"I am trying to check my habits of seeing, to counter them for the sake of greater freshness. I am trying to be unfamiliar with what I'm doing." - John Cage

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Two local authors land memoir publishing contracts with She Writes Press: session 2 of 3 in the Literary Submissions and Publishing Workshop Series

This week in the second of three sessions, we talked about the nitty gritty of publishing a memoir and getting it accepted by a hybrid press for publication (She Writes / Spark Press). This process involves writing a book proposal, including a synopsis, chapter summaries, and book comparables. Sue Norman recommends writing the book proposal earlier in the process, and closely reading Brooke Warner's detailed book on writing a book proposal. Brooke Warner also has a TED talk on this subject. Sue  gave us some specific tips also for finding comparable titles. She used Amazon to find books no older than 3 years that either competed with her book concept or overlapped in audience and interest. Her book will be published late summer 2025. Congratulations, Sue!

Both Bridey Thelen-Heidel and Sue talked about working diligently with several editors at developmental editing stages and the benefits of being "coachable" writers. They also both credit being in a supportive writing group for helping them write and develop their stories.

We then spent some time looking at what parts of an author platform you might want to develop as a writer to expand your public visibility as a writer. Bridey built a website and managed her new blog for about a year or two before her book was accepted for publication. Even as a well-known teacher/writer in her community, she needed to expand her platform in person and online. I recommend you check out her blog since she was able to use that as a springboard to win an award for her writing as well as gain followers.
Bridey applied to present a TEDx talk in S Lake Tahoe and successfully wrote and performed last October. Through this process she has connected with another community for spreading the word about the video that supports her memoir. She also performed in a play in NYC with similar themes to her memoir and that community is another networking opportunity. Here is Brooke Warner on how to land and write a TEDx talk
As these writers spoke, it became clear to me that the book is not the only goal, or the end of the project. The book becomes another plank in the platform that allows a writer to become a speaker at events, conferences, a teacher at workshops, another step towards the next vision of how we see ourselves as writers.  What are your goals?

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