A panel of seven successful book authors and publishers presented their top tips for wannabe writers at two days of seminars held in conjunction with the Spring Book Show in Atlanta.
The presenters at the March 26-27 Authorship 101 and 201 seminars told the prospective authors about the realities of book publishing. They covered the life cycle of books from conception to writing, editing, and successful marketing through the last retail sales before the book is remaindered or repulped.
Among the top tips of the published professionals to fledgling authors:
· Remember that books are a product with a short shelf life.
· The author must play a major role in marketing the book.
· Prepare to speak in a variety of forums about your book topics.
· Test-market a sample of your book’s content and fix the problems found.
· You should punctuate for power and meaning.
· Remember that rejection letters are not your enemy.
· It’s unlikely that you can successfully, thoroughly, and accurately edit your own writing.
· There are ways you can get through the publisher’s gatekeepers.
· You should appeal to all five of the reader’s senses.
· You should write in the appropriate “voice,” and understand how voice is different from style.
The faculty for the two days of seminars included Peter Bowerman (mastering marketing), Ahmad Meradji (controlling manufacturing costs), David Fulmer (project funding ideas), Angela K. Durden (don’t aggravate your readers - hire an editor), Chris Roerden (secrets of surviving the manuscript submission process), Tony Burton (using conflict to keep readers interested) and Dr. David Ryback (publishing success in six steps).