If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book next year, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our March author interviews: Karen Pullen (3/1), Lowcountry Crime authors: Tina Whittle, Polly Iyer, Jonathan M. Bryant, and James M. Jackson (3/8), Annette Dashofy (3/15), Edith Maxwell (3/22) and Barb Ross (3/29).

Saturday Guest Bloggers in March: Maris Soule (3/4), and Virginia Mackey (3/11). WWK Saturday bloggers write on 3/18--Margaret S. Hamilton and on 3/25--Kait Carson.

Julie Tollefson won the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter's Holton Award for best unpublished manuscript (member category) for her work in progress, In The Shadows. Big news for a new year. Congratulations, Julie.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Once a Kappa" was published as a finalist in the Southern Writer's Magazine annual short story contest issue. Mysterical-E published her "Double Crust Corpse" in the Fall 2016 issue. "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

Linda Rodriquez has two pending book publications. Plotting the Character-Driven Novel will be released by Scapegoat Press on November 29th. Every Family Doubt, the fourth Skeet Bannion mystery, is scheduled for release on June, 13, 2017. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Linda here in June!

Cross Genre Publications anthology, Hidden Youth, will contain Warren Bull's "The Girl, The Devil, and The Coal Mine." The anthology will be released in late November 2016. The We've Been Trumped anthology released by Dark House Press on September 28th contains Warren Bull's "The Wall" short story and KM Rockwood's "A Phone Call to the White House." KM writes under the name Pat Anne Sirs for this volume.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for pre-order.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Three Thoughts from an Editor

Today on Salad Bowl Saturday we welcome Kendel Flaum (Kendel Lynn) who I had the pleasure of meeting at Malice Domestic this year. There she appeared in both her role as Managing Editor (and proud mother of the Hen House) of Henery Press (which published among other books Susan M. Boyer's Agatha Winning LOWCOUNTRY BOIL), and as the author of BOARD STIFF

Since we have more authors as guest bloggers than we do editors, I asked her if she would put on her editor hat today.

~ Jim

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I’m writing today from the editorial desk, offering three quick bits of advice. Whether in the early stages of your publishing career or submitting to agents or editors, these little gems will keep you on top of your game.

Keep Writing

Writers hear this one repeated so often, it almost becomes null. But don’t let it breeze past you. Even before you sell your manuscript, even before you get an agent. Even when your manuscript is polished and sparkly and on its way, start the next book, whether a new standalone or the next in the series. Not only does it keep you focused on your writerly job and not the email box checking for replies, but it’s completely practical.

Editors/Agents want more than one title, they want a career. At some point, you’re going to be asked what you’re working on now and when will it be done. If you sign a multiple-book deal, you’ll have solid deadlines built in, and you’ll no longer have the luxury of unlimited time to write, revise, rework, beta test, revise, polish, and perfect. You probably spent years getting your first ready for publication. Don’t expect a six month rush job will net the same results.
  
Maintain Your Circle

Continuing the thought, don’t skip the editorial steps. Just because you sold your book, doesn’t mean you can cut some of the valuable processes that got you that book deal. Ask the largest of the NYT bestsellers, and they’ll tell you they still use their best betas, trusted freelance editors, and closest author friends to read, advise, and critique.

If you want adoration, give it to your mom (she’ll love it!). If you want the truth, give it to a writer you trust. And tell them you want the whole truth, the you’ve-got-a-glob-of-spinach-in-your-teeth truth, the you-can’t-pull-off-that-dress truth. It stings, it’s embarrassing, it’s hard to hear. But hear it, use it, work it. Make that manuscript as strong as your last. Better yet, make it stronger. Nothing kills your career like having a sophomore slump followed by a third book bust. Writers who rush to meet deadlines, cut important steps, may quickly find their career lasted three books.
  
Social Media

Please start now. Right now. Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Blogging. Whichever two or three best social media outlets suit you, go for it. Now. Did I say that already? Because I’m serious. Build your website – a professional-looking online “resume” of your writer life. It needs personality, projects, and contact. It doesn’t have to be fancy (news flash: very few author websites are), a simple WordPress (free) site works fine. Get yourself out there.

Build your Twitter and Facebook base early, before you sell your book. Way before. By the time you’re racing toward your release date, you’ll be swamped with editorial and promotional duties, plus writing the next book (for those who did not follow my sage advice three paragraphs ago), and you simply won’t have the time to gain followers, much less engage with them.

It’s fabulous to be out there tweeting your release all day, but if you’ve only got 127 followers, you might as well plop yourself on the front porch and tell whoever walks by. Plus, you can’t just shout at strangers (online or in the street) to buy your book, you need to interact with them, talk, reply, like things, so when they do see your name pop up with a book release, they are excited for you and want to buy it.

Thanks for reading, and thanks to Writers Who Kill for having me. I hope you find these bits helpful, and timely, and I hope to see you around the Hen House some day!

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ABOUT KENDEL FLAUM

Kendel is a Southern California native who now parks her flip-flops in Dallas, Texas. She read her first Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators at the age of seven and has loved mysteries ever since. Writing as Kendel Lynn, her debut novel, BOARD STIFF, won several literary competitions, including the Zola Award for Mystery/Suspense. Along with writing and reading, she spends her time as the managing editor of Henery Press where she acquires, edits, and figures out ways to avoid the gym but still eat cupcakes for dinner.

Henery Web: www.henerypress.com
Personal Web: www.kendellynn.com



10 comments:

KM said...

Thanks for a good blog for the beginning writer from the editor's point of view!

James Montgomery Jackson said...

Kendel, thanks for the good reminders. I suspect each writer has more problems with one of these than with others.

I always have writing projects in mind and something in process, so I'm good on #1.

I have watched the quality of some authors' second and third novels fall off to the point where I don't bother reading them anymore. Since I do not want that to happen to me, I have stepped up my requirements for real feedback.

Then there's the social networking thing--can't we go back to the mid-20th century when networking meant a party phone line? I have to force myself to do this because it is not natural.

However, I know from my business career focusing time to improve weaknesses is more important than spending that same bit of time gilding lilies of competence.

So thanks for the reminder. I'm heading to Facebook now.

~ Jim

Gloria Alden said...

Good advice,Kendel. Like Jim, I'm good at the first two, and maybe lacking a little in the third. Yes, I have a website and I blog and I belong to about six list serves, but I don't Twitter and my visits to Facebook are not every day. I'm not sure how writers find time to write if they're too involved in Twittering and Facebook. I find it hard to keep up with the list serves, to tell the truth.

I enjoyed meeting you at Malice, Kendel and admire your success in both writing and running a publishing business.

Claire said...

Thanks for the tips, Kendel. it made me glad I put up a new post on my blog this morning!

Your tips will come in handy. I'll post them where I can refer to them when I need that push.

Claire

Earl Staggs said...

Great tips, Kendel. I really need to concentrate on those things.

I hope you're enjoying the D/FW summer as much as I am next door in Fort Worth.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Kendel -
Thank you for stopping by with such good advice. I'd better get cracking.
And if you ever figure out the cupcake/gym thing, please let me know!
-Shari

Kara Cerise said...

Thank you for the terrific advice, Kendel. You answered my questions about the importance of social media and building a website.

I'm off to tweet.

Polly Iyer said...

Good post, Kendall. I would suggest one other thing: limit your social networking to a limited time frame, or your writing will suffer. Plan your times, do it daily. Now if I could only take my advice.

Kendel Flaum said...

Looks like social media is the hardest one to follow. Though speaking of taking one's own advice. I wish I would've worked harder on #1 on the list, my follow-up to Board Stiff. I'm under the gun trying to get it finished while running the entire editorial arm of this busy new press...

Thanks everyone for the comments and for giving this a read. A big thank you to Jim and the folkers here at Writers Who Kill for letting me share on the blog!

Di Eats the Elephant said...

Nice and sweet...like cupcakes - not too much to overwhelm you. I guess if we equate social media to the gym, we won't want to do it until it becomes really heady stuff (when the adrenaline kicks in and before the paparazzis are tracking down that pic of you with spinach in your teeth). For facebook, are you suggesting that the page is an author's page or a personal page, Kendel? Thanks for letting us have your editorial view today. We want the author one, too, but it is good to hear from the other side/hat (kind of like the Choosing Hat) :)