Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Publication Party! Session Five - author Lisa Maliga

Welcome, everyone, to our fifth session! Last week we enjoyed Helen M Hunt speaking about her first love, writing short stories which many of you found so helpful. This week we move to the world of novel and non-fiction writing with the wonderful storyteller, Lisa Maliga.

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):

Lisa Maliga is the author of four novels and a short story collection. She has written numerous articles on pets, horse therapy, skating, Buddhism, celebrities, and bath & body products. She is co-authoring a nonfiction paranormal book which will be released later this month. Visit Lisa @ "Leaving Nadir", the sequel to the amazing "Notes from Nadir" will be returning this spring.

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

Downloadable Books!

Notes from 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 @ 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.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the critique, yay!

What a wonderful array of writing accomplishments Lisa has. Great post.

Margo Benson said...

Thank you so much for the book win (doing happy dance!)

Another great publication party post. Question for Lisa: Do you now have people with business sense helping you or is it all just you?
I think, with the advent of e-readers, that many writers are having to become savvy with their own promotion.

I've just bought a Kindle and notice that until e-readers can handle colour, authors need to make sure their cover art renders well in monochrome.

Tony Benson said...

Hi Denise, Hi Lisa.

It's always good to hear other peoples' experiences with e-publishing. It's a path more and more people are chosing, and of course if you're self publishing then it also raises the questions of what to do yourself and what to pay a professional to do. The obvious candidates for professional help are cover design, editing and formatting.

Thanks for an interesting post.

Carol Kilgore said...

You've had quite an interesting writing path. Good luck going forward.

Sylvia Ney said...

What a great series the publication party has become - congrats!

I wanted to let you know about a giveaway I'm offering on my blog Come by if you get a chance!

Zan Marie said...

Hi, Lisa and Denise! It's been a great five weeks and meeting new writers is fun. I won't enter the contest this week, but don't forget I commented when you draw for the grand prize. ; )

notesfromnadir said...

Thank you so much for stopping by. It was very kind of Denise to invite me to post about my adventures in publishing.

Thanks, but many have accomplished a lot more than me.

Congrats on your book win!
Yes, I do have people w/ business sense helping me.

I'm really looking forward to a color Kindle. Meanwhile, using 1 of the apps allows you to see covers in color.

You're right, there are definitely a lot of questions & answers.

It continues to be very interesting! Thanks for your kind wishes!

Nas said...

Hi Denise, Hi Lisa.

It is great to read about you, Lisa. Wonderful writing accoplishments. All the best for the future.

Kittie Howard said...

Thank you for the interview with Lisa. She is an amazing talent, a joy to read.

Denise Covey said...

Wonderful support for Lisa here. She is a mine of info. Glad you're all enjoying the Pub Party series.


Cathy said...

Hello fellow crusader, you sound vivacious and delightful.

Jen said...

Hi Denise!

Boy it's been TOO LONG since I've stopped by. I apologize for that! Thanks so much for following over to my new blog :D

Congrats to your friend. And thanks, Lisa, for all the advice on the Indie publishing route.


M Pax said...

What a beautiful place to meet! Looks warm, too.

All success to Lisa. I enjoyed reading about your writing journey.

Rachael Harrie said...

Fantastic interview once again Denise, and great to hear Lisa's advice. She's so right about querying, I think. It's hard, isn't it, when you do everything right but someone who's interested in your book leaves the business!



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I know Lisa! Another great publication story.

notesfromnadir said...

Hi Nas & Kittie,
Thank you for your kind words & I wish you well in your writing journeys.

It's so great that you have this series!

Thank you kindly!

Jen & M Pax,
Thank you & there is so much valuable information online about publishing & all the options available.

Yes, you're right—but it's a great way to test one's interest in writing!

Hi Alex! :)

Elissa Graham said...

Denise *raises glass of bubbly* thanks for choosing one of my fav locales for this party. And thank you to Lisa for passing on the information about e-publishing.

Sarah Ketley said...

Hi there,

Just stumbled into your blog GO CRUSADERS!

I am just starting out on my writing journey. I am also from Brisbane and used to teach here for about 4 years. (until i decided to become a nurse)

great blog!!

thanks for the info about e-publishing. very helpful.

good luck with Crusade!


Constance (or Sarah)

Kari Marie said...

This is a great interview. Interesting path to publication, but it goes to demonstrate that there is more than one way to get there! Thanks.

I have a kindle, so you can enter me in the contest: kariwhite(at)charter(dot)net

Ellie Garratt said...

I enjoyed this post so much that even if I don't win, I'll be downloading Notes from Nadir!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Great publication party... I missed it again!

Busy helping out a friend

Nice to read about you Lisa,

Good luck....

mculi at aol dot com

Denise Covey said...

It is my pleasure to be hosting Lisa and what better place than Champagne region Elissa? Glad you agree.

Great to meet you Constance and Ellie, you'll love Lisa's book.

Michael: Glad you stumbled in, lol. I hope that critique's good!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Lisa's writing. Her Notes from Nadir is one of the best Indie's I've read lately!!!
Ann Best, Author

notesfromnadir said...

Thank you everyone!
Ann, your kind words are very much appreciated. I'm looking forward to reading your memoirs.

Denise Covey said...

And Ann, I read about your coming memoir when I was trolling WiDo Publishing the other day. It should be great.

The Words Crafter said...

I actually won a copy of her book and haven't had time to read it yet! It's been such a crazy year so far and I've been so behind!

I wanted to let you know I have a goodie for you on my blog today :)

Dawn Embers said...

It is definitely interesting to see this path that was achieved. I'm interested in the nonfiction paranormal, so it's something I will have to look into.

What interests me here is how there was the blog for the desire to write the story in particular and now there is more.

Great post.

Denise Covey said...

Thanks everyone. Your comments have been thoughtful and inspiring.

DEZMOND said...

ooooh, Lisa is one of my favourite bloggers ;) But she knows that.
Nice post!