If you are an up and coming writer, you really should read this. Perth Writers Festival: Publishing Seminar -> “The Novel Approach”

“The Novel Approach”” />

Post ’20th of Feb. 2014. – post 1 of 2′

Hello one and all,

A few things I gleaned from attending the ‘Perth Writers Festival: Publishing Seminar -> “The Novel Approach” ‘

– When submitting to any publishing house, always, always, send the entire manuscript.   For the most part, the person reading doesn’t have time to wait around to see what happens next.  They will generally have forgotten the initial part of the story by the time the follow-up arrives.

– Send the entire manuscript as ONE pdf. document, not in separate chapters.  It is highly unlikely they will be bothered reading them.

– Publishers are looking for – talent, sustained narrative interest, and authority in the authors writing. Lastly marketability.

– Unless specified, publishers as a general rule want absolutely nothing to with Romance, Erotica, Horror. They are also heading that way with ‘Twilight’ like romantically orientated vampire/werewolf/supernatural stuff;

– Any synopsis sent with a manuscript must be written in the same ‘voice’ as the manuscript itself;

– Prior to submitting to the publisher, ensure the manuscript can be no better than what they will receive;

– The best person to critique your work is some one with a specific learned interest in the genre of your manuscript. Family, friends, and hobbyist writers group people are for the most part the worst people to have to look over your work, as they mostly don’t know what specifically, and from an educated point of view to look for. This can be detrimental to the final product you are hoping to submit.

– Never send a manuscript on a thumb drive/USB stick. Publishers refuse to open them through fear of bringing a virus on to their system.

– No matter the blood, sweat, tears, and late nights that have gone into a manuscript, publishers really don’t care. Marketability is what they are after.

– Send your manuscript to a publisher that specifically deals with the genre of your work;

– Before sending your manuscript, walk around a book shop and locate the shelf via genre, and where it would found by someone browsing. If you can’t find a spot, or the only spot you do find that matches your work is hidden away and out of sight, send your work designating its genre as the nearest you can to a well placed shelf in the bookshop;

– Ebooks are great. However a few stats made me sit up and look. In 2012 ebook sales (books and device) were up 105% on 2011.  In 2013, the same sales only increased by 18%. Why? People have found browsing through ebooks  on electronic devices as either too hard, or lacking the physical tangibility of holding a book, examining the cover and feel of it, being able to flick through it and reading random passages prior to purchase. So too, the ability to pick a book up and read the blurb of one in a series, and then another in the same series at once to compare the two is all but impossible.

– So, publishing houses now release ebooks and pbooks (print books) on the same day, with ebook sales generally remaining successful after someone has physically held the book itself.

– There are more publishers in Australia today than 5 years ago.

– Book shops are in no way shaping up to be a thing of the past. The major book sellers that are having trouble are major retailersthat are akin to McDonalds franchises. Angus & Robertson, Dymocks, etc. As the books they have generally sold have been grossly over priced in comparison to lesser and Indie book shops; the larger ones are now finding they have to sell books at the genuine sale price of the book, not at their in house exorbitant prices; they can no longer getaway with it.  All due to ebook and pbook same day release.

– Royalties for any book, e or p, should be between 10% and 25% as a general rule. Any less and you are being done over, any more and you need to ask why.  All done without cutting off your nose to spite your face incidentally, and a certain amount of tact.

– A good tip for self publishing is to release initially on ebook with pbook ‘release on demand’.  Eg – there is no point in having 1000 copies run off, if only 20 people (usually family and friends) are going to buy them.  Only run them off as required, getting people to pay for them u front so you aren’t out of pocket.

– For a publishing house to get its money back on any author they send to print, they need to be selling a minimum of 3000 books to break even.

– The TG Hungerford Award will be accepting submissions in March 2014. Advertising will occur through the ‘West Australian’ newspaper; Fremantle Press; UWA Press. The prize is worth $12000AUD.

– Social media. Unless you have a paid FaceBook page, FaceBook only promotes your page to 12% of FaceBook friends,and FaceBook in general. It is a money making scam on their part, starting when they listed themselves on the stock exchange.  All personal social media must be kept separate from your author or book page.  You will lose reader and publisher credibility combining the two.

–  Twitter is only as good as your regular input.  Must be relevant to the book or the author.

The above snippets are from representatives of Fremantle Press (major affiliate with Penguin Books Australia, Text (?press or publishing), UWA Press, Hachette Publishing Australia (an international), and a few others I don’t recall from the top of my head.

If I can decipher the rest of my notes I will continue with everything else I picked up on the way.

Cheers, and I hope the above is of some help to some one out there strapped to a computer.

Click the black cat.


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