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!