Monday, December 13, 2010

It's time...for COVER ART!

(Copyright © 2010 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited
® and ™ are trademarks owned by Harlequin Enterprises Limited or its affiliated companies, used under license.)

All I can say is YAY!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Figure out who you are...and then be YOU

My first tip. And the most important one I think. Again, I don't claim to be an expert on publishing or getting published. In this industry, I'm not sure you're an expert even after years of inking contracts, simply because things change so much in the publishing world over time. So, of course, take everything I say, figure out what--if anything--is useful to you, and throw out the rest.

Alright, on to my tip. I thought about this because tomorrow I'm acting as an editor so my friend's students can have a mock pitch session. Having done these from the author's end more times than I can count, I'm excited to sit on the other side of the table.

So, I got to thinking, what is the most important thing I've learned meeting so many different editors?

Simple. Be yourself.

So many people try to figure out what a particular editor, house, etc. want them to be...want their work to be. They write, trying to channel Faulkner or Hemingway, or whatever famous author they admire. When you do this, however, you lose the essence of your work. Your voice.

Editors don't want another Faulkner, Hemingway, Tom Clancy, etc. It's already been done. And most likely, any attempts to imitate will actually impair your work. Instead of focusing on the heart of your story, you're worried about sounding similar to those who have gone before.

So, find your own voice. And embrace it. Perhaps you don't write long, flowery, make-the-reader-weep-with-the-beauty-of-it prose. Maybe you are better suited to comedic writing than dark, brooding suspense.

Same goes for meeting editors or agents at a conference. Relax and be yourself. Whatever your zany quirks, or unique traits, they make you more personable...and real. These people are professionals and can spot a fake from a mile away. Authenticity is a plus.

Now, that doesn't give anyone the license to be rude (simply because that's how you normally are ;o), or creepy. So I suppose today has two tips. Be authentic. And respectful.

Any experiences with editors or agents that went brilliantly well or incredibly badly? Share and we'll all commiserate or celebrate together.