Sunday, April 18, 2010

Unique Paths to Publication

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.

1 comment:

Annie McElfresh said...

What a great post!

I have made some really awesome connections myself at conferences, and even though I haven't landed an agent yet, I got a a lot of really encouraging feedback. :D