percentage of your book sales. If your title doesn't satisfy the advance, you don't have to pay off the remaining balance, but you won't receive any payments for your book. If your book does pay out the advance, you keep a small percentage of the sales, called royalties- this can be a PRO, but it's also a CON. Our advice is to carefully consider the deal. Make sure you're committed to your characters and be prepared to carry on if this relationship doesn't work out for the long run.

TIP: It’s best to keep hold on the reins of your story, even when someone else sits in the saddle. They can jump off any time. If you let go, it’s going to be much harder to hop back on that pony and get it under control. 
If you’d rather stay in the saddle and gallop off on your own, then the Indie path is for you. Print on demand has created a changing wave in the publishing industry, and the floodgates are open. If you can ride like the elves in Rivendell, the river poses no threat. This part of the literary forest is untamed, and anything’s possible! 



Stay tuned for PART 2 of Raising A Book RightIndie Writers on the Storm

DMS CASE FILE #1: The Begonia House


The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow
Publish date: 12/1/15
Publisher: Delacorte/ Random House
Illustrator: Roman Muradov
Ages: 8 and up
Grade Level: 3-6
Available: Hardcover, Paperback, E-book, Library Bound

Read the reviews
Preview a chapter

FEAR NOT THE UNEXPECTED.



The Begonia House keeps its secrets. Everyone knows that. Everyone, that is, except for clever eleven-year-old Fairday Morrow, whose family has just moved in. Being the Senior Investigator in the Detective Mystery Squad, more commonly known as the DMS, she’s ready to uncover the mysteries hidden within the strange manor. As the investigation gears up and the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall into place, the DMS enters into a world where anything is possible, and the danger is most definitely real. Can they piece together the puzzle before it's too late? Or will whatever's causing trouble find Fairday and her friends first?


Catch our feature articles on...

BIRTHING A BOOK

Cultivating story ideas

Plotting the scenes of your story

&

WRITING MYSTERIES

Critique, Editing your MS

Working with editors, Collaborating using Google Docs

Skeleton's poetic interpretation on formatting a book

VIDEO SERIES

Stephanie & Jess sit down at the Plumb Memorial Library and discuss tools they use to craft stories. 

"There's no better place to get a clue than the library!"

FAIRDAYSFILES.COM

76 comments:

  1. The waiting and waiting and waiting would annoy me a bit. But sure can be quite the route to take indeed. Enjoy your break.

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    1. Pat- We agree that the waiting is definitely difficult! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  2. No agent, but it's much the same with a publisher.

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    1. Alex- Thanks for sharing your experience! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  3. Thanks for all the infos. Hugs, Valerie

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Valerie! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  4. Thanks for sharing all your tips. I think it must help that you are figuring this all out together. It can be overwhelming. So much to consider.

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    1. Natalie- We couldn't agree more! It is hard trying to figure everything out- but we feel so lucky to have each other. Even with two brains we often struggle to make sense of things. :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  5. Hi Jess and Stephanie ... great ideas here and thanks for letting us know about your route and thoughts re getting a book out there. Enjoy the week - cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary- You are welcome. Thanks for reading! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  6. All good things for writers to think about!

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    1. Sherry- Glad to hear you think so, too. :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  7. Enjoy your break. I hope the recharge is successful and complete.

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    1. EC- It definitely helped to have a little break! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  8. I love your metaphor, Literary Forest. That is exactly what it is and you've laid out a very nice path with bread crumbs for us. Thank you.

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    1. Lee- So glad you enjoyed it and we just loved your comment. :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  9. Good advice! Appreciate your insight and tips. Enjoy the break! :)

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    1. Karen- We hope they help others on their path! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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    1. Thanks, Mary! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  11. Very informative even if I don't plan on writing a book to be published. I want to at one point just write a book fro myself but you never know, right? Love all the concise and detailed advice. I didn't know you had a video series! I must check it out.

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    1. Adriana- We love that you want to write a book for yourself because really that is what writing is all about. Writing for ourselves. Thanks for stopping in! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  12. What nice and fun post! have a wonderful week off :)

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    1. Thanks, Gloria! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  13. Have a great Break! Thanks for the terrific post! Big Hugs!

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    1. Magic Love Crow- So glad you enjoyed it. Our break was wonderful! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  14. Good advice for people seeking a more traditional publisher!

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    1. Cherie- Hopefully it is helpful to those who want go the traditional route. Lots of routes to choose from and different paths to follow. :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  15. So, you're both teachers, right? What advice do you have for young writers just feeling their way around fiction? My daughter (14) is an avid writer with amorphous ambitions. I'm not really sure how to guide her except to encourage her to keep writing, keep reading, keep experiencing. With her musical pursuits, I know the path well so I know how to advise. With creative writing, not so much.

    Any thoughts are welcome. If email is easier: armchairsquid@gmail.com

    Many thanks.

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    1. Armchair Squid- we will email you some advice for your daughter, as it is a little long for a comment. In a nutshell- we recommend writers conferences because we learned SO much at them and there are people of all ages. :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  16. Enjoy your time away. On spring break?
    We'll leave the light on for ya.

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    1. Sandra- Thanks for leaving the light on for us. It was a mini spring break at home, with snow. :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  17. Very helpful information. So proud of you ladies and how far you have come!

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    1. Heidi- Thanks so much! It has been a long and winding road for sure. :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  18. Replies
    1. Thanks, Christine! :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  19. These are great tips! Thanks for sharing.

    www.ficklemillennial.com

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    1. Gina- We hope we can help other writers by sharing our experiences. :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  20. Great tips - getting a book out in the world is a long and complicated process!

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    1. Jemi- For sure! :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  21. Wonderful advice. There's so much to consider in publishing a book. It's mind-boggling. Thanks for your pointers. They help.

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    1. Beverly- It is a confusing and overwhelming process for sure. We hope our pointers can help others who want to go the traditional route- but there are so many options out there for writers! :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  22. I have to say, every time I have considered publishing a book, I shrink at the thought of going to publishing houses and all the work that entails, and my ideas and projects just shrivel and wither.. I wish it didn't demoralize me so! - www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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    1. Gingi- We can totally understand! We are thankful we had each other to keep us going and divide up the work. Plus, there is a shoulder to cry on when rejections come in. But- this is just one path- there are many out there and so many possibilities! :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  23. Wishing you all kinds of wonderful things while you recharge! Happy writing you two :)

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    1. Thanks, Meradeth! Wishing you a lovely week too~ :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  24. Great advice. I think the cons are too much for me for my next project.

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    1. Lynda- We totally understand! There are pros and cons to everything and good to sort them out first. Wishing you all the best with your project! :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  25. A good guide to follow. I think you have to go the traditional route if you're writing children's fiction. Though daunting, all publishing is daunting.

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    1. Cathy- Publishing is definitely daunting. Getting books into libraries and schools can be tricky too. We are loving that we are seeing lots of paths for authors right now. :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  26. Happy recharging. This was a busy post for a blog taking a break!!! Thanks for visiting my blog...

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    1. Lisa- Recharging was good. Just having a few days off can do so much for the spirit. Thanks for stopping by. :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  27. Great post. Publishing a book is certainly not for the faint of heart.

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    1. Kate- Definitely not! Our skin gets thicker all the time. :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  28. These are wonderful tips! Thank you so much!

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    1. Jeanie- We hope we can help other writers on their path. :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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    1. You are welcome, Tracy! :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  30. Excellent tips and advice, thank you so much.

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    1. Nas- Glad you enjoyed them! :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  31. I love tip #2. And it’s so true that even with a traditional publisher you still have to market. A lot. Many writers think they can bypass the need for marketing by getting a publisher. Not so.

    Awesome advice!

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    1. Chrys- Thanks! Marketing is a lot of work and we agree that most people think the publisher does most of it for you. Not at all! It was a lot to learn and we are still learning. :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  32. Neat seeing a bit behind the scenes about publishing. Thanks for the tips!

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    1. Sophia- We always wished we could see behind the scenes when we were starting out on our path. We'd still love to see what's happening at publishing houses. :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  33. Good advice for many.
    See you soon.

    All the best Jan

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    1. See you soon, Jan. Thanks for visiting! :) ~Jess and Stephanie

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  34. Thank you for sharing these wonderful tips :) sorry for my long absence

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    1. Optimistic Existentialist- You are welcome. :) Nice to see you again! ~Stephanie and Jess

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  35. Useful, down-to-earth advice. Thank you for sharing it!

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    1. Lark- Glad it was useful! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  36. Such an awesome post :D I hope you guys had an amazing break. <3 Hugs.

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    1. Carina- We had a great break! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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  37. This is such a wonderful and well written article -- lots of meat here. I'll look forward to your independent publishing. I'm working on our family book now. No one else will be interested but I'm looking for some good tips to make it look "real."

    Thanks for coming by Marmelade Gypsy!

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    1. Jeanie- So nice to connect. We are thrilled you liked the article and hope the next one will have some helpful advice for you and other writers. :) Best of luck with your family book.
      ~Jess and Stephanie

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    1. Anna- We did! :) ~Stephanie and Jess

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Thank you for stopping by and commenting. We love to hear your thoughts! Fairday's Blog is no longer accepting awards. We appreciate all the nominations that we have received and are honored to have been mentioned! Happy Reading!

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