Ozarks Romance Authors' members had a special treat Saturday, July 2, 2011, as author Louise A. Jackson was our guest speaker. Louise's presentation was titled "From an Idea in My Head to a Book in Your Hand." She took us through the basics of the publishing industry with a healthy sprinkle of her journey toward publication and how the situation changes as you continue to be published.
We used our Twitter account to live-tweet during Louise's presentation, and we will now paste the transcript below.
Our next regular meeting will be Saturday, August 6, 2011, at The Library Station on N. Kansas Expressway in Springfield, Missouri. For details about our monthly meetings, click HERE.
Our annual conference will be held July 23, 2011, at The Clarion Hotel and Convention Center in Springfield, Missouri (on Glenstone, between Target and Friendly Ford). Details about our conference are available by clicking HERE.
Our speaker today is award-winning children's author Louise A Jackson http://www.louiseajackson.net
Louise is a member of Ozark Writers and Illustrators for Children
which is a group that meets here Saturday mornings
Like us, they meet 1st Sat of each month.
Children's group is having Workshop July 30 at The Library Center
Keynote is Paula Morrow, an agent who was an editor with Highlights for Children mag
Another speaker is Judy Young, a local author and former teacher
Ozark Writers and Illustrators for Children's web site is http://www.owaic.org
Another speaker at their July 30 workshop will be Vicki Grove
Our speaker today is award-winning children's author Louise A Jackson
Writing is a seamless garment. No matter the genre you write, it's much the same.
What should I write about? Who will read it? How can I make it interesting for them? Is this written correctly?
Every author asks these same questions. We can learn from each other in a variety of ways.
Today's topic: From an Idea in My Head to a Book in Your Hand
Not talking about self-pub today. There are great self-pub places, though.
Chicken Soup books couldn't find a publisher, so self-pubbed.
Now there are hundreds of publishers who would LOVE to have Chicken Soup.
You CAN be successful as a self-pub author. Louise's opinion: When you self-pub, it may be wonderful, but how do you know?
No other filter to say that you've gotten there.
Louise's personal opinion is if not good enough to pub on open market, she won't publish.
So this presentation is about traditional pub, not self-pub or e-pub.
Louise's first book began with a bit of family lore -- a clock that that was passed down
"Gone to Texas" was that book.
Every time you write a scene, your question becomes: Now what does he need, more than anything else, at this point?
"Gone to Texas" came from a family heirloom (clock) used in a fanciful way.
Don't hesitate to go with regional presses. They're smaller presses, but many are quite good.
After JK Rowling sold HP and businesses that knew nothing about publishing entered scene,
they compressed things and lost a lot. Naive men thought HP came along every other day.
Same thing happened in publishing that happened in banking.
Citibank, Bank of America bought up smaller banks. After they consolidated, regional banks started opening again
We have lots of regional banks that grew out of demand from "too big to fail" banks.
Louise's "Gone to Texas" was pub by regional press Eakin.
Peachtree Press in Atlanta is also very good.
Another book came from learning Springfield had a home for soldiers' kids orphaned by war.
Do a LOT of research! Louise is big believer in doing research.
You need MORE data than you will ever use. Then you'll probably need MORE research before finishing.
Get your idea, do lots of reseach. Begin to develop main characters.
Louise writes paragraphs in the character's voice to develop the character.
What's in his life that he doesn't want anyone to know? This drives their behavior.
Backstory is vital! Write your story, then go back and drop bits of backstory into the manuscript.
Louise strongly urges writers to work with a critique group!
@OzarksRomance Authors hold critique group 10am 1st Saturday of each month.
Louise's critique group meets weekly. She revises her work based on their critiques.
You've finished your book. Now what? Get a copy of "Writer's Market."
Do your research BEFORE sending your manuscript to a publisher.
There is nothing worse than sending your manuscript to a publisher who does not publish that genre.
Follow proper manuscript formatting guidelines -- double space, 1" margins, only 1 space after period ending sentence.
Never take for granted the editor is still at that pub house. They constantly move around.
By the time Writer's Market comes out, they may be gone. Web site might not be correct.
Pick up the phone. Call publisher. Ask if that editor is still there. If in doubt, ask if male or female.
Get the editor's name right! Develop the art of the query letter.
Conferences are vital for writers. We're having one July 23! Details: http://ow.ly/4lZmp
Louise says you can have 10 queries out for 1 manuscript, but only send ms to 1 house at a time.
Loads of info online of how to write a query letter.
Louise makes most of her publishing industry contacts through conferences.
She is going back to a national publisher (rather than regional) again for next book.
Someday you'll get call/letter saying they want to buy your book. Next to having a child, this is the best feeling EVER.
Enter contests! Put your book out there.
Louise's book "H is for Hope" helps the Rainbow Network. http://rainbownetwork.wordpress.com
Rainbow Network is a faith-based organization working to end extreme poverty in Nicaragua through housing, health care,
education, micro finance, and sustainable agriculture.
A lot of the process of writing means pieces of process take places simultaneously.
Louise was a teacher for many years and earned her doctorate in 1965.
Conferences Louise attends? Society for Children's Book Writers & Illustrators, Ozarks Writers League
Thanks for joining our live-tweet of author http://www.louiseajackson.net