The SouthWord Literary Festival, 2017 – Chattanooga, TN.
Writers included some of my all-time favorites. A list as talented as the Golden State Warriors of present day. No. Better. Way way better. Forget the comparison. Just look at the list below.
In no particular order:
Wendell Berry (I could stop right here.)
Bobbie Ann Mason
Richard & Robert Bausch
Now I understand why some obsess over Disney World/ Disney Land. This conference housed rock stars in the literary arena, and they all came together and discussed the craft of writing. I was star struck like a girl at her first Beatle’s concert. May the magic never wear off! I’ll probably never wash hand again.
Many thanks for the attendance at last week’s Q&A, Reading, & Signing at Star Line Books in downtown Chattanooga! It was a great return to that wonderful independent bookstore. Sharing Swimming the Echo and its construction with everyone was a fantastic time. The questions were thoughtful and welcomed! Hope to see you at the next event soon.
So you’ve written a book and it feels daunting to send it out into the world? Maybe even just looking at all of the options for finding a home for it are causing stress? You don’t want it to end up in the wrong metaphorical hands with a publisher seeking to do it harm. So, what do you do?
Here are a few of the things I’ve learned, as a writer seeking publication over the past few years:
Self-publishing can work
There are several good resources available for making this happen –
Now Amazon even has its own line of publishing platforms you can get picked for and that’s largely how people are gaining recognition and getting 1000s of reviews (books which would’ve never been discovered just 7 years ago!)
2.) Don’t feel you need to reinvent the wheel.
You might not even need an agent (oops! I said it), if you go a different route.
When in doubt, seek publishing databases supplied by places such as Poets & Writers at: PW.org
Agents can really help get you noticed
1.) A great “agent” resource, especially if you write Christian Fiction is at: Michael Hyatt’s website
2.) If you’ve already found the agent you dreamed of, finding/securing an established publisher is the next step. Please always remember there’s nothing wrong with small, indie, or even hybrid presses. And often, they can supply larger %, offer personal feedback, and run promotions much the same way as larger presses.
One last word – If you have the time (and budget) to attend a conference in your neighborhood definitely block time on your schedule to go. It can be a real boost to morale and help in that ever-so-helpful department of networking. You never know who you’ll meet.
Ex: I plan to attend one in Chattanooga this fall and it previously helped me get introduced to Ron Rash, Roy Blount Jr., and a bunch of other writers who’ve helped me immensely!
Here are 3 more exciting “writerly” events happening this summer:
“If everybody read Wendell Berry, I believe we’d have a shot at being more decent.”
Hope to see you at one, or all of these times!
As promised earlier on social media, my new book cover for Swimming the Echo is available for viewing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and right here. The actual book will go live on Amazon, eLectio Publishing, and in brick and mortar stores on May 30th. I’m thrilled to share this update.
I recently came across Kristen Radtke’s work titled, The Safest Place in Kentucky in an issue of Oxford American. The title caught my eye, and the graphic storytelling blew me away. I’ve copied the work below. Please enjoy this beautiful summary of the Bluegrass State from above and below ground:
*Part of a 3-book series
Tough news hit me right before a wonderful family vacation last week. It came in the form of an email.
Have you ever received unsettling news that way? No voice. No eye contact. It didn’t help that there wasn’t a thing I could do about it at the time…except focus on packing my bags and loading the car for the beach.
We went to St. George Island. It was great weather, warm water. Still the news lingered in the back of my brain. Stinging at times, when I wasn’t enjoying the sun. It was that email. Rereading it over and over again in my head. It came from the CEO of Booktrope, Ken Shear. He regretted to inform writers of the company’s upcoming immediate closure. He wrote:
We are deeply saddened to share the news that Booktrope will be ceasing business effective May 31, 2016. This decision was not reached lightly and we will share as much as we can with the community over the next few weeks…. What you need to know now: Booktrope will remove all published books from sale as of May 31, 2016
Thoughts of What the heck? and How will my book survive this? hit me again and again.
Then, I remembered that WHEELMAN and other titles at Booktrope existed before publication, and they would survive this as well. God is doing great things through the books in the Booktrope imprint, Vox Dei. These stories will continue being told – just in different mediums.
I appreciated the response from Shear and the timely update. It gave me enough foresight to mull this topic over, and I know I need to pray about WHEELMAN (and other books’ futures) as well.
The company’s closing date will mean the removal of WHEELMAN from their roster and printing will cease, as well as the Vox Dei logo going away. However, I am in the process of learning how to get the story back out there in a different way.
As always, I appreciate your faith and prayers in this current situation. Thank you for reading, and if you haven’t picked up a copy yet, this will be the last chance to order for a while. (I believe if WHEELMAN is ordered before 5/31, it will be printed via Vox Dei. Let me know if you have any problems with this.)
May God continue to bless the stories being told. Fellow writer, Niki Krauss does a much better job of describing the process for her thus far and getting her story re-printed.
All told: the beach is still there, the sun is still there, and God still holds it all together. Amen.
The progression of writing a book (start to finish) is like the many faces of peanut butter consumption from first bite to pained discovery there is no water nearby. 🙂 … 🙁 … 😐