By Heather Weidner
Writing is a business. You, as a writer, need to treat your work that way. Also, writers need to understand that publishing is a business.
Book stores get hundreds of requests for signings. They have to outlay time and money for events for staffing, stocking books, and promotion. Many are choosy or reluctant to host unknown authors. Some will not host authors whose unsold books are not returnable. Find ways to sell your proposed signing (e.g. book talk on a subject that their shoppers would be interested in, providing a group of authors who can bring readers to the store, a marketing campaign for publicizing the event). Find out if they will let you provide the books on consignment.
Agents, editors, and publishers sign authors that they think they can sell their work. Sometimes, it’s not your writing. It could be that the topic/subject has been done before, and it will be hard to sell in your genre. Do your research of what is out there before you write the next bookshop or knitting mystery.
Publishers are looking several years ahead to fill their slots, and there are not a lot of openings on the dockets. It takes months/years sometimes for a book to be published traditionally. Make your manuscript the best it can be before you start querying.
Always be professional. It sounds like a no-brainer, but you want to be easy to work with. People tend to avoid the whiners, divas, and complainers.
Make sure that you are polished and that your marketing materials look professional.
Writing is a tough business. Everyone has feedback, and there are a lot of rejections. But there are things you can do to be prepared. Professionalism is key.
Through the years, Heather Weidner has been a cop’s kid, technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager. She writes the Delanie Fitzgerald Mysteries, The Jules Keene Glamping Mysteries, and The Mermaid Bay Christmas Shoppe Mysteries.She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Sisters in Crime – Chessie, Guppies, International Thriller Writers, and James River Writers.
Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.
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