aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

There's one in every crowd

But in this case there were two. Last night Sharan Newman (www.sharannewman.com) and I gave a talk to our local Sisters in Crime (www.sistersincrime.org) branch about how you can promote your book after you are published.

There were probably many authors who wanted to be published in the audience, but two stood out.

One lady made loud, not-quit-on-topic interjections. She also seemed to be carrying her manuscript with her, a fact Sharan and I made a point of not noticing. We are not literary agents nor do we want to be. She also opined that self-publishing was the way to go, because “you get to keep so much more of the money.” When we made some small demurrals about self-publishing, she seemed entirely unfamiliar with the idea that it might not be the best thing ever. Later, it developed that she had sent her book to some NY publishers, who hadn't been interested. But when you write mysteries for adults, you need an agent. It's the rare editor who is going to look at an unagented submission.

She also wanted us to tell her exactly how much each of our books had earned. There was kind of a stuttering pause while we figured out a polite way to say "None of your buisness." Finally I offered that I've heard the average advance for a first-time mystery author is less than $10,000.

Hit this lady with the clue stick.

Once you have a finished book, look up some books on publishing on Amazon. Look for ones that have four or five star ratings. Check out a few from the library. Learn how the publishing world works.

There was also a young man, fresh out of college, who had just finished a book. He was like 22, so I'm more willing to cut him a break. He thought you just took your book and sent it to publishers. He didn't seem to know that agents were an important part of the process. But he seemed willing to take advice, unlike the lady who seemed to feel it was her place to tell us how publishing worked - or didn't.

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Tags: publishing, self-publishing
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