Thursday, January 13, 2011

You Know...There are more than 1 Way to get Published

I attended the Annapolis Book Festival as a guest author and got a little star struck at the wonderful authors present. I was on the YA Author Panel. Check out thier books in the photo.

Here's the YA Author Panel List:

Paula Chase-Hyman—That’s What’s Up
Caroline Hickey—Isabelle’s Boyfriend
Maggie Mei Lewis—Moonlight Memoirs - Remembering That Family and Friends are Forever
Diana Peterfreund— Tap & Gown: An Ivy League Novel; Rampant
Fish Stark - Our Budding new author on the road to publication
L.M. Preston—Explorer X—Alpha (your's truly)

So many of the different author's I met at the conference and networking at author events had different roads to publication, some had unconventional ways to publication that only impressed the readership and myself even more.

I’m a staunch proponent of figuring out your plan A, B and C to your goals. Some of the authors I’ve met there and as a member of Maryland Writer's Association, had creative ways mixed with luck and tenacity that I’d like to share. Maybe, just maybe it can be an avenue that others can use.

Pick up a Lit Agent At a Conference:

Several authors I met had networked to find their agent at Writer’s Conferences. Some had even set up appointments/pitch sessions with agents in search of their type of work. Even though I’m coordinating the Editor/Agent sessions at the MWA Writer’s Conference, I didn’t realize what a powerful tool/opportunity this could be for writers.

Hire a Writing Coach:

One author I met had approached her writing career as an investment in herself. She’d never written a book before and knew that she wanted hands on help throughout the process. She hired a Writing Coach that helped her through the writing process, critiqued her work as she went, and gave her tips on getting a Lit Agent. After she landed her agent at a conference, she also hired her own publicist to get the word out for her and set up her events. I was so impressed with her that I had to write about her unconventional journey to publication.

Form your own publishing company:

One sixteen year old children's book author, Maggie, researched the road to publication and decided that she wanted to keep control of her book. She wrote the book, Moonlight Memoirs, found her own illustrator and helped her mother form a publishing company for her first book. She’s done an awesome job at promoting and I was tremendously impressed with her book and efforts. Moonlight Memoirs Remembering That Family and Friends Are Forever, is a children’s book that’s beautifully illustrated. She’ll be signing books at Borders as well as kicking off her virtual tour soon.

Serialized Novel:

I met another inventive author that snagged a lit agent with their serialized diary for a novel that they submitted in book form. They did follow the conventional path of querying agents, but invited the agent to peek at the diary of the main character of their novel. They posted their character’s serialized diary on their blog. The book however was different, but the character’s diary piqued the interest of the agent and resulted in them snagging a contract.

All of these wonderful, yet unique, roads to publication affirm my belief that doing things your own way is quite alright. Changing a “no” from a road block to a detour can pave your way to publication.


E.J. Wesley said...

Excellent post, LM. I totally, 1,000,000% agree. The idea that there is only 1 way to writing success is ludicrous and growing more so all the time. I think we are finally reaching the age of, "if you want to see it published, it can happen." You no longer need the approval of an entire industry, the stars to align, or any other form of minor miracle. Now writing something people want to read could be another story! :)

BTW, I never stopped by to say so, but I really loved your "I don't want to be a full-time writer" post. I read it on my phone and thought it was awesome.

LM Preston said...

Thank you so much EJ :-D you made my day. I just want to encourage writers to take ownership of their work. Not to get depressed when only one or two doors clothes. Blaze your own path, learn the business, and how to sell your work.

Jeffrey Beesler said...

Where there's a will there's a way. Publishing has changed forever and I think that's a good thing for many of us.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Wow, these all sound like wonderful ways to really get yourself out there and find a way to make your dream come true. I love hearing that!

As for the person who hired their own publicist, I actually think that's a good idea for any matter what. And that's not just because I'm a freelance publicist. I just think that it can really help and it takes a little pressure off of the authors!