Lessons from The Art of Fielding

By Frances Caballo for Redwood Writers

You have spent years crafting your novel or anthology of poems and now you’re ready to send it out into the world. You’re trained as a writer but what about marketing? This series of blogs will endeavor to help you master the next steps to selling your book.

Did you read the October issue of Vogue magazine? There was a fabulous article in it titled “The Book on Publishing” by Graydon Carter and Keith Gessen. In case you missed it, you can purchase the article for $1.99 from Amazon.

It’s an engrossing tale and a good read.

The article chronicles the life of Chad Harbach, author of the novel The Art of Fielding, from his undergraduate studies to an MFA program as he pursues his passion of writing. Like too many writers, he wades through the morass of low-paying jobs while committing himself to the one novel he keeps rewriting.

With the support of friends who believe in his talent, Harbach meets literary agent Chris ParrisLamb of the Gernert Company in Manhattan. The agent loves Harbach’s novel and forwards copies to publishers.

After an initial offer of $175,000, which Harbach turns down, Parris-Lamb calls for an auction. Bidding starts at $100,000 and eventually ends with Scribner’s successful bid – of $750,000 and an opportunity to work with the editor of David Foster Wallace.

Now Harbach is not only a successfully published novelist but also a publishing story that Vogue and other media outlets can’t resist.

By the way, his book is doing great too. On GoodReads, the book has generated 1,242 ratings and 389 reviews. On Facebook, the book has nearly 500 “likes.”

This kind of story gives me hope. None of us will know the outcome of our passion for writing unless we stick with it, make time
to write, work on our revisions – and never sell ourselves to the lowest bidder.

Let me know what you think of the Vogue article, this blog, or any other thoughts you’d like to share. Thanks!

About the Author: Frances Caballo, owner of ACT Communications, has 22 years of communications and resource development experience. She has worked with small businesses and local, regional and national nonprofits at all levels of management. Presently, she is the Social Media Editor and a Board Vice President for Redwood Writers. She specializes in helping writers, small businesses and nonprofits with their social media marketing, external communications, and fund development needs. Frances is bilingual in English and Spanish.

 ©Frances  Caballo 2011 – This post cannot be reproduced without permission from the author.

A Writer’s Guide to Marketing

By Frances Caballo for Redwood Writers

You’ve spent years crafting your novel or anthology of poems and now you’re ready to send it out into the world. You’re trained as a writer but what about marketing? This series of blogs will endeavor to help you master the next steps to selling your book.

Michael Martine is the mastermind behind Remarkablogger, which he describes as “No-Bullshit Blogging for Bitchin’ Businesses.” It’s immediately obvious that he has found his blogging voice – a unique one that rises to the top of search engines out there on the Internet.

This guy has personality and he really knows his stuff.

He wrote a 65-page e-book titled How to Write an E-Book That Doesn’t Suck. This is a great little book for bloggers to pick up because it will show you how to plan your blogs ahead of time and then compile them into a “how-to” e-book.

Do you cringe at the thought of writing pitches to sell your book? Michael sums up his advice with this comment: “Nowhere … does it say, ‘Sound like an overhyped snake oil salesman and bleed yellow highlighter all
over your text.’”

In other words, don’t push your book. If it’s a “how-to” book, promote it as containing solutions to the buyer’s problems or questions.

[Read more…]