Sunday, February 16, 2014

In the Company of Writers

Solitary creatures that we are, even writers have to get away from the computer and out of the house sometimes. So, after a week of lousy weather in Georgia that made shut-ins of many of us, it was a pleasure to be a featured speaker at yesterday's meeting of the Georgia Writers' Association. Some of the audience members traveled quite a distance to attend the meeting, at which we talked about seeking an agent, getting contracts from publishers, the process of researching and writing a book, and the marketing that's now perforce a part of every writer's working life.
This was my second opportunity to present alongside author Peggy Vonsherie Allen, whose critically acclaimed memoir The Pecan Orchard: Journey of a Sharecropper's Daughter was published by the University of Alabama Press. Peggy, who originally began collecting these stories as a way of preserving family history for her young nieces and nephews, faced many obstacles before getting her book into print, and her energy and enthusiasm never fail to impress me. And then there's her authentic moonshine recipe!

In my presentation, I recommended two books about writing and publishing that have been helpful to me. Just in case you weren't in Decatur, Georgia yesterday, here they are:

The Art of the Book Proposal, by Eric Maisel, is the best guide I've found to preparing this document that's critical to selling a book in the 21st century. I used it when I queried my publisher on my first book, so I'm here to tell you it works.

Create Your Writer Platform, by Chuck Sambuchino, is a helpful guide for writers who want to promote their effectively via public speaking, social media, or (ahem) blogs. So if you have any complaints about this blog, please feel free to address them to Chuck on Twitter @ChuckSambuchino.

For those of you who are aspiring writers yourselves, by all means keep it up. I never want to run out of good things to read.

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