Here’s a list of resources and ideas that you can implement on your journey to perfecting your craft, publishing and networking.
Read newsletters- Read any newsletter you can get your hands on, they offer a wealth of information in terms of new info and updates on publishers. Two examples of great newsletters are Children’s Writer and Children’s Book Insider.
Read Guidelines-Never send anything to anyone without reading the specified guidelines…otherwise, you’re just wasting your time and your manuscript could end up in the recycle bin.
Visit Bookstores-Check out current issues magazines in your genre and ask about what’s new in store. Find out what kids and adults are buying. Spend some time studying what the bestsellers are and why.
Use the Internet-There is SO much valuable information available to writers on the internet! Visit blogs, social networking, e-mail other writers and sign up for writing groups on-line. This will keep you on the pulse of the writing world and you’ll be able to do some self promotion as well.
Attend a Writing Workshop/Conference-These are SO FUN! I’ve been to a few over the past couple of months and have met some great people who are really talented. Workshops and conferences offer a chance to connect with other writers and to have your work critiqued. It is invaluable in terms of gaining insight into what’s working and what’s not in your current manuscript. Plus, you never know who can help you and who you can help in terms of networking.
Network-Get yourself together with as many like minded people and great things will happen. You could meet the right contact who know the perfect illustrator for your book, or perhaps you’ll meet someone who can offer editing services, or you might just meet a publisher or agent that can take your book all the way to the top!
Most of all, enjoy being an author; It’s one of the greatest freedoms in the world to be able to tell your story in your own way.
As authors, we are used to rejection. Sometimes the best thing that can happen to us is to get feedback from an agent or publisher that we’ve queried, but most of the time we don’t receive a response if it’s a rejection. Often we’re left wondering what we’ve done wrong or even worse, we keep doing things incorrectly without knowing anything is amiss. Here are some tips on how to get rejected! Read this list carefully…it could be a game changer in your writing life.
Offer the agent or publisher advice on how to market your book-Umm, no. Just…no. How would you like it if someone told you how to do YOUR job? You wouldn’t and you’d be insulted.
Say that you’ve, “tested” your manuscript on young readers-No one cares what your kids or nephew or family members think. If your book is bad no one you know is going to tell you.
Your story doesn’t meet basic requirements such as length-This is so important to know! Read my previous posts about Writing for Kids and find out what the requirements are for each type of book. Don’t send a 3,000 word manuscript to a publisher that publishes YA unless you want to get rejected.
Your story is poorly written-Self explanatory! Your grammar is poor, your spelling is bad etc.
Your story LACKS ORIGINALITY!-THIS IS HUGE! If your story is the same as everything out there in the market, you’ll be rejected. Publishers are looking for NEW, FRESH, and ORIGINAL ideas that are exciting!
The hero of your story is passive-Make your hero awesome! No parents should swoop in and save the day.The hero must ALWAYS be the one who solves the problem in your book.
Your story offers an adult perspective-Kids don’t want to read a book that is from an adults point of view, they want someone they can relate to.
You’re condescending-Don’t talk down to kids. Period. They’re intelligent and they should be written that way.
Tomorrow I’ll be posting about how to potentially get published! Look for the list and follow the steps for insight into the minds of publishers and agents.