Monday, January 7, 2008

Marketing in your proposal and H.I.G.H. 5

Great comments from Friday.

I'm late putting this up tonight but I'm committed. I am updating this blog while watching the OSU-LSU Championship game. Currently LSU is up 24-10. I am a diehard Buckeye so I'm waiting for a rally.

Well, I love the chatting we've been having. I have been thinking about marketing and research when you're writing a proposal. How much do you research your market before you dig in to writing a proposal. I have to confess, many times I have a book written and I have to wonder "What other book is out there like this?" Then I dig around and find a few, check them out, and write up my marketing section.

I know it's not the best but honestly, I try to avoid any books that at all resemble mine when I'm working on an MS so that I can be sure I don't accidentally copy someone else's plot point, character, or setting.

The only difference is when I'm working on articles. When I'm working on an article I read four or five articles from a few different issues of the magazine so I get a feel for the magazine's voice. I met an author once who wrote genre romance and she said she'd read three books back to back in the line then pick up and start writing her own. I can see some merit to that as well.

Finally, I read book reviews. Although it makes me hungry to read more books than I could in a lifetime it gives me a bit of a sense of what the market is doing and if there is something of note [strong characterization or dialog] mentioned in the review then I'm sure to grab the book to improve my own craft.

I guess I'm not sold on which way is best to feel out the market. I'm curious what you think out there.

H.I.G.H. part 5

So here I was with a prompting to begin to write again. I told you I made my first of many mistakes at this point. See, life was good. I didn't want to shake things up. I had always wanted to write but I was successful where I was. I was comfortable. I had a 1 year old and a 3 1/2 year old. I was busy. There was no time.

But I didn't ignore the prompting entirely. I did start to write down some of my ideas on that 10 year old manuscript. I still knew the plot line and I knew I wanted to be published. So I found a bunch of novels in the house and I started looking at the names of the publishers. I googled those publishers and then went to their websites.

Have any of you done that? What was the first thing you saw?

"No unsolicited manuscripts"

Surely that didn't mean ME?? Well, I decided that probably wasn't the right publishing house for me. So I looked at another book...and another...All said the same thing. Rejection again, and just when I'd started. I tried to google things like publish your book or write a novel but what I found wasn't what I needed. I needed someone to show me how to do it. How to get from my dream to a printed book.

I was stuck.

So, once again I tucked that dream of mine away. That was April 2002. Business was good. Life was good. Great husband, two healthy girls, owned our own house. Writing was bad. No one was going to ever see my writing.

Within 3 months everything had turned upside down. My life started to change in ways I could have never imagined faster than I could have ever dreamed.

See you tomorrow.

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