David Henry Sterry on Dawn Smith: How to Get Published, Reading, Writing & Confessions of a Sex Maniac
Interview about how to get published, reading, writing, sex and life on Dawn Smith Books. Buy the printed version of my new novella Confessions of a Sex Maniac for $4.99 & get a free 20 minute consultation for your writing worth $100 from The Book Doctors. (with proof of purchase)
Describing your story in the constrained arena of a one minute pitch
without comparing yourself with other writers can be difficult. It’s a
crutch that many of us use to create a sense of understanding but it
can also backfire. Here’s a tip on how to get your point across
without relying on others to define your piece:
“Be careful about putting yourself in the company of great and famous
authors. ‘Early Philip Roth with a dash of Jane Austen’ can’t stand
alone as a pitch. You’re sure to turn someone off if you compare
yourself to literary giants. Instead, construct a pitch that
specifically explains how your book will speak to the audience of
those uber-authors: ‘What happens when the repressed male sexuality of
Alexander Portnoy meets the strong-minded, spunky joie de vivre of
Elizabeth Bennett? Watch the sparks fly in The Shiksa of
Herefordshire, a new twist on the old battle of the sexes.’”
For more information turn to page 69 of your copy of “The Essential
Guide to Getting Your Book Published” by Arielle Eckstut and David
Henry Sterry. Don’t have a copy of your own? Pick up a copy right here
bookstore and get a FREE 20 minute consultation with The Book Doctors
(with proof of purchase).
Happy writing! See you at the bookstore. The Book Doctors
Friday Friday Friday! The work week is moving into the rear view mirror and the weekend is staring us in the face. So we’re starting Fridaywritingtips. To elucidate, illuminate, and inspire. And please feel free to ask questions: about books, publishing, writing, the meaning of life, whatever.
This week is all about The Idea. Here’s an insider’s tip. The greater your idea, the better your chances of getting successfully published. But what makes a great idea? It’s original yet familiar. New fangled but old fashioned. It fulfills a need. Scratches an itch. Solves a problem. Takes us on a wild ride. Makes us laugh or cry or fall in love. Fills a hole in the market. Most of all, it has a big passionate audience.
“’Now it’s time for some self- assessment. Do you really have something new to say? Something only you can put into words?’ Neal Sofman, owner of San Francisco’s BookShop West Portal, says ‘The thing I notice with successful authors is that they have a unique voice that communicates to their audience. They touch you in some way. You know immediately who’s speaking because they’re so distinct.’ Many, many people spend years and years writing and trying to market books that end up as recycled paper precisely because they’ve failed to capture their uniqueness on the page. And those who fail often become bitter and frustrated, sliding sadly into desperate lives of drugs, booze and literary criticism.
Which gets us back to your idea. ‘Is it so compelling that a person will plop down his hard-earned money for a copy of your book?’ asks Jim Levine, founder of the Levine Greenberg Literary Agency and author of seven books. ‘Your friends and colleagues will say, “that’s a great idea,” which is different from saying, “that’s such a good idea, I’d pay $25 if you write it” most authors don’t realize the difference here.’ How can you tell the difference? Now is the time to put to good use whatever bits of self-knowledge you possess. Consult your therapist, your inner children, your guru, your webmaster, your e-friends on Facebook and as many other people as possible. And not just your mother and BFF’s who believe that nothing but sunshine pours out of you. The more you know in your heart that you are the perfect author for your book and that your book is salable and/or necessary, the better your chances of convincing someone else. Remember: Every day, another writer nobody ever heard of gets a deal to publish a book. And now, you on’t even have to have a publisher if your idea is great enough and you can get it into the heads, hands and hearts of your large and passionate audience.”
Want to learn more? Go to page 79 of “The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published” by Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry.. Buy a copy of the book at your local bookstore or from: http://thebookdoctors.com/
Happy writing! See you at the bookstore. The Book Doctors
sweet review of pitchapalooza from randa’s fans, by a total cynic skeptic
georgetown patch on pitchapalooza @ politics & prose http://georgetown.patch.com/blog_posts/country-mouse-review-of-pitchapalooza-part-1-introduction
Some small advice about how to get published & whatnot on Gotham Writer’s Wokrshop website! http://www.writingclasses.com/WritersResources/AuthorAdviceDetail.php/author_id/195073
Washington Post with a lovely piece about David Henry Sterry, Arielle Eckstut, P0litics & Prose, The Book Doctors & Pitchapalooza
Very nice piece on Vermont Public Radio about Pitchaplooza @ Northshire, one of our favorite bookstores in the world.
You wrote your 50,000 words (or got pretty close!). You’re a winner. You’ve been congratulated. You felt the high. But here’s the 64-gigabyte question: What do you plan to do with your one wild and precious manuscript? If you’re like the approximately one gazillion writers we know, you want to get published. And you want to get published successfully. You want readers to devour your book ravenously; you want raves glowing in blog posts; you want bookstore owners to hand-sell your book so fast it’s literally flying off the shelves; you want to trade barbs with Steven Colbert; you want readings in front of rapt devotees; you want to go viral at the speed of one of those krazy kitten movies. But how? This is where we, The Book Doctors, come in. It’s our job to help writers make their dreams come true. It’s what we did with our first Pitchapalooza winners, Nura Maznavi, & Ayesha Mattu, whose book, Love InshAllah, just hit the shelves. In the last week, they were profiled in the New York Times, had one of the most talked about pieces on the Huffington Post, and cracked the top 500 of all books sold on Amazon. Then there’s Pitchapalooza winner and NaNoWriMo veteran, Genn Albin. After she won Pitchapalooza, one of New York’s top agents sold her dystopian novel in a 3-book, 6-figure deal. Now we’re embarking on our second online Pitchapalooza exclusively for NaNoWriMo participants so that you, too, have a chance to win.
For those of you not familiar with Pitchapalooza, here’s the skinny: You get 200 words to pitch your book. You then email your pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org. Twenty-five pitches will be randomly selected from all submissions. We will then choose one winner from the group. The winner will receive an introduction to an agent or publisher appropriate for his/her manuscript. We will also award a fan favorite who will receive a free one-hour consult with us (worth $250). All pitches must be received by February 29, 2012. The twenty-five random pitches will be posted on March 5, 2012. Winners will be announced on March 15, 2012. Anyone can vote for fan favorite, so get your social media engine running as soon as the pitches go up!
You may be thinking, “I can’t sum up my entire book in 200 words!” Let us say this: “Yes you can!” Your pitch is the first thing an agent, editor, publisher, bookseller, and often reader, will look at. In this age of one-minute attention spans, if your pitch doesn’t blow the person you’re pitching out of the water, you’ll get that dreaded letter that starts: “Dear Writer, Unfortunately…” We don’t want you to get any more of those letters. So enter the 2nd Annual NaNoWriMo Pitchaplooza by sending us a kick-ass pitch for your kick-ass novel. Who knows, maybe this year, the golden ticket will have your name on it.
P.S. Like last year, we’re offering free 20-minute consultations (worth $100) to anyone who buys a copy of The Essential Guide To Getting Your Book Published. Just attach a copy of your sales receipt to your email and we’ll set up your consultation.