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Writing a best seller is SO easy
Well, I'm quite sure that's what most of the people who attended a seminar at the library yesterday went there thinking.
A lady from the Australian Society of Authors was in town to chat about what it takes to get published. It covered the basics and involved a lot of the common sense information members of Talkback chat about on here all the time. 'Do your market research,' and 'write the best book you can possibly write,' and 'don't sign any publishing contracts until you've had someone professional look at it for you' etc.
At the end of the two hour session as we stood casually around the coffee/tea trolley, a woman approached the asa lady and said she just KNEW her book about different stone fruits would be a definite hit because she'd read her manuscript at her son's school and the children had loved it.
The asa lady said, "Have you sent it off to any publishers? What did they say?"
"Some said they're not taking submissions and others said they're not interested...I don't understand it. There are books about wheat farms, dairy farms and animal farms but nothing about orchards. There's a definite call for my book. My grandfather owns an orchard so I know what I'm writing about."
"If you're still keen then perhaps you should approach other publishers. Find out who publishes the other books you've just mentioned."
"I have more than just the one book in me. The second book is following the journey from the orchard to the manufacturing plant and so on and so on. It's very educational." :rolleyes:
A woman with a husband as tall as she was wide nudged her way closer. She'd paid money to a publisher to produce her christian book but now wanted to know if she'd be better off sending copies along to the Miami Christian Expo where it would be lumped in with hundreds of others OR if she'd be wiser to place an advertisement in the christian magazine the publisher had suggested.
"It sounds like a vanity publisher to me. I presume they are asking you for more money for both these options?"
"Yes, but they're very helpful. I can phone them at any time. They're not shonky or anything."
"But YOU are paying THEM. A traditional publisher will pay you if your book is good enough."
At which point the cowboy hat-wearing husband pipes up, "The contract was all above board. I looked it over myself and nothing stood out as being troublesome. It provided non-exclusive rights, too."
"Which means what to you?"
"They said they're happy for us to sell the book anywhere we want."
"Actually, it tells me they don't care what happens to it. If they're happy for you to sell it anywhere, it means they are not interested in promoting it for you. They're just pleased to have you keep paying them."
The final straw for me was when the loud woman who'd been sitting next to me throughout the seminar said to me, "Well that all sounds too hard. All those things about contracts and publisher requirements...I don't think I'll bother now." I couldn't stand around any longer trying to suppress my grin so I left the building before the next best selling writer approached the lecturer.