Monday, August 07, 2006

it's been 4 days and i haven't blogged yet

Sorry for the lack of blogging. I guess I was out having a life for a few days. For instance, on Friday night I went with friends to go see Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. I had no or low expectations for this movie, but actually really enjoyed it. Saturday was the first Saturday I have had at home without responsibilities to other people for possibly 2 months. I honestly can't remember the last time I had a Saturday at home. So I slept in and took a really long nap. I know, this is great blogging material, right? But for me, a nap was ground breaking. I even cleaned my room. And while maybe this isn't exactly newsworthy to you, it was heavenly for me. But that brings us to Saturday night (are you on the edge of your seat yet?), where I had an unexpectedly great evening. I was the recipient of some free box seats at Wolf Trap for Saturday night to see the National Symphony Orchestra perform the Wizard of Oz. I invited along Steph, Boo (Amber), and Rae and we made a night of it. I didn't hvae many expectations for the night. I like the NSO and I like the Wiard of Oz, but I didn't think it sounded soooo fabulous. It just sounded, nice. I was greatly surprised to absolutely love the night. Seeing a classic movie, previously only seen on a TV, up on a huge screen with an amazing orchestra accompanying it was truly a unique experience. And getting to enjoy the benefits of just perfect box seats, great company and the private season ticketholder's club, really topped off the evening for me.
Continuing on with my calendar of events, Sunday was a Sunday. I went to church and came home and napped. Just what a Sunday should be, right? I liked it. And my first Sunday in ages without one church meeting? Priceless!
Okay, so there's my life, any questions?
I suppose there are more interesting things happening, but nothing I can make available for public consumption quite yet. Oh, but I did get my royalty check. Let me tell you a little secret. Being a writer really really does not pay. It took 1.5 years to write the book, 6 mos of editing, and then 6 more months to see it hit a shelf. Two years people! Two years!! And let's just say this royalty check (they come every six months) will barely even buy me a decent pair of shoes. Have I mentioned there is a link on the right side of this page where you can buy my book? Have I mentioned writing for the LDS community just basically sucks? And that I hereby refuse to write another book for my current publisher ever again? I'm writing other projects, but they will not be published for the LDS community. I don't know who will publish them, but it ain't gonna be Covenant. Oops, did I just trash my publisher publicly? Well, couldn't hurt anything. They haven't promoted my book yet, why would they start now?
End rant.

5 comments:

  1. It probably doesn't help that you don't live in Utah, where you'd be able to do signings and local appearances.

    If you decide to write fantasy, let me know. Also, if you would like advice on promoting the book yourself (at least half the promotions a book gets nowadays are from the author's initiative--you'll have to start doing that if you want your book to succeed)--let me know.

    You might want to start by offering to your local LDS store to do a signing. Since the book is so old, though, you might want to do it with your next one, if it does end up being LDS.

    Also, get involved in writer's communities if you haven't already. If you become friends with other writers, it becomes like a girlfriend's network--they promote you, you promote them. I can hook you up with at least two LDS chicklit authors if you email me.

    And you should find ways of driving traffic to your blog, if you're using it as a promotional item. If not, start a new blog just for your writer life.

    You might find other useful info at my professional blog (slwhitman.livejournal.com) or at the huge number of publishing professionals' blogs on my friends page.

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  2. Hey Stacer, I'll write fantasy for you! Seriously, when you say writer's communities, do you mean professional organizations? I joined a local writer's guild in FL, and it was a haphazard collection of a few published authors and a large number of people trying to get hooked up with vanity publishers. Are there any that you could recommend? I'm hoping to get a few more gigs now that I'm in NY, and while I think I'll do one more for our publisher, I'm done with the LDS market too. I'd like to do children's, but I don't want to spend a year in someone's slush pile or share what meager portion I get with an agent. So advise me, o grand shaman of publishing.

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  3. Email me at stacer one one AT hotmail (replace w/numbers and take out spaces) and I can give you a whole bunch of places to go, especially if you're interested in writing novels for children or teens. I don't edit picture books (and they're much harder to break into), but if you're interested in that direction, I could give you a little advice there, too. I'm on my way home now (yes, it's 8pm and I'm still at work!), or I'd post links right now.

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  4. I haven't gotten email from you and I now have a little more time, so I'll post a few things for Jules and hope that you can get something out of them, too, Erin.

    I did mean professional organizations. I didn't realize you'd moved up to New York. Did you mean NYC? If so, you are in the mecca of children's publishing. You can make a lot of great contacts through SCBWI, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (www.scbwi.org). Writer's groups, conferences, and conventions are important for you to keep an eye out for, especially small local ones in which you get to meet editors. I can't speak to other professional organizations, but I've heard that the Author's Guild is helpful and respectable--you might want to check them out and see if they've got events or conferences in New York, or at least look up their website. They only take published authors, but you both have that covered. Also, given your chick lit connections, check out the Romance Writers of America. Apparently, they are like SCBWI in which they let unpublished writers in, but like SCBWI as well, I've heard they do a good job of mentoring, if you know to seek it out at conferences and such. I just saw a post by Meg Cabot (author of The Princess Diaries) on her blog about how she spoke at the RWA conference in Atlanta recently. You might want to check them out.

    If you have a novel for kids in progress, get it to a point where you think you can show it to an editor, then go to one of the SCBWI conferences and get it critiqued by an editor (you'll have to watch for the announcements for these closely, because the slots go quickly; usually you pay a nominal fee for it, which I imagine covers the cost of having the editor come to the conference). Or check and see if RWA or another association you might be more interested in has a similar benefit.

    The rest of my advice is specific to children's and young adult literature, because that's what I know. I haven't read your books, so I have no idea what style you write (or if you're even good, to be honest! though I did read A Single Thought and think you have potential with the right editor, if that's about where your writing is in your novel), but a lot of LDS fiction for adults would transfer perfectly to a YA market because it's so clean--when it's written well. You might want to check out a few YA chick lit books like Meg Cabot's to see if it's up your alley.

    Join the regional SCBWI and other children's literature email listservs. Google child_lit (run out of Rutgers).

    Visit The Purple Crayon and read all of Harold Underdown's articles on the basics first, then browse through the whole site. He's got a really great resource there that'll lead you to all sorts of other resources.

    If you're interested in writing for me, I'm looking in partilar for high fantasy in new worlds, but with your chick lit background, you could pitch something more along the contemporary magical route. You'll want to check out Star Sisterz, our middle grade series for girls. We're not open for new authors for that, and it's a continuing line, so don't propose something exactly like it, but something in that genre as a standalone might be something we'd be interested in seeing. And of course, get familiar with children's fantasy ASAP if you're seriously interested in writing it.

    Read this interview, as well, to see if I'm an editor you'd be interested in working with: http://cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/2006/06/editor-interview-stacy-whitman-of.html (it'll point you to the submission guidelines and contact info, too).

    Oh, and scroll down to the Local Authors section of http://www.timewastersguide.com/boards/yabb/YaBB.cgi. Stephanie Fowers, the last name under that, is a girl who writes LDS chicklit, too. She hasn't been around for a while, but if you guys posted under her name, you might just get her to come back and start a conversation. You could compare notes, perhaps start a girlfriends network like I talked about before. Her friend Julie also posts on the boards from time to time and is involved in one of the writing groups on the boards (see down in Alternate Realities). Timewaster's Guide is a site run by friends of mine from BYU who are gamers and interested in fantasy, but it's also become a community for people who have a connection to Utah, like Stephanie, even though her books aren't fantasy. Several posters on those boards are from the D.C. area, and might have some ideas on promoting the book locally.

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