Today I thought we'd meet virtually at the source - the Champagne region of France. In case you haven't worked it out, I'm rather partial to good bubbles. So grab a glass of this exquisite tipple, and a hunk of one of those 400+ varieties of cheese, find a seat amongst the chateau grounds, and let's not miss a word the delightful Lisa speaks. Therein lies a cautionary tale...
But first, the prize winners from last week. The short-story partial critique goes to kangaroobee, and the book of short stories, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, goes to Margo Benson. Congratulations to you both. kangaroobee, contact Helen directly on her blog. I'll contact you for your address shortly Margo.
Now, here is a short bio of Lisa Maliga (sans photo):
Thank you Denise for inviting me to the Publication Party!
A decade ago I thought my writing career was going to be launched when an assistant editor at a large publishing house showed interest in one of my novels. She sent me a two-page letter filled with advice on how to improve my manuscript. I made all the suggested changes and sent the revised manuscript back to her. And I waited. And waited. Ten months later it was returned. By someone else. She no longer worked there.
Then I learned about e-publishing and how it was the "wave of the future." People could buy an e-reader or sit in front of their computers and read a book. It was also easy to get published. From 2000 until 2005 I've had books with various e-publishers. The problem was that I entrusted my work with people who had good intentions but not much business sense. I eventually withdrew all my titles I'd placed on sites and the rights reverted back to me.
In 2009 I knew I had to write about my time in Nadir. The best way to do so would be to create a blog and write in increments. In March, I began the blog, having written close to half my story in advance. I attracted an audience and some of the comments that were made helped me finish the book. Then I began revising it and expanding it to include my family members. I worked with an editor. By the end of October 2010 it was available on Kindle.
It's difficult to give advice as every writer is unique. If going the indie publishing route, writers need to have their work ready for people to read. It needs to be edited. The description of your work must be enticing. The cover art should capture a prospective reader's attention. Make sure the manuscript is formatted professionally.
If seeking an agent or publisher, you need to have a dynamic query letter. Carefully read the submission requirements and follow them as they vary. Always personalize your correspondence so it doesn't come across as a form letter. Just think of how you like to be treated as a writer and switch it around when dealing with agents/publishers. Be careful about who you want to represent or publish you. Go here first:
Lisa's Library of Writing
Notes from Nadir...now on Kindle!
Thank you so much Lisa. Some very helpful advice on getting published and some links to check out.
I've got Lisa's novel/memoir on kindle so I'm happy to rave about it. "Notes from Nadir" is a great story. It is a fictionalized tale of discovering that the past is never quite through with you -- even if you think it is. Clarissa Draper, one of our previous guest speakers has reviewed Lisa's "Notes from Nadir." Go here to read Clarissa's review so you can decide if you'd like to win a kindle copy from Lisa.
Which brings me to the prize...this week the prize on offer is Lisa's novel, "Notes from Nadir", the kindle version. If you don't have a kindle, you can download it free from Amazon and read your books online. That way you can even get to read free e-books, always good. Sorry, no critique offered this week.
Now before you leave:
•please leave a comment with your email address if you want to be in the draw for this week's book prize or the GRAND PRIZE and giveaway books and writing paraphanelia at the end of the series (you must comment on each post to win, starting at the first post. If today is your first day, go back to the previous sessions, read and leave a comment. I'm keeping track...) I attached links to all previous sessions in last week's post.
•ask Lisa a question or two
•if you're published (book/short stories), tell us about it in the comments
•e-mail me @ email@example.com if you'd like to find a Crit Partner.
Thanks for coming everyone! Winners for this week will be posted at the next party Wednesday February 16 when the delightful fantasy figure, N.R. Williams will fly in from her book promotion tour. Just as well her feet have wings. Don't forget you, dear guests, have until Monday February 15 at 8 pm NY time to enter for this week's prize.