Monday, November 25, 2013

NW Bookfest '13 Workshop Review #10: Get Published, Stay Published

(Image from:  Publisher's Weekly Blog)

For the final workshop of NW Bookfest '13, I chose to attend Get Published, Stay Published; hosted by Terry Persun.

No matter what genre you're writing, how much you write, or whether it's fiction or non-fiction; chances are Terry has experience writing it.  So you can't go wrong attending any seminar or workshop he's a panel member of, or hosting.  (He was part of the sci-fi panel I discussed three NW Bookfest posts ago).

Terry can talk fast, but don't worry because he usually has handouts--which he provides AFTER his class.  This is to prevent folks from merely snagging handouts and slinking out of the room.  Besides, reading handouts after a lecture reinforces learning.  Right?

Anyway, here's the gist of Terry's advice on getting and staying published--
--Learn the business
--Learn to write (well that is)
--Commit (set aside time to write every day, if not at least regularly)
--Data mine everything for ideas (work, hobbies, interests, travel, etc.)
--Build your repertoire (keep writing)
--Be courageous (keep submitting your work) and finally--
--Know yourself and what kind of writer you are.
Terry divided writers into two general categories:
1. Product Writers--write anything and everything according to the market.
2. Process Writers--write only what interests them.
What camp do you pitch your tent?  (I'd consider myself a process writer, because I feel I'd have a hard time writing about topics I have no interest in).
Terry considered the following to be Five Key Elements for maintaining your publishing momentum:
1. Account for your work.
--Establish a production goal.
--Have several projects going on simultaneously in order to limit the effects of writer's block.
--Circulate your finished work.
--Be organized.
--Have samples of your work handy.
2. Conceptualize your work.
--Make sure your copies are clean.
--Check spelling.
--Spell people's names (as in agents and editors) properly.
--Respond--positively/politely--to rejections.
--Send out groups of submissions, not just in single shots.
--Don't shortchange your clients.  Send them what they want and do your best work.
3. Create a Community of Equals.
--Find people who understand what you do.
--Ask for help (but be sure to provide help when asked)
--Stay in touch.
--Share your success.
4. Live the life of a writer.  (No this doesn't mean drinking yourself into a stupor).
--Go to writers conferences.
--Market yourself.
--Let readers know about your projects.
--Support the business you're in.  Buy books from your author friends.  (Besides this could be a tax write-off).
--Market your friends' works.
--Promote reading/literacy in general.
5. Treat writing like it's play.  Have fun! 
Remember, if you're bored with your writing, your readers will be too...


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