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Showing posts from 2015

The Writer's Edge Interview With Author Jenny Milchman : A Lesson in Tenacity and Smarts

  Jenny Milchman I wish I’d known just how polished and perfected a work has to be to get published traditionally. I was lucky enough to get kernels from industry pros that allowed me to go back and hone my craft... How long did it take you to get published?   Here are my stats: 11 years, 8 novels, 3 agents, 15 almost-offers from editors . An almost-offer happens when an editor wishes to acquire a book, but gets turned down by her editorial board, or by people in the marketing or publicity departments, or even (as happened to me with my seventh novel) the publisher herself. My first published novel was the eighth one I wrote. And of course, there’s “long” in the non-numeric sense, too. It took an age, an epoch, forever. I thought I would never break through.  Why did you hang in so long versus, for instance, self-publishing? When I started out, self-publishing as we now know it wasn’t an option. There was so-called vanity publishing, and it cost a chunk of change, and carr

The Pros and Cons of Hiring One-Stop Shops vs. Multiple Specialists for Book Publicity

There are many different services that publicity firms and individual publicity consultants offer to authors looking to promote their books. These services can include any combination of the following: ... Creating media kits (press releases, fact sheets, Q&As, etc.), distributing press releases on the newswire services, and creating sales pitches targeted to specific markets Working with you to fine-tune your website and create the best possible web promotion for your book Scheduling book signing and reading events Contacting local and national television and radio station producers to set up interviews Working with local and national print and online editors to obtain feature coverage Helping you identify your personal brand, your target audience, and your potential reach as an author Setting up speaking engagements at targeted venues Placing articles you’ve written in targeted print and online publications Helping you identify your strengths as a blogg

In Defiance of The Iowa Writers Workshop and Samantha Chang, and Why You Should Ignore Them Both

DISCLAIMER: the aim of this article is not to defame, it is to challenge the Iowa notion that an imaginary genetic pre-disposition is necessary before a writer can ever be defined as a really good writer, and secondly, to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that a writer does not have to attend the Iowa Writers Workshop in order to learn to write really well. "I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit."                                                                                           -  John Steinbeck "I feel that if I just brought them [her students] into the room and fed them chicken soup they would get better any way."                                                                                           -  Samantha Chang “I felt the years go by without

RESTORING THE TROLL TROPE - Concepts and Solutions Regarding the Use of Tropes in New Fantasy Fiction

Using the Rowling "Harry Potter" approach, you create a sympathetic underdog and render highly imaginative events with masterful narrative while also introducing more characters who are unique and endearing to the reader. Meanwhile, as mysteries writhe beneath the surface and the reader is absolutely gripped, you introduce the trope (e.g., a roving killer troll) in a circumstance that can't help but create immediate concern.       - Michael Neff Which tropes must you employ in fantasy fiction vs. those you must reconsider, and perhaps discard or alter? What techniques might an unknown writer use to avoid overdone-to-a-char tropes and create a competitive fantasy fiction novel that trumps the slush pile? ... A writer who shall not be named was recently asked in a forum to identify what she believed to be overused fantasy tropes (YA or adult). As follows: Golden-haired princesses, elves that are beautiful and magical and powerful and the mos