Blog Archives

Moonlight & Magnolias Conference

Dancing on Saturday night

Moonlight & Magnolias is an amazing writers conference. Held in Atlanta every year, M&M is thrown by Georgia Romance Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to attend the last three M&M’s.

This year’s M&M opened with a surprise. Two friends I hadn’t seen in forever were there. But that’s not the big surprise was when they told me how well they were doing as indie authors. And that set the theme for the rest of the conference.

For those who don’t know, “Indie” is short for independent. Indie authors don’t depend on publishers. They self publish via Amazon, Barnes &Noble, Smashwords, etc. They , and they alone, are responsible for doing or having someone do the editing, formatting, cover art, and all the other tasks that publishers have traditionally provided for authors.

The first workshop I attended was with Nina Bruhns (AKA Nikita Black), who told us all about Indie publishing and how she is doing better with indie than with a traditional New York publisher. From there on, the talk was all about income streams and how having several titles available—regardless of the path to publication—was the way to making money in this business. Discoverability is the key–how to get readers to notice your book in the vast ocean of books out there.

It was a lot to take in. And a lot to think about. But you, the readers will be the winners in the end. More choices, books that might never have been published will be out there. And let me tell you, some of them are amazing.

Would you buy a book that you knew was indie published? Would you publish one? Are there types of books you’d like to read, but can’t find—or can’t find enough of?

Have a great week!
Cheryel

The Scary World of Editors and Agents

I am taking part in Row 80, the full name of which is A Round of Words in 80 Days. “The writing challenge that knows you have a life.” You set your own goals, which works for me. My goals for this round are here.

As I said in my last blog, I attended the Moonlight and Magnolias Conference in Decatur, Georgia. The conference was amazing, and I’d like to share some more of the fun—and the information—from that conference.
On Friday, the first official event took place. The Industry, AKA Editor-Agent, Panel is a staple at most writers conferences, and this one was no different. At a long table (in order of seating) were: Nancy Knight (agent with Sullivan Maxx Literary Agency), Michelle Grajikowski (3 Seas Literary Agency), Victoria Curran (editor, Harlequin), Leah Hultenschmidt (senior editor, Sourcebooks), Deidre Knight (agent, The Knight Agency ), Holly Blanck (editor St. Martin’s Press), Charlene Patterson (editor, Bethany House), and Laura Bradford (agent, Bradford Literary Agency). [I will hereafter refer to the panel by last name.]
I’ll try to decipher my notes here and pass on some highlights.
D. Knight said this is an exciting time for writers, with all the different paths to publication and success.
All of the editors seemed to agree that electronic versions of books is the wave of the future.
Blanck stated that St. Martin’s publishes print and electronic editions of books simultaneously.
N. Knight stated that she is a partner with Belle Books, and that she is always looking for new ways to sell books. She says a big part of market is e-books.
As for querying/submitting, Hultenschmidt says, “the query is what will get me.” She wants the query to “make me fall in love with hero.” She prefers a short synopsis.
In a synopsis, Curran wants to know what will keep the hero and heroine apart.
N. Knight Grajikowski, Curran, Hultenschmidt, and D. Knight respond to all queries.
Patterson says she only accepts agent queries unless she’s met the writer at a conference.
All of them are looking for historicals. They do have different needs/desires.
I hope this information is helpful to the writers out there. If you have questions or need more information, please comment.

Happy hump day!
Cheryel