Tuesday, October 30, 2012

James River Conference Part 2

I am thankful, from the looks of Twitter-sphere anyway, that so many of our great speakers that were here recently at the James River Writers Conference are safe and sound.

Here are some more notes from the Conference.

For more great tips, notes, and such, go to Twitter and look for #jrwc12

Also check out Denise’s great blog posts of her notes - especially hers on the Website session.

Insight Into Your Site: Website 101
Erin Blakemore
Colleen Lindsay
Anna Sproul
Maya Payne Smart, moderator
Who needs a website and when? What should be included? Do you need book trailers and bells and whistles? Panelists will critique attendees’ websites, if desired, suggesting ways to improve content and navigation.

To think about -   What drives people to websites -   Concentrate on something to offer the world …think branding

Neil Gaiman - regularly visits his site, creates changes, and blogs regularly.  Doesn’t leave it static.

Tess Gerritson started with email list putting out creepy biological fact of the day.  

Chuck Wendig  TerribleMinds.com  his website  got him noticed / published.

Your website should be -  Simple    Consistent     and have Clear way to contact author

Absolutely present on a writer’s website:  
 All need an editor to make sure no typos or anything
Has a Professional image                          Good writing
Some professional head shots         
Have your Blog live on home page  
Make sure your site is Not static          Constantly refreshing content
If an active on Fb or Twitter presence but only if active   
Put a button for Fb  and / or Twitter button
Make sure have Contact info     
Place for comments on your website

These were mentioned as really wanted to see on author’s site -   
 high res  AND  low res pics,    Both B & W, and Color   
a short bio     and a more in depth longer bio.    
Downloadable press kit     
Front page dynamic    
Your Twitter acct.   But it should not take the place of your blog site.
Update your blog at least once a week.

Erin has blog tour / map of NY … pods casts, can listen to, etc…    Erin’s clean Blog   She paid $35 for a Wordpress Template
She has Buy Book button on each page

Trust the Gatekeepers
Molly Jaffa
Brad Parks
David Henry Sterry
Valley Haggard, moderator
Hear the benefits of working with an agent and learn secrets that will move your work out of the slush pile.

David talked about the Art of the Follow Up   Do follow up with agents - Very politely and recognizing they are people too. 

Molly takes digital submissions only.   Wait 6 wks or more to Follow up.   Gets 150 queries a wk. Maybe takes 2 new clients a year.
Yes, do multiple queries.  Agents expect it.  No need to say.    Agents at her place specialize in diff. Genres.
Know the market value of your book
Setting and managing expectation.
Places to look at on Line — Rachelle Gardner,      Absolute Write Cooler

Everyone wants that feeling of falling in love
Agents want to fall in love with your characters.

Make your Query Letter - query pitch   nothing like she has ever seen before 
Molly looks at way author has presented themselves on Twitter etc….
Googles their names … she cyber stalks people, and checks them out before offers to represent.  Makes sure they aren’t crazy-pants

With looking at brand new agent, look at the agency they’re with.
Molly recommends look for / get established shop

Brad Parks shared his personal experiences with agents.
His first agent had been an agent at a big publishing house.   But after getting really bad offer for his 3rd and 4th book - after his first two had done really well, he started asking around and no one had heard of his agent.
And that was why he was getting the awful offer.       So he fired the agent and got a new one.  

It was emphasized the importance of getting a Good agent.
When an agent negotiates for you, the publishing houses also keeps in mind the other clientele that agent handles.
The way it was put, your agent goes in with their whole clientele list sitting on their shoulder when they are negotiating for you / your book.

Have to know what your goals are.    Know what you want.

If getting form rejections all the time, you are doing something wrong.   Figure it out and change.

If start getting some better comments / not form rejections, getting better.

You should have the feeling that you have the best agent in the world.

With smaller agencies have to ask harder questions.

Sign up for Publishers Marketplace when ready to start querying process.
—— Mentioned in another session Not to use the printed ‘find an agent’ books, since they are usually old and out-dated by time come out.

Do Your Research

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