Querying and Authors.me. Finding Success in the Manuscript Submission Process.

First of all, when I was shopping Girlish, I went with the “wallpaper the internet with queries” technique. I queried editors and agents and entered emerging writers’ contests—I tried to put my manuscript in front of as many people as humanly possible. One agent I really liked only took submissions through something called authors.me, so I checked it out.

Authors.me is basically a dating service for agents, editors, and writers, and although the dream agent didn’t take me, it is the place where I connected with Skyhorse Publishing.

Here’s how it works:

First off, its’ completely free for writers. You upload all the pieces of your project: bio, hook, synopsis, outline, first 30 pages, and complete manuscript…

Read more at The Debutante Ball

Famous Authors Who Began In Fan Fiction

Famous Authors Who Began in Fan Fiction

FanFiction–stories using characters or settings from original works of fiction, created by fans of that work rather than by its creator–has been a popular segment of literature for over 50 years. These are. Many writers start their creative writing careers ‘guided’ by the greats.

Here are 12 writers you may know more from their current publications than from their early fan fiction:

1. E.L. James
Fifty Shades of Grey
Ms James is on pace to become the bestselling series of all time. Few know that she began her writing  life as a Bella/Edward Twilight fanfic called Master of the Universe. She joins a long list of other Twilight fanfic authors.

2. Neil Gaiman
Sandman Series
This iconic author has published multiple works of fan fiction: a Chronicles of Narnia fanfic, “The problem of Susan;” an H.P. Lovecraft fic, “I, Cthulhu;” and the Sherlock Holmes fanfic, “A Study in Emerald.”

3. R.J. Anderson
No Ordinary Fairytale Series
This U.K.-based Young Adult author publishes both her original work and her fan fiction under her own name. She recently blogged about being an “out” as a writer of fanfic; the lack of scandal may surprise you. Ms Anderson writes, “I don’t hide my identity, however. Like Diane Duane, Peter David and a few other stout or possibly reckless souls, I do my fannish activity under the same name as I publish my books.”

4. Lois McMaster Bujold
The Vorkosigan Sagas
The author of classic sci-fi published one of the earliest Star Trek fanfic ‘zines, and the title character, Miles Vorkosigan, may have begun his life as a Klingon.

5. Meg Cabot
The Princess Diaries
The author of The Princess Diaries and the Airhead series tells her readers on her fanfic policy page, “I myself used to write Star Wars fan fiction when I was tween. I think writing fan fiction is a good way for new writers to learn to tell a story.”

6. Cassandra Clare
Mortal Instruments Series
Her fanfics included early viral hit The Very Secret Diaries, a Lord of the Rings parody whose catch-phrases (“Still the prettiest!” and “Cannot cope—off to Mordor”) still linger today. Read this article to see her opinion of fanfic of her work.

7. S.E. Hinton
The Outsiders
Not an author of fan fiction, but has spoken out on the subject.  I her reaction to fan fiction written for her classic Young Adult novel The Outsiders. S.E. Hinton jests, “Pony is pregnant with Dallas Winston’s baby”… no, please Cas, no,,,bangs head on desk…no no no. Read more in her article, S.E. Hinton Responds to Outsiders Fan Fiction.

8. Naomi Novik
Temeraire Series
Her first novel, Her Majesty’s Dragon, began as a Master and Commander fanfic. Now Novik is a founder of the Organization for Transformative Works, the first fan not-for-profit dedicated to the preservation and protection of fanwork.

9. John Scalzi
Redshirts
At first the iconoclastic Scalzi called his novel Fuzzy Nation, a work of H. Beam Piper fanfic, a “reboot.” Scalzi seems to have wholeheartedly embraced this category of creative fan fiction. His latest novel, Redshirts, is unabashed Star Trek fan fiction, along the lines of Galaxy Quest.

10. Orson Scott Card
Ender’s Game
Card’s well-known anti-fanfic stance is puzzling, considering how often he writes it. He has written Old Testament fanfic and a Shakespearean fanfic of Taming of the Shrew and Hamlet.

11. Lev Grossman
The Magicians
Grossman has contributed to fandoms for Harry Potter, Adventure Time, and How to Train Your Dragon, and has been quoted, ”The challenges in fan fiction and traditional fiction are essentially the same.”

12. Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings (pen name – Christina Lauren)
The Beautiful Series
Hobbs and Billings kept their Twilight fan fiction background a secret because they had been told that it was a black mark in the publishing industry. But after their fanfic, The Office, exceeded 2 million downloads, agent Holly Root (Waxman Leavell Literary Agency) was not dissuaded with the connection. The tandem writing team delivered their new novel, Beautiful Bastard, which retained about 20 percent of The Office, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Book Elements: A Literary Anatomy Lesson

Book Elements: A Literary Anatomy Lesson

One of the most frequent questions we hear editors and copy editors get from writers is about book elements.  Surrounding the text are sections of information used by librarians, schools, retailers, researchers, and more. But it can be hard to know what you need to use for your book, where it goes, and what information you need to supply. But we’re here to help! .

The following is a list of parts and their definitions to help you make sure you have the right content in the right category, in the right order. Recommendations here adhere to the see the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, which is the most commonly used House style for publishers

Elements of the Book

(this is a list of the most common terms — there is a whole chapter with more terms and information in the Chicago Guide)

  • Leaf — What publishers refer to as pages.
  • Recto — when a book is open and laying on its spine, this is the right-hand leaf. Always odd numbered.
  • Verso — when a book is open and laying on its spine, this is the left-hand leaf. Always even numbered.

Order of a Book

Books can be divided into three parts. These are the “front matter,” or “preliminary matter” and “prelims;”the “text” of the book, and the “back matter” or “end matter” Each section has guidelines for its order of parts. It is not required that all these parts appear in any one book. Just know that book matter matters.

SECTION 1 – FRONT MATTER

Front matter introduces your book to your readers. The front matter section, which appears before the main text, comprises a few pages that include the book’s title, the author’s name, the copyright information, table of contents or some other method of navigating the book,  perhaps even a preface or a foreword, and “introduces the book and sets its tone.”

BOOK ELEMENTS WITHIN THE FRONT MATTER (in order of typical appearance)

1. Book Half Title Page — p i
The half title page is the first page of your book and contains your title only. This page does not include a byline or subtitle.

2. Series Title, Frontispiece, or a Blank Page — p ii

Series Title Page
Use the second page of your book to list any of your previously published books by title. It is customary to list the books chronologically from first to most recently published.

Frontispiece
An illustration on the verso (the back, or left-hand reverse of the page) facing the title page.

3. Title Page — piii
The title page is the part of your book that shows your full book title and subtitle, your name, and any co-writer or translator.

4. Copyright Page — p iv
The copyright page contains the copyright notice, which consists of the year of publication and the name of the copyright owner. The copyright owner is usually the author but may be an organization or corporation. This page may also list the book’s publishing history, permissions, acknowledgments, biographical note on author, publisher’s address, country of printing, impression line, ISBN, ISSN, original language information, Cataloging-in-Publication data, paper durability statement, and disclaimers.

5. Dedication — p v
Not every book carries a dedication but, for those that do, it follows the copyright page.

6. Epigraph — p v or vi
A short quotation or saying at the beginning of a book or chapter, intended to suggest its theme. The epigraph may also appear facing the Table of Contents, or facing the first page of text. The source of the epigraph typically follows the selection. Only the author’s name needs to be supplied, but the title of work may appear as well.

7. (Table of) Contents — p vi or vii
Also known as the Contents page, a table of contents is the part of a book that is usually used only in nonfiction works that have parts and chapters. A contents page is less common in fiction works but may be used if your work includes unique chapter titles. A table of contents is never used if your chapters are numbered only (e.g., Chapter One, Chapter Two). Subheadings are usually not included, but may be if needed.

8. List of Illustrations and/or tables.– recto or verso
When a book includes several key illustrations that provide information or enhance the text in some way, this page lists them. It can be helpful to include a list of all figures, their titles and the page numbers on which they occur.

9. Foreword — recto
The foreword contains a statement about the book and is usually written by someone other than the author who is an expert or is widely known in the field of the book’s topic. A foreword is most commonly found in nonfiction works.

10. Preface — recto
The preface usually describes why the author wrote the book, their research methods and perhaps some acknowledgments if they have not been included in a separate section. It may also establish their qualifications and expertise as an authority in the field in which they’re writing. A preface is far more common in nonfiction titles.

11. Acknowledgments (if not part of preface) — recto
An acknowledgments page includes notes of appreciation to people who provided the author with support or help during the writing process or in their writing career in general. This can also be placed in the back matter.

12. Introduction/ Prologue (if not part of the text) — recto
The introduction describes something about the main text that the reader should know before proceeding to read the book. Unlike a preface, which usually addresses the qualifications of the author, an introduction refers to the main body of the work itself.

In a work of fiction, the Prologue sets the scene for the story and is told in the voice of a character from the book, not the author’s voice.

13. Abbreviations (may also be placed in back matter) — recto or verso

14. Chronology ( if not in back matter)  — recto

SECTION 2 – THE TEXT/BODY

This is the main portion or body of the book.

BOOK ELEMENTS WITHIN THE TEXT/BODY

1. First text page (p. 1), or Second Half Title/Part Opening page (p.1), Blank Page (p. 2), First Text Page (p. 3)

Part Opening Page
Both fiction and nonfiction books are often divided into parts when there is a large conceptual, historical or structural logic that suggests these divisions, and the belief that reader will benefit from a meta-organization.

Second Half Title
If the frontmatter is lengthy, a second half title, identical to the first, can be added before the beginning of the text. The page following is usually blank but may contain an illustration or an epigraph.

First Text  page
Most fiction and almost all nonfiction books are divided into chapters for the sake of organizing the material to be covered. Chapter Opening pages and Part Opening pages may be a single right-hand page, or in some cases a spread consisting of a left- and right-hand page, (or a verso and a recto).

3. Epilogue — recto
The ending piece, either in the voice of the author or as a continuation of the main narrative, meant to bring closure to the work. Mostly used in Fiction

4. Afterword — recto
May be written by the author or another, and might deal with the origin of the book or seek to situate the work in some wider context.

4. Conclusion — recto
A brief summary of the salient arguments of the main work that attempts to give a sense of completeness to the work.

SECTION 3 – BACK MATTER

At the end of the book various citations, notes and ancillary material are gathered together into the backmatter.

BOOK ELEMENTS WITHIN THE BACK MATTER

1. Acknowledgements (if not in front matter ) — recto

2. Appendix or Addendum — recto
An appendix includes any data that might help clarify the text for the reader but would have disrupted the flow of the main text had it been included in an earlier part of the book. Some items included here might be a list of references, tables, reports, background research and sources, if not extensive enough to be included in a separate section.

3. Chronology — recto
In some works, particularly histories, a chronological list of events may be helpful for the reader. It may appear as an appendix, but can also appear in the frontmatter if the author considers it critical to the reader’s understanding of the work.

4. Notes — recto
Endnotes come after any appendices, and before the bibliography or list of references. The notes are typically divided by chapter to make them easier to reference.

5. Glossary — recto
A glossary comprises alphabetically arranged words and their definitions.

6. Bibliography or References — recto
A list of source materials that are used or consulted in the preparation of a work or that are referred to in the text.

7. (List of ) Contributors — recto
A work by many authors may demand a list of contributors, which should appear immediately before the index, although it is sometimes moved to the front matter. Contributor’s names should be listed alphabetically by last name, but appear in the form “First Name Last Name.” Information about each contributor may include brief biographical notes, academic affiliations, or previous publications.

8. Illustration Credits — recto

9. Index—An alphabetical listing of people, places, events, concepts, and works cited along with page numbers indicating where they can be found within the main body of the work.

10. Errata
A notice from the publisher of an error in the book, usually caused in the production process. These are not used to correct typographical errors or to insert additions or revisions. “It should be used only in extreme cases where errors severe enough to cause  misunderstanding are detected too late to correct in the normal way but before the finished book is distributed.” (Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed.  p. 33)

11. Colophon
Typically used for a specially designed/ produced book. Found on the very last page of the book. A brief notice at the end of a book usually describing the text typography, identifying the typeface by name along with a brief history. It may also credit the book’s designer and other persons or companies involved in its physical production.

For additional resources, please visit:

http://www.ahlpub.com/uploads/AHLP_Custom_%20Style_Guide.pdf

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2009/09/parts-of-a-book/

http://www.ahlpub.com/uploads/AHLP_Custom_%20Style_Guide.pdf

 

11 Writers Who Published After They Retired

11 Writers Who Published After They Retired

writers-retired

If you’re retired or approaching retirement age and have a manuscript you’ve been working on for years (or thinking about working on), you’re in good company! We’ve cobbled together a list of 11 best-selling writers who first started publishing after they retired or later in life.

We often hear about the young wunderkinds in publishing–like Eragon author Christopher Paolini and Frankenstein author Mary Shelly, published at 19 and 20 respectively–who hit the bestseller list seemingly still pre-pubescent. But for every one of them there are many more writers who hit their stride in their second acts.

Retirement may have been the end of tedious careers for many of the following authors, but thankfully it wasn’t the end to their writing. Here is a brief list of several famous authors who started late in life, some past retirement. Be inspired!

Great Retired Writers

1. MILLARD KAUFMAN

Although Kaufman was a celebrated screenwriter earlier in his career (including the co-creator of Mr. Magoo), he did not begin writing his first novel, Bowl of Cherries, until he was 86 and didn’t see it published until he was 90. Mr. Magoo was unable to see it, though.

2. JAMES A. MICHENER

This great, Pulitzer Prize-winning author wrote 40 books AFTER the age of 40.  His last novel was Recessional, written when he was 87. He is famous for his research and writing regimen that he maintained into his 80’s. The definition of prolific.

3. FRANK MCCOURT

Frank McCourt’s story attracted worldwide attention when Angela’s Ashes was published in 1996, especially when the memoir—which recounted his impoverished childhood in Ireland and an adulthood teaching in New York—went on to win the Pulitzer Prize. It was published when McCourt was 66 years old.  

4. LAURA INGALLS WILDER

Inspired by her daughter, Wilder began writing in her 40s, but she didn’t find great success until some 20 years later, when Little House in the Big Woods was published. The Little House books drew from Wilder’s experiences, so maybe waiting gave her some extra time to gather material. It also gave Michael Landon a new lease on life.

5. HARRIET DOERR

Doerr spent the first four decades of her life in California before moving to Mexico, where her husband Albert was working to restore a family-owned copper mine. The years spent there ultimately helped inspire the works she penned after Albert’s death. Doerr returned to California when she was in her 60s, finished her education, and began writing. Stones of Ibarra, Doerr’s first novel, was published when the author was 74 years old. It went on to win a National Book Award. Reread this and take note she finished her education in her 60’s.

6. DONALD RAY POLLOCK

Pollock garnered a lot of attention for his 2011 debut novel, The Devil All the Time, but not everyone knows that the author isn’t your typical promising young whippersnapper with a short story collection and a first novel. He dropped out of high school at 17 to work at a meatpacking plant, and then spent 32 years working at the Mead Paper Mill in Chillicothe, Ohio. Eventually, he was admitted to Ohio University’s MFA program.The year before he graduated — the same year he turned 55 — he published his first collection of short stories. Once again, Life was a good Teacher.indiebound-pic 7. ANNA SEWELL

Sewell’s only published work is the classic Black Beauty. She began writing it at age 51 while in declining health and dictated much of the novel to her mother. At 57, she sold the book. Sewell died of hepatitis in 1878, just five months after the novel was published. Okay, forget my comment about writing is a healthy pursuit.

8. RICHARD ADAMS

Adams served in World War II during his younger years and became a civil servant in what would later become the U.K.’s Department of the Environment. He wrote fiction in his spare time and told tales of a rabbit to his children on long car rides. The stories grew and became so complicated that he had to write them down. Eventually, when Adams was 54, a publisher picked up the now-beloved and best-selling Watership Down.  

9. CHARLES BUKOWSKI

While working at the post office, Bukowski was able to publish some poetry and shorter works. When small indie publisher Black Sparrow Press offered him a deal in 1969, he quit his day job to devote himself to writing at age 49. He had finished his first novel, Post Office, within four weeks of leaving the post office and just kept going from there, eventually publishing thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories, and six novels. This proves it’s better to go postal with your pen.

10. RAYMOND CHANDLER

Raymond Chandler lost his job as an oil executive during the Great Depression. It was the best thing that could have happened as it gave him the impetus to dedicate his time to writing and gave us one of the greatest detective fiction writers of all time. His first short story was published a year later in 1933, and his first novel, The Big Sleep, came out in 1939, when he was 44 years old. He would publish six more novels before his death in 1959 along with many more short stories and screenplays.

11. HELEN DEWITT

Helen DeWitt was 44 years old when she published her debut novel, The Last Samurai. After years spent juggling odd jobs and working simultaneously on many writing projects, she decided to set aside a month and write with NO INTERRUPTIONS. It took more than a month, but the results were worth it. They were months well spent.

Winning Diversity Contest Manuscript Is A Game, Set, Match For Sisterhood

Winning Diversity Contest Manuscript is a Game, Set, Match for Sisterhood

It takes a lot of talent, strength, and courage for a young teenage girl to win a Grand Slam tennis competition, and in the case of Serena Williams, it also took an amazing family and her four sisters. That is the subject of the AUTHORS.me Diversity Contest winner, Serena and Her Sisters: Girls from a Different Playground, by Karlin Gray of Westport, Connecticut. The Diversity contest was geared for children’s and young adult audiences and ran during the summer. The nonfiction picture book is an account of tennis great Serena Williams from her introduction to tennis at the age of 4 until her first Grand Slam victory at age 17.

Subtitled, Girls From A Different Playground, the story begins on a trash-strewn playground of Compton, California just south of Los Angeles. It is there that Richard Williams and Oracene Price began to teach and coach their five daughters in tennis, an unpopular sport in 1980’s Compton. Playgrounds were for basketball. And tennis was not a pastime for many African-American children. Furthermore, the thought of competing at a professional level in a white-dominated sport was not the norm in their neighborhood. But Serena and her sisters were different—they stood out in Compton and they stood out in the tennis world.

The minority aspect was not the only subject that drew Ms. Gray’s interest. “I was drawn by the story of the five sisters and how Serena, who was the ‘runt’ of the group, rose to greatness with the help of her siblings. I think that is a story kids would like to read,” says Karlin, who grew up as an only child. “I always found stories about sisters fascinating . . . probably because I was an only child.”

Ms. Gray is the author of the recently published children’s book, Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still L (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, June 2016) It is another non-fiction picture book chronicling the life of Olympian gymnast, Nadia Comaneci. “I enjoyed gymnastics as a child and then tennis as an adult but was never talented at either. But writing children’s stories about sports champions—that I can do.”

Asked about her experience winning the contest and using AUTHORS.me platform, Ms. Gray said, “I think the service is awesome. So well done and user-friendly.” And winning the contest? “I am thrilled that a story celebrating the strength of sisterhood has been recognized.” Winning the $500 first prize was nice, too.

What does the future hold for our winner? “My next picture book, An Ordinary Moth, will be published in March 2018 by Sleeping Bear Press,” says Karlin. “It is my first work of fiction and I’m really excited about it.”

You can read more about our other two winners on our AUTHORS contest page and more about Karlin Gray here on her website.

The Publishing Bullseye

The Publishing Bullseye

Imagine you are pulling back on an archery bow as you aim your arrow at a target ninety meters away. Not an easy shot to hit the bullseye. The center ring looks so tiny from here. (Probably because it’s only 12.2 cm wide) Good luck.

One hundred arrows later….

An amateur is not likely to get a hit. But, should one spent arrow happen to land on the center ring, you have a good chance of winning. Wouldn’t it be nice if some Unseen Hand guided your arrow all the way to center target?

AUTHORS.me does just that. Well, not in archery, but in publishing. This week we released our new Submission Matching & Delivery System that further improves our connective publishing network. Continuing with our metaphor, our platform is the bow, your submission is the arrow and center target is the right agent or publisher to represent your work. Our technology is that Unseen Hand. So how do we affect the shot?

We are now using data analysis and matching algorithms to pair our writer’s manuscript with the best possible agent or publisher. We aim  your submission to the target, guided by what you have created and  what our partner agents and publishers are looking for.

Historically, writers used a hit and hope strategy, flinging all sorts of arrows at any target they could find, hoping one lands and gets their manuscript read. When you consider the thousands of publishing opportunities and the variables between each of those, you’d might think it could work. Well, just ask any agent or publisher who receives thousands of poorly targeted submissions or the millions of writers that never hear back if their arrow struck at all. Not a good or effective strategy.

AUTHORS.me’s new submission matching system takes away all the poorly spent arrows. If you don’t match one of our agents, we will not permit a submission to be sent to them. It would be like setting you up to fail. Instead, you create your project and we analyze and match it. We then show you all of your submission matches, then let you take the perfect shot with each one. It is more efficient and more likely to have the desired results.

In just a few short days we have  received very positive feedback from both sides of the equation. One of our writers, Gerry Cappa of County Antrim, Ireland, summed it up saying, “This is a brilliant innovation for authors and publishers/agents alike. It deserves to be well supported and, with a bit of luck, should become the industry standard.”

Time will tell how accurate we are and whether we become an industry standard. Time will also allow us to increase our accuracy, as the more data we analyze, the better we will become.

So, load up the bow. Take your shot. Let’s see what you hit.

The Right Genre: A Writer’s Dilemma

The Right Genre: A Writer’s Dilemma

pexels-photo-92323-largeSo why is picking the right genre for your book so important and how does its success hinge upon choosing the right one? Let me illustrate this by talking about a movie.

I was in the mood for a movie last night so I went to my DVD shelves (I have five shelves of them) and scanned the titles. Like most movie buffs, I arrange my films by types or genres including Animated Features; Classics; Mysteries/Thrillers; Action/Adventure; Comedies; etc. You get the idea.

I selected Guardians of the Galaxies, which was under Sci-Fi/Fantasy section. Even though I find this movie to be offbeat and funny, I placed it in Sci-fi because that is what the main genre is. Could I have filed it under comedies? Not really.

I know when I watch a sci-fi movie, I expect to experience many of the elements one finds in a sci-fi space movie –cool space ships; futuristic tech; totally unrealistic distances traveled; bizarre planets; aliens bent on the destruction of all humans. Quick sidebar: Have you ever noticed the days of the weeks are never mentioned in space movies? NEVER. “Yes, Skywalker, we should reach the Death Star by this time Thursday.” I digress.

When you pick a movie or book by type, it’s all about expectations. Guardians is under sci-fi because I expect to see all the aforementioned elements. Hunger Games is Young Adult/Sci-fi (in a dystopian world) novel, so I expect to see characteristics of those genres prevalent in the story. Even though there is a love story in the book, you cannot label Hunger Games a Romance novel.

Genre is perhaps the number one qualifier for an agent or publisher to initially accept a work. If you query them by labeling your genre: Mystery/Romance/Sci-fi because your two young characters embark on an epic adventure to thwart an alien invasion and fall in love in the process while trying to solve a mystery, you’re in trouble and headed for the slush pile or rejection.

Agents and publishers want clarity. They have expectations and you need to meet those if you are to have any success with them and your future readers.

On AUTHORS.me, we give our writers the choice of numerous genres to pick from. Previously, we allowed our writers to select three, but after numerous consults with our partners, we have decided that 2 is plenty. Therefore, be precise. Do your research on the genre(s) you believe are represented in your work.

Imagine your book has been published and is in the bookstore. What one section will it be found? Make that your genre of choice. And when your book is made into a movie, I’ll be sure to put it in the right section as well.

Additional reading:

Let’s Get Personal – Writer Updates

Let’s Get Personal – Writer Updates

At AUTHORS.me, we have been working hard at getting writers, agents and publishers connected. Call it our raison d’être. With over 150 book deals in less than 10 months, I would say we’re raison-ing pretty well. But it will never be enough. We want writers to get the most exposure they can muster in order to get read and possibly represented. So being the tinkerers we are, we are busy building something new.

We have started working on a great way for writers to promote themselves outside of AUTHORS.me but still keep all the work they’ve created on the platform connected. We are calling them Personal Pages. I know, great name right? These will be elegant representations of a writer, their body of work and their qualifications. Wait, isn’t that what we do with the AUTHORS.me app? Well, yes, but that content is inside an app seen only by agents and publishers who are in the app as well. What about the other agents and publisher yet to join AUTHORS? These Personal Pages will bridge that gap.

Think of it as your own website but without the hassle of generating content, learning WYSIWYG or CSS or web parts or whatever those templated services provide. We will generate the page from the content the writer created on the AUTHORS.me platform. Simple. Then like any other web page, you can share the url outside of the AUTHORS.me app. Cool. We love creating ways for writers to promote themselves professionally with ease.

We are still in the design and testing stage, but we encourage you to keep an eye out for further updates. Now if you will excuse me, I must return to my laboratory and join our team of tinkerers.

Diversity In Publishing: Writer Updates

Diversity in Publishing: Writer Updates

We are a couple days from closing registration for our Diversity Contest and I want to share some thoughts about this. We launched the contest with one goal in mind, to give voice to those who are not being heard or read. Authors from diverse communities and stories with diverse subject matter and characters have struggled over the years, decades actually, in finding a place in the limelight of publishing. We hope to change that, not for the sake of change or some social agenda, but because we love diversity of thought. It makes us richer, smarter and more likely to understand each other.

The reason we chose children’s books as our platform for diverse books is because this is where the change can happen and continue on into our futures. Over the years I have purchased hundreds of books, many of them for my 5 kids. Because children’s books are simplified in message, it is a wonderful platform to begin learning about other cultures and ideas. And I’m not talking just about the kids.

Here is my solution to see more diversification of books and it begins with you. I challenge you to add just one book to your library in the next month whose subject matter, characters, or author is of or by people of diversity; a book that recognizes a diverse experience, such as people of a different color, gender, disabilities, body size, ethnicity, culture, and religion than you. You will be the better for it. The more books we buy, the more diverse books they will publish.

I look forward to reading the winners of our contest come September 6th. You can follow the winners here.

In other news, our Humor Us contest continues through August 31st. We need humor as much as we need diversity.

Discovery Doors Are Open: Writer Updates

Discovery Doors are Open: Writer Updates

AUTHORS is all about seeing great manuscripts become great books. I love to read. Books take me places I never dreamed of. Now I am part of a company that helps to discover good books, which in and of itself is a dream come true. So when we made the decision to open the AUTHORS Discovery database to all our writers free of charge, I could only think about the flood of content coming our way. I always think about that Twilight Zone episode where the guy has a stopwatch that can stop time. So what did he use it for? He stopped time, then went to the library and gathered up hundreds of books he never had the time to read. I’m that guy. Where is that stopwatch?

Back to business. AUTHORS Discovery is where our agents and publishers find new content. They search for what they want to print and find you the writer. It’s the inverse of the world today where writers chase after agents and publishers. We love it. Our partners love it. And now nothing will keep our writers from entering in and getting discovered. Also, with more manuscripts entering Discovery, we expect to see lots more books deals and great stories enter the marketplace.

In other news, we have welcomed McArthur Gill aboard as our new Platform Engineer. He will help us make your experience on AUTHORS more efficient and enjoyable. I’ve been a writer, artist and vagabond most of my life, but I always had an affinity for the engineer’s mind. They look at the world different than I do and it fascinates me to no end. I look forward to McArthur helping me bring heady ideas into the real world and have them actually function properly. If we artist ruled the world, everything would look cool, but nothing would work.