I am so happy to welcome Laura here today. Whether you have love her Tea Shop Mysteries or Scrapbooking Mysteries, or Cackleberry Club Mysteries or you love them all you realize what a treat it is to have her here . If Laura is an author new to you I will have a complete list of her books after her guest post.
Think you could be an author yourself, read below as Laura gives you a bit of inside information.
Hi Lori, I am happy to be here!
Have you got a story to tell and a yearning to be published?
Most people do. As an author, I’m constantly quizzed about the world of publishing and being asked for tips on how to break in and what editors are looking for.
So . . . do editors really know what they’re looking for? Not always. Do they know it when they see it? Well . . . sometimes.
An editor’s biggest responsibility lies in the area of acquisitions. That is, they are tasked with finding new authors with new material. As such, editors are always on the hunt for the next big thing. And usually that means a great story with great characters – because a character-driven story is what’s really critical these days.
Editors are also looking for breakout books. Books that are different and don’t re-tell the same old story. Think about books such as The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother or The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. These are books that really stand out in their categories.
So what can would-be authors do to increase their chances of success today? What can you do if you’ve got a story to tell and a yearning to be published? Well, take a look at the various categories. The mystery, thriller, and romance categories seem to be holding strong, while the market for “chick lit” novels is fairly saturated.
In the past, I was able to pitch books and win contracts based on 3 or 4 chapters and an outline. Now that we’re in a somewhat tougher market, that’s pretty much changed. Now editors want to see your entire manuscript.
As an prospective author, you also need to understand how your book concept relates to the marketplace. If there are already 35 culinary mystery series out there and you’re pitching the 36th, it could be a tough sell. You also need to be fully cognizant of the internal architecture of your novel. I’m talking about plot, pacing, turning points, character development, dialogue, and building suspense. These are the things you learn with experience and also by reading other successful authors. In fact, when I first started out, I used to tear apart novels by Michael Connelly and James Patterson and actually diagram them!
But the most important thing you need today is fortitude – you have to believe in yourself! You have to know that you can do it and never ever allow yourself to become discouraged! Just remember – John Grisham’s first novel, The Client, was turned down by 30 agents and 15 publishers. More than 2 dozen publishers turned down Chicken Soup for the Soul before it became a best seller and spawned an entire series. And Mary Higgins Clark, who helped me get started, was rejected 40 times before making her first sale. One editor told her: “Your story is light, slight, and trite.”
In today’s on-demand climate it’s also hugely important to establish an opening story hook immediately. Editors don’t want pages and pages of build-up, they want you to toss your reader directly into the action! As my agent once said to me – “You’re writing murder mysteries, so you better deliver a dead body right there in chapter one!”
So . . . good luck. Write diligently and work smart. And someday I hope to see you on a bestseller list!
Laura Child’s most recent release is Agony of the Leaves (A Tea Shop Mystery). She has Postcards from the Dead (A Scrapbooking Mystery) coming out October 2 and Stake & Eggs (A Cackleberry Club Mystery) being released December 4, 2012. Both of these new book are available for pre-order.
Find out more about the author at www.laurachilds.com
Thanks to the people at Berkley Prime Crime
I have 2 copies of Laura’s Newest Release!!
U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.
Leave a comment for Laura for 5 Bonus Entries!
If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
Contest Will End April 12, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.