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Notes from a High Powered Local Writers Group

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Tip on dealing with editors-- don't be an a**hole-- be a reasonable person who they can work with.

Going to a writers conference-- check out the names of presenters, editors who are on facebook. Assume that they wouldn't be on there if they aren't looking for contact.

Writers and editors on facebook, if you aren't too pushy and keep it related to the profession, will usually be responsive. DOn't try to sell them real estate.

Post on blogs of editors and agents who are supporting other authors and books.

Start of novel-- put action in right away. Introduce characters later.

First draft is getting story down. Can add action later.

Casting your net-- look for agents and editors doing the most work in your genre.  place to research agents and publishers associated with specific books and genres so you know who to contact to sell your book. Costs $20/mo.
Basic concept-- find out people who have bought stuff like what you are writing.

Red flag: Never sign a contract where rights don't return to you, after, say, 18 months. Never sign a contract that asks for all rights.

Genres that cross over-- thrillers, science fiction, fantasy
 (if something magical happens, it's fantasy. Star Wars, with THE FORCE, is fantasy.)  Urban, dark, high fantasy- kingdoms, lords, dragons, like Lord of the Rings.
Cross Genre is safest with young adult, since book section is broken up by age, not genre.

Horror as a genre is not very popular. Euphemism-- "suspense thriller."

Source of info for writers:

Simultaneous submissions: I'd rather be audacious and piss one or two people off. (Send simultaneous submissions and don't tell people.) I don't think I've ever done anything that wasn't simultaneous-- for magazine articles, literary agents.
Audacity does work.

Promoting books: Make friends with independent booksellers and you have a friend for life. DO indies over chain stores like Barnes and Noble or Borders.

Jonathan's writing group meets the last sunday of the month at the Saxons coffee shop in Doylestown, PA. It's free.

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