Self-publishing, it seems, has finally reached its tipping point. According to a 2011 Bowker study, the number of self-published books produced annually in the U.S. has tripled, growing a profound 287 percent since 2006, with 235,625 print and e-titles released in 2011. As self-publishing continues to climb in popularity, consumers are moving away from the cultural stigma that the only books worth reading are those that have been published and marketed by big New York City publishing houses.
In this era, public libraries are working to draw new patrons into their buildings by providing new and innovative services to the public. You’ve heard of some of the upgrades found in libraries today–e-books, iPads and mobile applications (read the latest Pew study on libraries and technology).
But some library services now being offered lean a bit on the unconventional side, like the telescope library loan program at the Portland Public Library in Maine, or the musical instrument check-out program at the Lopez Island Library in Washington state. And don’t forget about the cake pan loan programs available at several Kansas libraries. Read More
The Publishing Industry, A History Lesson
The book market has not always been so dependent on the big publishers in New York City. In fact, academic and small commercial publishers dominated the American book market in the early 20th-century. In the early 1900s, only three major presses existed: small commercial publishers, large commercial publishers and university presses. During this time period, none of the publishing houses were interested in released original novels. University publishers provided the public with books on educational and academic topics, choosing to publish textbooks, classical literature reprints, Bibles reference books and encyclopedias.
Small commercial presses focused on profits—these publishing houses hired writers that created cheap, entertaining dime novels based on popular characters. But these presses were notorious for pushing out low-quality books. One of the reasons that the dime novels were so bad is because the publishers did not give their writers enough time to create well-written novels—writers had to produce new books at the rate of one nearly 30,000-word novel per week.
Out of all of the original publishers, only large presses cared about publishing true literary works of art. These presses were managed by wealthy philanthropists and art-lovers who enjoyed finding undiscovered creative writers. These publishers released poetry collections, biographies, literary fiction, as well as nonfiction books. The large presses, out of fear of losing their reputations as art leaders, would not publish entertainment for everyday readers.
All of this changed when Robert de Graff founded Pocket Books, and published a series of popular paperback books in 1939. The growth of the mainstream commercial novel reached new heights by 1945, when the format sold more than 40 million books. In the 1950s and 1960s, book publishing became the large business we think of today after many of the established presses took note of the format’s growth and potential.
As the book industry went into the 1970s, many of the small presses were bought out by larger presses in an attempt to snub the competition. By the 1980s, media conglomerates, such as Warner Communications and Time Inc., bought up many of the major book publishers (in addition to newspapers, film companies and recording businesses) to form profit-driven “mega media conglomerates.” To give you an idea of the amount of merging that happened in the past two decades: In 1983, 90 percent of American media was owned by 50 companies; by 2011, just six companies controlled the entire media market.
Which leads us to today’s situation. Right now, the book market is led by a handful of major publishers, a group often referred to as the “Big Six.” The Big Six publishers include: Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin Group, HarperCollins, Random House and Simon & Schuster. Each of these publishing houses operates several small internal presses.
And, surprisingly, the conglomerate gets even bigger when you look at who owns each of the Big Six companies. (Fun fact: 26 percent of all content produced by the Big Six is German-owned: MacMillan is owned by German company Holtzbrinck, Random House and Penguin are divisions German conglomerate Bertelsmann, Hachette is owned by French company Hachette Livre, and HarperCollins is owned by Australian Media Corp owner Rupert Murdoch.
As you can see, American publishing has had a long history focused solely on earning money. We’ll be watching to see how some of the newer small independent presses and self-publishers are going to change the current profit-driven model in the next coming years.
How do you get your book the attention it deserves? If you want to get your book published by a mainstream publisher, you’re going to need a book agent, which means you’re going to have to write the query letter, a single page cover letter sent to magazine editors and literary agents that introduces you and your book (we’ll focus on book queries in this article). In all, the query letter serves three main functions:
One: To show off your superb writing skills to the agent
Two: To sell the concept behind your book
Three: To prove that you have the clout needed to get the job done and sell your work
If you’ll notice, the first function is based on the quality of your content, while the next two functions are all about the moolah—meaning, you need to prove to the agent that your book will be marketable. Here’s bestselling author Nicholas Sparks on selling yourself in the query letter:
Above all, a query letter is a sales pitch and it is the single most important page an unpublished writer will ever write. It’s the first impression and will either open the door or close it. It’s that important, so don’t mess it up. Mine took 17 drafts and two weeks to write.
Take note of his advice before your start writing your query letter: The query letter is more about marketing than art. The primary function of the letter is to sell both your work and your skillset.
Finish Your Query Letter in Four Simple Steps
Step One: Research, Research, Research!
Start this task knowing that this step is going to take lots of long man-hours to complete. The most important part of the query letter is the addressee line–find out which agents in your literary genre would be receptive to your work. To get a jumpstart on this task, I recommend looking for agents through the Association of Authors’ Representatives agent listing. You can also go straight to the source by making a list of your favorite books in your genre and checking which agents represented those authors. You can do this by skimming through the acknowledgment sections in the back of the books. The last option takes a lot of work, but it will help you to get to know some of the agent players in your genre.
Next, you want to take the time to research the submission requirements of each agent. If you don’t take the time to give agents the letter (or email) pitches in the way that they prefer, you ultimately end up getting your bestselling manuscript tossed in the trash.
While you look for the right agents, you want to take the time to make sure that your dream agent doesn’t also work as a scam artist. Many agents claim to help unknown authors by charging them fees upfront—do not fall for this. Agents only make money after you get paid, and do not believe an agent who says otherwise.
Step Two: Use the Query Template
Every query letter should follow the same standard one-page format because that is what agents are using to receiving. The standard format is so important because the entire query process can be sometimes overwhelming for agents: Top-tier agents receive so many query letters per year that it is more efficient for them to weed out writers by basing their rejections on small formatting and grammatical errors than it is to wade through the varying writing styles of every letter that they receive.
Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency has said that her agency receives more than 150 query letters each day, while agent and blogger Nathan Bransford claims to that he receives close to 230 queries per week. Since its not likely that all of those query letter writers got book deals by Nelson and Bransford, it sounds like a lot of those letters manuscripts and ended up in the trash. That’s a lot of recycling!
Know the standard query letter style to avoid (or delay) getting rejected:
- First paragraph: Introduce yourself and your book. List the title, book genre and state if your book is complete.
- Second paragraph: Describe the book. Who are the characters? What makes your story unique?
- Third paragraph: Discuss your credentials. Where have you been published before? Remember, you have to sell yourself in the query letter more than you have to sell your writing idea. How are you qualified to write the book? Do you have the clout or name recognition needed to sell the book?
- Fourth paragraph: Thank the editor, leave your contact information and mention that you included a sample of your work. If you mailed your submission, include a sample (with a self-addressed stamped envelope, also called a SASE) that is at the most 5-7 pages.
Step Three: Find Your Voice
Show off your writing chops in your query letter by writing in the style of your work. For example, if your book is humorous, write an entertaining query letter. Let your writing voice come across in your letter and the agent will notice.
After you finish writing your letter, have at least two trusted friends review your query letter for grammatical spellings because a query letter riddled with spelling mistakes and formatting issues will promptly be tossed in the recycling.
Step Four: Send and Walk Away
Once you finish writing your letter, have friends review it. Next, mail it to the appropriate contact person, you’re going to have to walk away and hope that the agent contacts you if she’s interested. This step is often the hardest for budding writers because it involves completely walking from a project that they love so dearly. Here’s a sad tip: If you didn’t get a response, it is most likely because your work was rejected by the agent. When it comes to query letters, no response often means no, we’re not interested, and it is inappropriate in many agent circles for a writer to follow up on a query letter.
But don’t fret writers: Don’t focus too much on the rejection process. It may be helpful to hear rejection anecdotes from more established writers. William Saroyan received 7,000 rejection slips before selling his first short story. Alex Haley wrote every day for eight years before finding success. Remember that there are more agents out there who may be interested in your work, you just have to keep trying.
Book production costs can be steep for first-time independent writers who want to publish their own books. In fact, book production can cost independent writers two to three times as much money as it would cost big-name publishing houses to print the same books.
Why? Due to economies of scale, big publishers pay significantly less for print runs because they publish so many books per year. Conversely, most authors rely on print on demand services, which print single books at a time. Read More
….And Why Does My Book Need One?
An “ISBN” refers to the Internal Standard Book Number, a unique identifier made up of a ten-to thirteen-digit number and barcode. The code numbers are used to simplify distribution and purchase of books throughout the global supply chain. Commercially sold physical books have unique book numbers, including hardcover, softcover, paperback, or audiobook.
Today, publishing giant Simon & Schuster announced that the company partnered with Author Solutions, Inc. to launch Archway Publishing. The publishing company will offer self-publishing services in fiction, nonfiction, business and children’s categories for authors.
As part of the services offered, Archway will allow authors the opportunity to work with dedicated publishing guides who will coordinate the book production process. Additionally, Simon & Schuster will work with Speakerfile to help authors organize speaking engagements.
The fees to participate in the program will be a bit pricey: Fees to publish manuscripts will fall into the following price ranges: fiction: $1,999 – $14,999; nonfiction: $1,999 – $14,999; business: $2,199 – $24,999; and children’s: $1,599 – $8,499. The company will emphasize print, e-book and retail distribution and have lower ebook royalties. According to Paid Content, “Archway will pay an ebook royalty of 50 percent of net sales, so if an ebook is distributed to Kindle, for example, an Archway author would receive 50 percent of the sale minus Amazon’s 30 percent fee.”
Christmas wreaths have appeared like magic on your neighbors door. “Silent Night” is playing somewhere. Silver bells are ringing, and there are Salvation Army volunteers everywhere you go. You know what it all means: You’ve just been thrown into the holiday season. But this is good news because now is the perfect time to market and sell your work to the masses during the holiday shopping frenzy. As more and more people head online to purchase books during the season, writers are in a prime position to sell their books to online consumers.
Every now and then, someone unfairly copies the novels, stories and plays produced by unsuspecting writers. This is why it’s important for professional writers to consider copyrighting their work. But very few writers know how the copyright process works, leaving their work susceptible to exploitation from others. Here, we’ll breakdown how writers can protect their work from not-so-honest people.
According to the United States Copyright Office, a copyright is a form of protection that U.S. law extends to authors of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and other creative works, including novels, films, plays, songs, sculptures, architectural designs and computer software. To be protected, a work also must have a minimum amount of creativity or “original authorship.”
Copyright law was created to enable authors to benefit from their work, while limiting the term of protection. The law protects art that explains, illustrates or describes the system. Copyright law does not give authors the right to prevent others from using ideas, procedures, processes or methods in works. The copyright protection–which lasts for the life of an author, plus 70 years–allows teachers to copy parts of copyrighted works for classroom use.
With the recent announcement that major publishers Penguin and Random House may be merging soon, it feels like the powerhouses of the traditional publishing system might be doubling in size—if the merger goes through successfully, the new, New York-based hybrid company would control close to 25 percent of the American book market. But the merger talk has many people wondering, How can one company control one-fourth of all books bought and sold? How did the publishing market get to be so concentrated?
The 12th annual National Book Festival wrapped up this Sunday, ending the annual, two-day Washington book festival. Thousands of book lovers gathered on the iconic Washington Mall to hear from more 100 authors and illustrators, attend children’s performances and learn legal pointers from copyright experts who were on hand at the event.
While at the festival, I raced up and down the grassy lawn frequently, trying to attend as many speaking engagements and tutorial sessions as possible. But over the course of the two-day event, I would sometimes slow down just enough to find myself meeting the gaze of other attendees running across the festival grounds clasping their own bags of books. My goodness!, I thought. I’m surrounded by thousands of book lovers just like me!
The overwhelming sense of community became more apparent when I had to squeeze through crowds of people to get into the Junot Diaz speaking tent, and even more obvious when I had to fight to get an empty seat at the David Levithan book talk.
In one particular instance, the crowd had to be reminded to give an author his personal space: While introducing famed “Goosebumps” author R. L. Stein, Washington Post children’s book reviewer Mary Quattlebaum had to ask the audience (which was made up mostly of adults) to “please don’t mob him after the show.” I, like many audience members, felt touched by her request.
Remarkably, audience members took the opportunity at nearly every speaking engagement to question authors about their own writing techniques. Many of the questions came from aspiring writers who wanted to learn how to improve their writing and better navigate the publishing industry.
Here are a few noteworthy tips that were shared from authors this weekend:
One of the things that bothers me about writing today is that people think that publication is the goal. No, writing the best is the goal. You have to keep working. – David Levithan
Don’t delete anything you have written, just keep it in the graveyard and it might resurrect one day. – David Levithan’’
Don’t worry about getting approval on your work, don’t worry about sounding good. Keep working. You’ve got to jump out of that judging place. People have this idea that their worst enemy is going to read their writing. I promise you, your worst enemy is not going to read you anyway. – Junot Diaz
When I write, I map out an outline first. That’s the hardest part. When you plan everything out, there’s no way you can get writers block. You’ve already done the hard part. – R. L. Stein
I don’t believe in writers block. I think its more of my subconscious telling me to do something. I have found that inspiration is overrated. Don’t wait on inspiration. The best way to get inspired by something is to keep working. It will come. – Nalo Hopkinson
It helps to have a strategic audience in mind when you write. If you’re not sure who your audience is, you’ll find yourself explaining everything. Universal writing comes from writing for 2 or 3 people. – Junot Diaz
Remember to read. I read [Ray] Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes” once a year to remind myself what good writing is like.” – R. L. Stein
When I’m writing, I do three things. First, I go for a walk or do something physical. Second, I talk to a friend. I like to talk to my partner. Third, I join a club with other writers who are good critiquers. – Nalo Hopkinson
Sometimes your work is dead on the page because of the distance. I like to experiment with the second person because I know I’m bad at it. The road to whatever your process is must go through sucking. – Junot Diaz
Publishing is super simple. Don’t worry about the process until the book is done because you’re distracting yourself and muddling the art. – Junot Diaz
Secretly reading young adults books in your free time? You’re not alone in doing so. According to a new report served up by Bowker Market Research, adults purchase more than half of all young adult books sales.
The biannual survey, called ” Understanding the Children’s Book Consumer in the Digital Age,” found that 55 percent of buyers of books that publishers designate for kids (typically for teens ages 12 to 17) known as “YA books” are 18 or older, with the largest segment aged 30 to 44, a group that accounted for 28 percent of young adult sales. The report found that 78 percent of older YA readers purchase books for their own reading.
Kelly Gallagher, vice president of Bowker, said that the study come after Bowker staff noticed a disparity between the number of young adult e-books being purchased and the relatively low number of kids who claim to read e-books. Gallagher said that a large portion of YA book sales have come after the pop-culture explosion of The Hunger Games.
“The extent and age breakout of adult consumers of these works was surprising,” Kelly Gallagher. “And while the trend is influenced to some extent by the popularity of The Hunger Games, our data shows it’s a much larger phenomenon than readership of this single series.” Thirty percent of survey respondents reported they were reading works in the Hunger Games series, and the remaining 70 percent of readers reported a vast variety of titles (over 220).
According to Publishers Weekly, the trend is good news for publishers, as these adult consumers of YA books are among the most coveted demographic of book consumers overall. Additional insights from the study show adult YA readers are:
- Early Adopters: More than 40% read e-books, equivalent to the highest adoption rates of adult genres of mystery and romance
- Socially Active: Although more than half of respondents reported having “no interest” in participating in a reading group, these readers are very active in social networks and often get recommendations from friends.
- Committed: 71% say that if an e-book of their desired title was unavailable, they would buy the print book instead
- Loyal: Enjoying the author’s previous books has a moderate or major influence over the book choice for more than two-thirds of the respondents
Remember when we said that authors should try to keep abreast of the book reviews that they receive online? Well, one author may have taken that advice a little too far: Crime RJ Ellory recently got busted by the writing community for writing positive and negative book reviews on Amazon.com. Using pseudonyms, the British writer faked positive reviews for his own work, and, wrote, you guessed it, negative reviews for books written by his competitors.
Ellory’s secret work to destroy the competition went public after writer Jeremy Duns exposed Ellory’s fake review names on Twitter. After careful online analysis, Duns discovered that Ellory was posting reviews under at least two pseudonyms, “Jelly Bean” and “Nicodemus Jones.”
In one review of Ellory’s best-selling book “A Quiet Belief in Angels,” he said (with fake account): ”Just buy it, read it, and make up your own mind. Whatever else it might do, it will touch your soul.” The novel has sold over a million copies worldwide.
Since the media backlash, the reviews have been taken down. Duns and others have tweeted the images since then.
Ellory’s publisher, Orion Books, released a statement about controversy:
“The recent reviews – both positive and negative – that have been posted on my Amazon accounts are my responsibility and my responsibility alone. I wholeheartedly regret the lapse of judgment that allowed personal opinions to be disseminated in this way and I would like to apologise to my readers and the writing community.”
The Crime Writers Association has taken note of what transpired.
“Like others in publishing, we became aware recently of the practice of authors assuming fake identities on blogs, Twitter or Amazon to promote their own work, and in some cases, allegedly give bad reviews to that of other writers,” the Crime Writers Association said in a statement.
“The CWA feels this practice is unfair to authors and also to the readers who are so supportive of the crime genre,” they wrote. “It does not fit with our ethos of supporting all published crime authors and promoting the crime genre.”
Well, the times have changed. In a recent post on her blog, career maven and well-known blogger Penelope Trunk wrote about her decision to forgo tradition publishing and choose to self-publish her book, titled “The New American Dream: A Blueprint for a New Path to Success.” In the article, Trunk calls traditional publishing methods ineffective and outdated. Here’s a sample:
Print publishers have no idea who is buying their books.
More than 85% of books sales are online, mostly at Amazon. It used to be that a print publisher could look at the data about which stores are selling the book and which are not, and then they’d have a good handle on who is buying the book. Suburban people or city people. Northern people or Southern people. Business book stores or gay and lesbian bookstores. It was decent demographic data. But Amazon tells the publishers nothing. So the publishers have no idea who is buying their books. Amazon, meanwhile, is getting great at understanding who is buying which book. The person who has the relationship with the customer is the one who owns the business.
Print publishers have no idea how to market online.
The old ways that publishers promote books, like TV spots and back-of-book blurbs are over. They don’t sell books in an online world. Those offline marketing tactics have no accountability, whereas online marketing is a metrics game. If you tell people to buy something, you have very good data on what caused them to buy. You know the marketing message that drove them. You know the community you were talking to, you know how many sales happened. Print publishers have been too arrogant to learn how to run a grassroots, metrics-based publicity campaign online. They cannot tell which of their online efforts works and which doesn’t because they can’t track sales. They don’t know how many people they reach.
What’s significant about the blog post is that Trunk has such a large fan following (from her blog and various businesses) that she could make a killing by selling her book to a traditional publisher, and she still decided that it was a better money maker for her to sell herself it online. When major authors are choosing to skip traditional publishing, it may be time for aspiring writers to pay attention.
Here are a few more conclusions from her post:
- Self-published books are the new business card. It’s a way to remember someone and also know what’s interesting about them.
- The only reason to have a print book is to be in Barnes & Noble. You can achieve just about every goal you might have for book publishing by publishing it electronically. An electronic book serves a lot of purposes: you can talk about bigger ideas than a blog post allows for. You give people an easy way to know you for your ideas. You can create a secondary revenue stream for yourself. A print book is mostly about vanity. It’s about being able to go into Barnes & Noble, when you are there for the magazines and the free Wi-Fi, and stroke your ego by holding your own book.
Is Trunk right by saying that traditional publishing (and marketing) is dead?
If you have ever sold or bought a book online, then you have seen them: extremely spiteful, negative reviews that often step outside the boundary of constructive criticism. Or, you have also seen comments that fall on the opposite end of the spectrum on book review websites— these are off-topic comments about religion, sex or politics that have little to do with the book. Both sets of comments are bad for authors because they take the discussion away serious dialogue about the book at hand.
In today’s digital climate, many authors are deciding to pay attention to the discussions about their work. Writers are responding for two main reasons: they want constructive feedback and they want to engage with their customers.
While it can be a tough choice for an author to decide whether they should respond to hurtful or off-topic reviews, online readers benefit from knowing that authors are paying attention to discussions about their work.
Writers can look to author D.C. Pierson for a recent example of an author successfully paying attention to conversations about his work. When a student, frustrated by a homework assignment, turned online to Yahoo Answers for a review of Pierson’s book “The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To,” Pierson responded to her with a lengthy post that urged the student to consider reading the book. After nearly two weeks of applause, and lots of media attention, the student deleted her question from the Yahoo website.
So how does an author decide when to respond to a negative review? Here are a few tips:
Take the time to take your emotions out the equation. Return to the review when you are calm.
Find the nugget of truth.
Get to the heart of the criticism to find the constructive feedback. What information can you use in the future? Some feedback may help for you long-term.
Treat the review like a customer service issue.
Accept the criticism and offer a solution or alternative. In some cases, it may be possible to offer the reader a refund or credit.
Examine the reviewer.
Perhaps the reviewer simply enjoys writing negative comments. Check to see other comments that they have left. If you see a negative pattern with the reviewer, do not feel hurt by the comment.
After years of lobbying publishers to keep academic textbooks affordable for students, nothing seems to be working–many publishers simply are not responding to public pressure to lower their book prices (despite the fact that the federal government did a lengthy investigation into textbook prices in 2007). It seems there is too much money to be made off college students by publishers. But hope is not lost: One non-profit is using a new, creative strategy to put some of the power back into the student’s hands.
This week, 20 Million Minds Foundation, an organization dedication to reducing textbook costs, launched the “20MM Textbook Price Comparison Sweepstakes,”a contest that will provide scholarships to students who compare bookstore textbook prices. The contest aims to direct college students to cheaper textbook-buying options.
Students can use a textbook comparison search tool offered on the organization’s website. According to the organization, the tool can help students save 50 to 80 percent on textbooks.
I applaud 20 Million Minds for coming up with such a great tool, but I do have to wonder where was this tool when I was in college? I spent a great deal of time comparing prices on my own getting half off on my books from places like AbeBooks. The process took forever, and I also had to take a huge financial risk by buying all of my books on credit. Over course, I was one of a small handful of students working so hard to save money–most students just took out more student loan debt to pay for their books (or consulting their parents, who may have also relied on loans).
Hopefully, the price comparison tool makes it easy for students to afford the books that they need for their classes, and tells publishers to stand down on textbook prices.
Here’s a fact most people don’t know: Many American libraries have e-book systems in place that allow library users to download ebooks remotely onto their e-readers. Unfortunately, some of the largest American publishers will not allow libraries to offer e-books out of fear that library patrons will illegally steal and share those same e-books. In the meantime, public libraries will have to offer patrons a fraction of the big-name book titles on the market.
While Americans library patrons wait for publishers and libraries to figure things out, it looks like library systems in the United Kingdom may be a step closer to finding ways to offer library patrons e-books. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s culture minister Ed Vaizey will announce an independent review into ebook lending. Here’s more on this:
The DCMS said Vaizey had been “actively engaged” in finding a solution to issues around ebook lending for “some time”, and had held a number of meetings with library and publishing experts and other interested parties. “He is delighted that his proposals for an independent review of ebook lending are gathering cross-party support and looks forward to working with publishers, library professionals, local authorities and members from both sides of the House in taking these forwards. We expect to make a detailed announcement shortly,” said a spokesman.
Thanks to new e-publishing technology introduced by the International Digital Publishing Forum, a global trade and standards organization, several top publishing companies now have the ability to track the activities of their e-book customers.
In a dim Spanish restaurant in Washington, D.C., a room filled with comedy writers—a lesser known niche of writers—received sound business advice this week from a Dan Nainan, a veteran in the performance industry. After speaking for a short time about the ends and outs about making it as a standup comedian, Nainan’s lecture gradually shifted into a dialogue on the ways that comedians and writers can market themselves and sell their work more effectively.
“I’ve sometimes blocked doorways after shows so that more people could come to my table,” Nainan said, referring to the strategy that he uses to recruit people to buy merchandise from him after comedy shows. And judging by the line of buyers that approached his merchandise table after he finished speaking, he knows what he is talking about. He offered all writers at the meeting a special rate discount on his products: $10.00 for copies of his DVD show, book (titled How to Become a Full-time Stand-up Comedian) and a one copy of his business card.
There were a few points that Nainan made that all writers can find helpful, namely:
Speak Up. Nainan described an experience where he met a famous comedian backstage before a show and found himself too scared to promote himself. Now, Nainan says that he jumps at opportunities to speak to agents, managers and audience members. He makes it a habit to make sure that all audience members get his business cards after his shows. All writers can benefit from promote themselves to anyone who will listen.
Take the Business Seriously. Get a website and a set of business cards that highlight you as a writer. So no, handing out your daytime business card to agents and editors won’t cut it.
Educate Yourself. Take an improvisation class. Go to open mics. Join a sketch comedy group. Get as involved in the creative writing industry as possible.
Naomi Rappaport is a contributor for Wrightspeak.
A new study on the connection between children’s books and ebooks finds that parents prefer to read print books to their children and the results suggest that children prefer print books to children’s ebooks. The survey, which was conducted by the non-profit Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, confirmed the parental preferences suggested not long ago in a New York Times article.
How the Ebook Revolution is Changing the Quality of Published Work
For centuries, aspiring writers have vied for the attention of publishers and literary agents in the hopes that one day, their work could be appreciated by the world. But with the digital content revolution and self-publishing on the rise, many authors are forgoing the song-and-dance of begging book industry experts to notice their work, and deciding to publish their own books using popular services such as Amazon and Lulu.