Una Rose – Author

Putting the world to write!

Tips and advice for authors!

Note to readers: All advice given is my own opinion and I do not claim to offer expert advice. The links I provide are not tested by myself, nor am I funded in anyway to share them. They just seem to me like good ideas that could be of use to anyone reading this blog!

July 2013

At a recent talk by an agent, I took down some interesting notes about how not to approach an agent which I thought I would share here:

DON’T do the following:

Be over familiar

Include typos in your submission or letter

Mention other rejection letters

Give negative/ sell yourself down

Pitch more than one book at a time

Use authors to compare yourself with without showing a clear idea of the genre/market

Say your mum/husband/friends like it

Say it is going to be best-seller/film

Ask for feedback in the first approach

Have a meaningless pitch which doesn’t explain what the book is about.

Do the following:

Make it brief

Say who you are as a writer and which competitions you have entered and won or been commended for

What the genre is  and the length of the book

Who it is aimed at

And remember agents get 15-20 submissions a day so think about how yours can stand out.

June 2013

Look if it isn’t happening for you, maybe your children can live the dream! My girls actually love “making books” as well as magazines and the latest craze, music videos for You Tube! But I think anything that gets their creative juices flowing is good news. Just seen there is a children’s writing competition which in itself is inspiring as there is no theme, no prescriptive demands on them, just the love (and I guess talent) for writing in any genre about anything! I shall encourage my two to enter and let you know if anything comes of it. http://my.redhouse.co.uk/content/red-house-young-writers-yearbook-2013-competition

Of course that dream of being a writer is closer for most of us than ever before! It used to be the case that an author had to first come up with an original and brilliant idea and spend at least the next year alone in a room to write it. Then came the demoralising stage of umpteen rejections by publishing houses and agents often leading the author to give up on the idea and leave the manuscript to gather dust on the top shelf. Now you can put out a chapter online, attract an immediate audience and sometimes a book deal almost instantly! For those of us not so lucky, there are also many other avenues opening up thanks to the digital era. Authors can dedicate days/weeks of their time to growing an audience through twitter/blogs such as this. Of course you can also self publish almost instantly (but do always get it professionally edited and proofed first!!) But that does cost some money so how can you get around this if you are broke or cannot dedicate money to your dream? One way is crowd funding. An inspiring lady I know used crowd funding to raise money so that she can make a charity record to give back to the charity which helped her in her hour of need – charity for charity! I digress but you can read her story here to be inspired: http://singing-fishwife.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/only-parenting-is-not-same-as-single.html?spref=fb

Coming back to the crowd funding method, in a nutshell, you propose a book to a willing audience who then bid to be part of the book – ie have it dedicated to them or meet you for lunch or get several free copies, it is up to you how generous you will be but the more unusual the offer the more likely you will get bidders. They put in their bid into the pot but are only obliged to pay up if you reach your target in your chosen time. It is a strange concept to me and I have yet to try it but won’t rule it out either. Here is just one of many such organisations: http://unbound.co.uk/about

May 2013

What excites me about being an author right now is that we are the cusp of a revolution! I was at the London Book Fair a few weeks back and the same phrase kept coming up: Social networking. It has been the key to many authors’ successes, including one lady who said her debut book sold 40,000 copies in the first week thanks to her twitterati followers…if only say the rest of us! But still it can happen, and this feature cheered me up today:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeremygreenfield/2013/04/30/when-the-self-published-authors-take-over-what-will-publishers-do

As one representative from Kindle pointed out at an author’s seminar, in 2012 there were 15 self published books in the top 100 Amazon books, and this year so far (ie only half a year in) there are 25 books in the top 100! Now getting to that stage takes a lot of work behind the scenes promoting your book and networking, but like the gold rush of the 19th century, people will follow in droves. Here’s hoping….

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