Tuesday, August 27, 2013

UCLA Writers Faire 2013

Publishing Today: Promoting Your Work and Branding Yourself as a Writer

Michelle Meyering
Maxine Lapiduss
Colette Sartor
Norman Kolpas
Tom Fields-Meyer

Pearls of wisdom

Norman: Part of “branding” is professionalism and producing writing that is engaging and clear.

Michelle: Read submission guidelines and follow them completely.

Maxine: Find your persona. How are you going to get your book out into the world? Publicity, branding, social media. You’re on your own. Start thinking about this in the beginning, not the end.

Colette: What are your themes? What is your niche? What is your collection? “Don’t go viral. Go human.” (from Writer Unboxed)

Tom: Have a story that fuels you that you have to put out into the world. Be passionate about it.

Norman: Do you need an agent?

Tom: Yes and no. It is easier to get published than ever before. But to find an audience, you need an agent. An agent is an intermediary that develops relationships with New York publishing houses. An agent is an advocate and a cheerleader.

Norman: An agent keeps the relationship with the editor pristine. It removes the business from the relationship [the writer has with the editor].

Colette: Having an agent to the do the negotiating is a beautiful thing.

Maxine: I couldn’t disagree more. You get a 7% royalty if you’re high up on the food chain. 93% goes the publisher. You pay the agent 15 to 20%. I’m not a big believer in agents. [Publishing right now] is all blown wide open. Getting seen drives an audience.

Michelle: Learn to represent yourself.

Norman: What are the advantages and disadvantages of publishing types today?

Michelle: Literary journals are a good place to start.

Norman: The first things you publish become your calling card. Can you deliver the goods?

Colette: Be professional, even if you get rejected. Editors and agents read other magazines. They will remember you if you’re professional.

Tom: Publish pieces of your book in other publications. Websites need things constantly. Even one article is good for credibility.