Monday, February 25, 2013

Notes From A Writer's Conference

Hello world! And happy Monday to you! Today I have a very special guest, the energetic and always cheerful Jamie Ayres, author of 18 Things. She's just returned from a writer's conference this weekend and is sharing some tidbits with us FIRST. How cool is that?? I love when writers do this 'cause it's like we get all the good stuff without having to spend the money of going to the actual conference. So be sure to read through and gobble up all the good stuff Jamie got for us!

If you don't already know Jamie, here she is:


Jamie Ayres writes young adult paranormal love stories by night and teaches young adults as a public school teacher by day. She lives in southwest Florida with her husband and two daughters. 


And here's her smashing debut YA:


You can find her on her website/blog, and links to purchase 18 Things by clicking cover above.

So thanks for being here, Jamie. Take it away ....

Thanks, PK!. I just got back from SWFRW (Hearts in the Sand Writer's Conference) and had to share these tidbits with your readers. About three things I’m absolutely positive: don’t crawl into a fetal position eating donuts every time you’re rejected and stay yourself when pitching at these writing conferences, but yourself after one or two drinks. In other words, bring the fun, but save the crazy for your friends and family! Here are some other tidbits of wisdom from the conference:


Editor-at-large Leslie Wainger from Harlequin said: paranormal is still hot, but straightforward vampire romance probably shouldn’t be your first book because there’s just too much of it to get noticed as a debut author. Following trends is a double-edge sword. You have to write a book that matters the most to you but that’s going to be a “good book”—just can’t follow trends. You can do a lot of research yourself in the bookstore and the sales ranking on Amazon for debut authors (not the ones always on the bestseller’s list) to see what they’re doing right. Can’t rely on Amazon reviews because it can be their family members posting reviews. I want to see sales numbers. You have to work hard for your digital sales, so be mindful about your online presence. Have your manuscript polished when you pitch it to me. If I say, “Oh my gosh, I can sell this today,” you want to be able to take advantage of that.

 Jennifer Schober from Spencerhill Associates said: It’s a very strange time to be in the industry, and I lose sleep at night because I want the best for my authors. Just because there’s lots of opportunities out there doesn’t mean they’re all good. I don’t look for trends, but there are some realities to get your book on shelves. It has to be something different, but it’s hard to say what will sell—there’s a bit of magic involved. I want your book to weave a spell over me. I want a love/hate relationship with your book—I want to lose sleep over it. Don’t worry if you blow your pitch with me. As long as I heard something that might hook me, then I’ll request something. But I absolutely have an expiration date on my requests . . . no later than six months. I’m willing to help with revisions, but not a massive overhaul.

Nicole Resciniti from The SeymourAgency said: I think it’s a great time to be in publishing. There’s so many avenues you can take, but do your homework. You wouldn’t leave your baby with just anyone. All the big presses have solid digital lines, so you may need to do digital only before print distribution to get your foot in the door. The synopsis is key to your submission, even though it’s kind of like the dreaded book report. Think about what the reader needs to know and put it in. I also like to see the concise blurb, because it shows the author did their homework. If I’m meeting you at a writing conference, you already have a huge advantage because I know you’re honing your craft. Use those critique partners! Sometimes I’m too busy with my current clients to make comments about what I’d need fixed to represent a book, so fix it before it gets to me. Also, always follow up after you send it. I get 300+ emails a day—there’s things that end up in spam or cyberspace. So don’t wait nine months to ask me if I received your submission. If I didn’t receive it, I’ll just ask you to resend and move it to the top of my pile. 

I'd love to hear from you! Stop by and say hello! You can find all my social media links by clicking here. And thanks for having me, PK!

Awesome! Thanks so much, Jamie. That's some really great info. I love hearing what industry pros are saying about publishing today. I keep hearing agents say to follow up if writers don't hear back from a sub/query. I think that's really important to point out 'cause agents are simply inundated and keep up. 

Jamie, we so appreciate you taking the time to share with us. 

Off subject, I completely missed the Oscars last night for the first time in like ten years. BUT! They are streaming the entire show today and tomorrow at ABC.com so I'll be watching it this morning while working on some pixies. 

How about you? Did you see the Oscars? Any fave highlights or dresses? Find anything helpful from Jamie's wealth of info? Don't forget to stop by and say hello to her. She is fantastic!   

31 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lots of good nuggets there, Jamie!
Watched most of the Oscars, but went to bed before it was over. Christoph Waltz winning Best Supporting Actor was awesome.

Eliza Tilton said...

Such greatg info. Conferences are so important. Thanks for sharing!

Barbara Watson said...

Thanks for the insight, Jamie! I especially love your notes about Jennifer Schober. That same feeling is what really hooks me to a book.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Excellent advice. Thanks Jamie!

Aurora Smith said...

This is great, thank you!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Thanks for the recap Jamie! Sound advice.

Thanks PK for featuring Jamie.

I watched the red carpet while biking eleven miles at during my workout at the gym. Watched later on at home while writing posts and catching up on everything I am so behind on.

I coming to FLORIDA!!!! I should be there mid March to late April. I MUST SEE YOU.

Michael

Rebecca Green Gasper said...

What great information- thanks for sharing all these wonderful thoughts from the pros. I didn't watch the Oscars last night- but will be catching up on all the glam and glitter and winners today. :)

C. Lee McKenzie said...

Lots of conference gems! Thanks for sharing them here.

I did see the Oscars and I was truly entertained. Their format has changed so much for old "draggy-go-on-forever" one that I love watching from start to finish.

Johanna Garth said...

Great tips and yes I watched the Oscars from runway all the way to the finish line.

Crystal Collier said...

Hey, I'm in Florida too! (But I can't do the heat that far south.) Wonderful advise here, and thanks so much for sharing!

michellezieglerauthor.com said...

Thanks for sharing!
I have been to a few conferences and always have to filter through EVERYTHING to find a few good nuggets. Thanks for filtering the positive advice.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, thanks for this! Looks like there is a little difference of opinion, even among agents, which is good to know.

fOIS In The City said...

Jamie, so good to see you here on one of my other fav. YA blogs. I credit PK with introducing mt to so many new and wonderful writers over the last three years :)

Go for the best and keep writing. You guys rock !!

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

That sounds like a very productive conference to attend.

Carrie-Anne said...

Very good advice from the conference! I'd love to go to a conference someday, though I'm not sure it's on budget right now, and I've never driven to New York City by myself. If there were a conference closer by, like in the Berkshires or the Capital Region of New York, I'd probably easily be able to attend.

Carol Riggs said...

Thanks, PK and Jamie, for the info! Wow, agents are so inundated with submissions. Incredible.

I didn't see the Oscars...don't have TV channels, just Netflix. :)

Old Kitty said...

Thank you Jamie and PK for a most informative post and all the best with your fab debut novel!! I'm dreadful at writing synopsis but I guess I must work on this if I'm to get anywhere!

As for the Oscars - totally loved Adele! Take care
x

DL Hammons said...

Excellent tid-bits...thanks Jamie! :)

jamieayres.com said...

Thanks again for having me, PK, and thanks to everyone who has left wonderful comments! Pk, I did watch the Oscars and thought it was wonderful. My favs were Best Actor and Actress-loved them both but don't want to spoil anything on here:-) Oh, for favorite movie--I thought they picked right!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks for the information Jamie! Sounds like you had a good conference!

Robin said...

Great tidbits, Jamie! and I adore the cover of your book. I popped over to your blog and I loved reading how you found your publisher. Stories of persistence always make me smile.

Donna Hole said...

Awesome conference tips. They will be useful Jamie, thanks for sharing.

No PK, I didn't watch the oscars, but at least I'm sure to get all the highlights on my fellow bloggers sites :).

.......dhole

Misha Gericke said...

Excellent bits of advice. The industry is changing so fast that it can be scary. At the same time, it's exciting as well.

We as writers just can't lose our faith in our stories, though. In the current climate, agents and publishers just don't want to take the risk. So often times, really good books go unnoticed because they're different.

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E.J. Wesley said...

Fabulous pointers shared, Jamie! Best of luck with your book. (The cover is gorgeous--a good start!) :-)

LTM said...

LOVE getting the inside scoop on conferences! Love "yourself after one or two drinks"--LOL! :D

Conferences can be scary, but these are great tips! Thanks for sharing, Jamie~

I didn't see the Oscars. I wish I did!!! Love that show! <3

Yvonnes Poetry Corner said...

So interesting to read, most enjoyable.

Yvonne.

T. Drecker said...

This is one of the more interesting posts I've read in the last few days. Thanks!

William Kendall said...

Thank you for sharing, Jamie!

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