Lots of People, Lots of Questions...
We had about 55 writer-types in attendance for our first Market Books event of the year (didn't even need cupcakes and free beer!) and we talked writing and publishing for two solid hours. Among other things, people asked:
- Do I need an agent? Should I have a different agent for fiction and nonfiction? Do I need an overseas agent? Should I pay a reading fee to an agent?
- A publisher is reading my work--if they offer me a contract, what should I do?
- Can I break into major newspapers?
- How do I approach a publisher with a nonfiction project (and other submitting-my-work questions)?
- Should I pay to have my work published?
- Are contests a good idea? How can I tell if a contest is legit?
My favorite comment from the crowd came from a children's writer. (She's the lady in the light purple sweater in the front row in the middle photo.) She said she bought and read through CWIM, followed the advice, and had her work requested by two major publishers. "All I did was follow the instructions," she told us. "It was amazing." She is hereby invited to all our events.
We also talked a lot about how the path to publication is different for everyone, and emphasized networking with other writers, attending conferences, etc. It's so much fun to be in a room filled with people who want to talk shop!
Note the photo above showing the entrance to the JB Kids area of the store. If you are ever in the Nati (that's Cincinnati for your out-of-towners) be sure to stop in Joseph-Beth and hang out in the kids section for a while. (I browsed the potty books.) It's big and well-stocked and fun. And if your books are in the store, they'd be thrilled to have you autograph them.