I managed to cobble together a few non-specific questions that some debut authors have agreed to
answer (bless them). And so I bring you the submission interview series - Submission Hell - It's True. Yes, it's the SHIT.
Today's guest is Amy McNulty, author of Nobody’s Goddess (Book One in The Never Veil Series), coming April 21st, 2015 from Month9Books.
How much did you know about the submission process before you were out on subs yourself?
As much as I could possibly find out! I usually feel better about things I have little control over when I exert at least some level of control, and keeping informed was about the only thing I could do at that point. I scoured the Internet for any author submission experiences and that’s actually how I found this blog. (This SHIT series is easily the most informative on the web!)
We’re told to be careful about saying we’re on submission because an editor might like your manuscript a year into the process, google you and discover some tweet or blog post from long before about you starting submissions. Then she realizes a.) she was far from your first choice and b.) lots of other editors have probably said no to you at that point, so maybe the book isn’t as hot a property as she thought. So it’s hard to find out much about submissions until an author has been through it all, and even then, the author can’t exactly air all of the details. Still, I had a general idea.
Did anything about the process surprise you?
I guess the need for secrecy did. Obviously, I know authors can’t share details while editors are considering the manuscript and contracts are pending, but it really hadn’t occurred to me that an editor who might be interested could be discouraged from buying your manuscript because she discovered you’d started submissions long before she read it. There are so many factors that need to come together to get an offer, and that’s about the only thing the author has any control over. (Besides writing a great book and finding a good agent, of course!)
Did you research the editors you knew had your ms? Do you recommend doing that?
I wanted to know what imprints my agent was contacting and which ones requested it, but I didn’t feel the need to know names at that stage. (I would just spend too much time researching those editor’s deals if I did.) My agent did share some of the names when we heard back with positive comments or got rejections. With the ones who seemed hopeful, I sure did research their names, looked at what they bought and how often they bought titles, and found interviews with them. (Like after I got an R&R, I found an interview with that editor saying she rarely offered that, and an R&R meant she was really interested, so I got my hopes up!)
It helped me feel a little more involved, but at the same time, it made it harder when the eventual rejections came in, so if you can handle that, sure, do some research. Your time is better spent working on the next manuscript, of course. (But be honest, it’s harder to write when you’re distracted with the thought of an email maybe appearing in your inbox that might change your life—or send you back to square one.)
What was the average amount of time it took to hear back from editors?
My agent managed to get some really fast replies, in my opinion! I’d say on average, we heard back within two to three weeks. (The outright rejections came in quickest.) I probably waited no longer than two to three months for any response, other than ones who wound up being no-responders.
What do you think is the best way for an author out on submission to deal with the anxiety?
I know I’m supposed to say write the next manuscript and I do believe that. Sometimes it’s really hard to write in that frame of mind, though. So if you’re not going to be writing, get away from your email inbox as much as you can and have fun! Distract yourself with hobbies and friends.
If you had any rejections, how did you deal with that emotionally? How did this kind of rejection compare to query rejections?
Maybe it’s just because you passed the first hurtle, but I found that editor rejections were often more detailed than query rejections, which was nice. They were almost unilaterally complimentary and kind, pointing out what they liked as well as what didn’t work for them, so that really cushioned the blow. The worst were the rejections that came after an R&R or after at least after expressing some interest or saying they were getting second reads. I got a couple of those right before I went to an ALA con (as a member of the public, not a librarian), about a year into the submission process and after a couple of major rewrites. I found myself surrounded with books and authors who’d accomplished my dream and I almost started to cry before remembering the fact that I was there as a reader, and I was there to cheer other authors on. I eventually did start focusing on my next project, thinking I might have to shelve my first one, and that’s when we finally got an offer!
If you got feedback on a rejection, how did you process it? How do you compare processing an editor’s feedback as compared to a beta reader’s?
We got a lot of feedback, but there was almost nothing that was the same from one editor to the next except one thing that a few editors mentioned—the one thing I refused to budge on. (Eventually I made the inclusion less jarring thanks to my editors’ help, but part of the reason I went with Month9Books is because they got the manuscript and didn’t think an integral part of my novel needed to be replaced with something else.)
As for the rest, I chalked it up to individual tastes. I think when I got feedback from my beta readers, I was more apt to change things, especially when it came to clarification. However, when I started getting feedback from many people and what they liked and didn’t like clashed with each other’s opinions, I felt like there was no way to satisfy them all, so I had to just go with my gut. Between that, my agent’s guidance and doing our own big revision after the R&R failed, I think we got the manuscript to a good place. (It’s since been through a few more revisions post-offer, of course!)
When you got your YES! how did that feel? How did you find out – email, telephone, smoke signal?
I was at the airport with my boyfriend on my way to NYC to visit my boyfriend’s family when I checked my email and my agent told me Georgia McBride of Month9Books shared it with her team and there was positive feedback and she anticipated an offer was forthcoming. That wasn’t quite the same thing as an offer—and by then, I’d been close before and I was worried something would fall through (even though this was the owner of the imprint saying this, who wouldn’t have to get approval from higher-ups!)—but I almost felt like I left my body. I was euphoric all day, and it helped me not have to deal with my usual travel anxiety. I saw my agent during that trip and we discussed the idea of going with Month9Books, and when Georgia officially offered a few weeks later (another email moment, once I was back home with my feet on the ground), we accepted!
Did you have to wait a period of time before sharing your big news, because of details being ironed out? Was that difficult?
Yes! It was really hard! We finalized the contract and made the official announcement a little over three months after the offer, four months after that first “anticipating an offer” moment. Oh, boy, was it hard to keep quiet! Of course, I told my loved ones I could tell in person, but I had to settle for rewarding myself with an extra cookie after dinner while I kept quiet.
It will be called the: One of Each a Day Challenge...
Stupid titled, but that's okay. Plan is, visit a blog each day. Leave a comment on said blog. Promote something on Twitter and/or a social media of my choice(Examples of promoting are: a book release, book sale, cover reveal, some other sort of announcement, a blog post, or things of that sort-or other promotional type things). And post on any two of my sites daily. (I've got Twitter, Facebook, my blog, Pinterest, Google +, Tumblr, and Instagram)(With all those I shouldn't have a problem posting something...aside from how little I've even ever posted on a few of them. :/ )
This will be my only Tuesday post for now. I didn't plan on having Tuesday posts, but I forgot to post this yesterday so I'm just going with it. I mean, really, I should've posted it last week, but oh well. I'm a few days late on the whole first of the month thing, but I'll make up for it.
And that's that, guess we'll see how this turns out. Have a great day. See you tomorrow for a new Insecure Writer's Support Group post. :)
Anything happening this month that you'd like people to know about? Got a blog post you'd like me to promote or maybe a book release? Hell, want some new Twitter followers or some more blog traffic? Just let me know in the comments and I'll spread the word.
Today is the official launch of WRECKAGE! To celebrate I’m having a **CONTEST** that will run from Sunday, March 1st- Wednesday, March 4th. You can win a $25 Amazon gift card, signed copy of WRECKAGE or an audio version of the book (which is way cool,btw)
If you are one of the thousands who downloaded a pre-released ebook of WRECKAGE—
1-Take a picture with your Kindle
2-Post it on your FB page or Twitter feed
3- Make sure to link me in your post!
If you are waiting for your paper copy or are clicking “order” right now–
1-Take a picture of either your order confirmation (crop out all your personal info please) or a picture with the book when it arrives!
2-Post it on your FB page or Twitter Feed
3- Link me in your post!
BOOM! Entered. Good luck everyone!
In a way, I feel like I have three full-time jobs, or, more accurately, two full-timers and a part-timer, with writing itself, sadly, being the part-timer. Teaching is obviously the first one and the other is book promoting. It feels like all my spare time is spent doing things on various social media outlets to get my brand in front of as many people as possible. And when I'm not doing that, I'm making phone calls to set up signings and such.
The big emphasis this week has been Twitter. I realized that sales had come to a complete standstill, so I started reading blogs and websites with ideas on how to increase traffic on social media, specifically on Twitter. One suggested that I start following at least 25 people a day, which I did, beginning last Sunday. Actually on Sunday, I probably followed upwards of 100. I searched for the hashtag #booklover and followed a bunch of those folks in the hopes that they'd love my book too. I also followed fellow writers and anyone that seemed in any way about or interested in books, indie authors, or publishing. And it worked well. I started Sunday with 224 followers. As of this writing, I'm at 496 followers, so I've well more than doubled my following.
Yes, there were some glitches along the way. I started out just blindly following back anyone who followed me. That led to some rather embarrassing tweets filling my feed, such as ads for erotica and even pornographic videos. I had no idea how many sweet little old ladies are writing adult fiction and trying to sell it on Twitter. So I got a little more careful about who I followed back. There was also the issue of a constant stream of private messages advertising other authors' books. One of the first things I learned in a blog about Twitter etiquette was that you should not barrage people with PMs trying to get them to buy stuff. Apparently, not all authors read that post.
I've also done some work on Goodreads and Amazon with giveaways. There are three ways to get free copies of books. First, on Goodreads, you can go here and just register. No obligation whatever. You don't have to follow me or write a review or agree to receive a bazillion emails from me (I don't send out a bazillion emails anyway). But hurry--there's just one day left! You can also go here to enter to win one of five books from Amazon. The only requirement in this case is that you have to follow me on Twitter to be entered. Finally, and this one takes a tiny bit of work on your part, you can go here and ask me a question. I'll answer your question and one person will receive a free autographed copy of Harsh Prey or my next book, Kisses and Lies when it comes out in a couple months. But again, hurry--it ends soon.
So the good news is that I do have more people following me and retweeting my tweets. The bad news is that it's resulted in exactly zero sales so far. But I'm not losing hope. I'm banking on the idea that I'm planting seeds that will pay off in sales over time as I publish more and more books. By making people aware of my name and by putting free books in the hands of as many people as possible, the plan is to build a loyal following that will become my core audience as time go by.
Genre: YA fantasy
Word Count: 98,000
Leah Ellis never knew why she was found abandoned on the beach at two years old. Content with her adoptive family and small town life, she hadn't thought much about it over the years. That is, until her life takes a bizarre turn when she begins seeing images in mirrors she can’t explain--cloaked figures using powers that manifest like lightning bolts, or flash-frozen beaches on another world beneath a purple sky.
She practices mirror-gazing, driven to understand these images and their possible connection to her forgotten past, and discovers that it’s kind of addictive with its wild, boundless power coursing through her veins. Soon, she learns to control what the mirror shows her.
When new neighbors move in, Leah is shocked that they're dead ringers for the people in her visions. According to Brian, with the gorgeous ice-blue eyes, and his father, she is a MirrorMaster--an alien with a gift that lets her travel through mirrors, even to worlds light years away. Her birth parents sent them to take her from Earth back to her homeworld of Jantyr, a planet she doesn’t remember. They’ve searched for her ever since she disappeared.
But Leah’s long-lost birth sister, a sorceress, activated an ancient device to trigger a cataclysm on Jantyr as a bid to consolidate her own power. Leah must return to Jantyr, master her newfound ability in order to locate and wield crystals that will disable the device, and thwart her sister’s plans. Otherwise, the destruction will consume the entire galaxy, including Earth and everyone she loves.
THE MIRRORMASTERS is a 98,000-word fantasy for young adults. I have earned a graduate degree in Psychology from Widener University and work at a local residential facility serving autistic children and teens. My short story, "Unfinished," was published online on author Samantha Mabry's website, Flash Paranormal Fiction. My short science fiction/apocalyptic story, “Defying the Darkness,” is published through Novelty Fiction. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
Chilling music, followed by strangled sobs and hitching breaths, sent a shiver down my spine. On the television screen, the killer claimed his next victim. Flinching, I covered my eyes too late to avoid the sight of a woman’s body sprawled on pavement, blood-soaked hands clutched around her throat. I wrinkled my nose and turned to my brother David and best friend Kara, who sat on the love seat engrossed in this cheesy old movie. The screen faded to black. As the end credits rolled, I grabbed the remote and changed the channel.
“Let’s watch something light when Jenny gets here,” I said.
“Leah, Leah, Leah.” David shook his head. “Don’t tell me you want to watch some lame comedy when we can have a slasher fest. Besides, it’s tradition.”
“Come on!” I shot him a pleading look. “I’m sure you breezed through finals, but I took three AP exams this week. I deserve a break from crazy.”
Every single year on this date, June 15th, strange things happened. Mysterious pulses of light flickered in the forest. Not-quite-solid figures appeared in the cemetery one second and disappeared the next. All day, I couldn’t shake the intuition that this year would bring something much worse than the usual weirdness, but it was easier to blame my anxiety on normal things like school.
By the basement’s dim recess lighting, I checked the grandfather clock. It read 10:50 pm. Oh, no. Oh, no. Jenny should have showed over an hour ago.
Think of Flannery O’Connor, Graham Greene, J.R.R. Tolkien and G.K. Chesterton and many others whose writings reflected the thoughts of the great writer Gerard Manley Hopkins: “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” This is the “stuff” of literature that wins the Tuscany Prize.
Do you have a manuscript? A Novel? A Young Adult Novel? A short story? Would you like it published? Does your story have themes of faith and struggle, of grace and nature, atonement, courage, redemption and hope? Whether it is fiction, historical fiction, mystery, fantasy or humor, the Tuscany Press is open to all genres. We seek original great stories of unpublished/self-published works of fiction. Are you the next great writer of Catholic fiction? We invite you to send in your manuscript.
Submission Deadline: June 30, 2015 - See more at: http://tuscanypress....h.7p36baCX.dpuf
2015 Tuscany Prize Release.pdf (153.1KB)
I have a new giveaway to tell you about! This one is simply massive!
Giveaway runs February 13 to February 20, 2015.
Author Marissa Dobson and over thirty other authors–myself included–have teamed up to present over 30 giveaway items to several lucky winners. Will one of them be you? (Marissa has even offered up a Kindle Fire for one lucky winner!)
Are you feeling lucky?
Enter for a chance to win the funny and heartwarming tale of Champagne and Lemon Drops in audiobook format to keep you company while you drive, workout, or clean the house. With 9 hours of laughs, I think a road trip with the girls is in order!
Enter the Giveaway Here:
Giveaway includes over 25 ebook romances to be won, several audiobooks, gift cards, paperbacks, as well as swag and Marissa’s Kindle Fire. Good luck!
Did you know my newsletter subscribers just got a free book from me? Don’t miss out. Get in on it here: www.jeanoram.com/freebook.
Psst. Want to tell your friends? You can tweet this post by clicking here: A chance to #win over 30 #romance prize items in this massive #giveaway via @jeanoram.
For some products, content marketing will be your marketing bread and butter. For others, it will be a side business but not your main revenue source. Here are some other truths about content marketing all marketing directors should know.
You don’t need a team of specialists to make content marketing work
Yes, big businesses tend to hire big teams to run their marketing and they’re able to see correspondingly large returns on their investment. But small businesses can have success too, even without teams of writers, researchers, and editors. Even marketing departments of one can find that content marketing is successful, but Business2Community.com warned that you shouldn’t compare yourself to businesses bigger than yours.
B2C also reported, “60% of B2C small business marketers plan to increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months, knowing that it can be a very effective strategy for brand awareness and lead generation.”
You don’t have to go viral to be successful
Viral marketing can be very profitable and really good viral videos create great press for your brand. But you shouldn’t focus too much on the numbers. B2C said that some publishers, like The Verge, “discourage their writers from even looking at traffic numbers so they don’t get too caught up in the numbers and forget the goal they initially set out to achieve, which is to deliver great, original editorial content that speaks to the reader.”
Ignore numbers, focus on message
It’s tough to ignore the numbers when it seems hard to measure your success in any other way, but an important thing to remember about content marketing is that its success isn’t always quantifiable. Sometimes it’s just another exposure in a customer’s purchasing journey and they haven’t made up their minds to buy something yet. Sometimes it’s what introduces someone to your brand for the first time, but they’re far from loyal customer as of yet.
Set realistic goals
The more often you can create good, quality content the better, but if you have a small team of marketers, don’t force yourself to come up with 3 blog articles a week, a daily social media post, along with several marketing emails. Start small and don’t try to do more than you can maintain at a high level of quality.
Marketing News brought to you by ClickToCallMarket.com
content marketing, marketing success, target audience
Go straight to the source
One of the best ways to advertise to Millennials is by actually working with them, according to Tech Radar. Many Millennials make their living by blogging and building rapport with an online audience. That means they can reach a lot more people than you and bring you a lot of new customers. Rather than messing around trying to build your own audience online, just let them do the work. One of the best ways to do this is through pay per call marketing. They do all the online advertising for you, and all you have to do is pay them every time a new customer calls in for more information. It is one of the best ways to use Millennials to reach each other on the internet without your business even having to get involved.
Legitimate businesses online
If a Millennial cannot find your business online, they will not even consider talking to you. This is because they believe that a legitimate business will be on the internet. It’s not even just being online though. You also have to have a really good website that shows who you are and what you are doing. The more information a Millennial can find out online about your business, the better. You might want to give your website a little makeover or spend some time fixing up your social media. Better yet, focus on getting better online reviews for your business.
One thing Millennials love is looking at reviews to figure out whether or not your business is good enough for them. It is easier than ever to simply Google a company or even just check with friends to find out whether or not a business is any good. People don’t feel the need to try new things without first having someone else recommend it. With better reviews, you’ll get more business. Legitimize your business by boosting your online presence, and you’ll find that Millennial marketing works for you.
Marketing News brought to you by paypercallmarket.com
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