Monday, July 4, 2011

Gearin' Up To Get An Agent Blogfest!

I'm very excited to be a part of Deana Barnhart's blogfest, which is being held over a period of four weeks! The subject of week one is: what are your burning questions about writing?

Here are mine:

1) Has anyone ever been offered agent representation or publication, but declined it? Why?

2) What are the most successful and/or unique promotional techniques you've implemented or heard of another author implementing?

I intend to visit all of the participant's blogs, but I'm out of town on the 4th and back to work on the 5th, so I'll probably be hopping Tuesday and Wednesday night. I look forward to chatting with old blog friends and meeting new ones!

Also, I'm having a book giveaway to celebrate my new Urban Fantasy newsletter! Click here to enter!

22 comments:

  1. Hi,
    i'm doing the blogfest too. Don't have an answer for Q1. I'd say for Q2 the really unique promotional techniques tend to be one off things that are hard to emulate once they've been done once.

    I read recently of people putting books on Kindle with other Author Names in the title, e.g. "The Blahblah Affair for fans of James Patterson", so people searching James Patterson would find it. And it worked, boosting sales until Amazon stepped in and put a stop to it. Half the batttle seems to be just getting noticed.

    Following you and on twitter too!

    mood
    Moody Writing
    @mooderino

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  2. Have a great Independence Day!

    #1 - Only in my fantasies - you know the ones where I get a dozen offers but can only pick one. And then I wake up.

    #2 - The most successful promotional technique I've seen was when Beth Revis' debut novel Across the Universe came out. I'd never heard of her, but the buzz around the web was so incredible, I had to buy a copy.

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  3. The best promo technique that I saw was the blogsplash for Talli Roland's The Hating Game. It skyrocketed up the paid Kindle charts thanks to bloggers and Twitter. It was amazing.

    I'd love to be in a position to decline an offer from a publisher. That indeed is fantasy, hehe.

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  4. Alexia, I just came by to say hi. I have been terrible lately with regard to visiting the blogs of others. I'm spending part of my day getting reacquainted with many. Take care.

    -Jimmy

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  5. Hi, Alexia,

    Question No. 1 hasn't happened (yet!), but I would decline someone's offer if it just didn't feel right. I've come too far not to trust my instincts and wait for an editor and/or agent who is as passionate about my book as I am and who wants to work together to make the final manuscript as beautifully written as possible.

    I think some of the best promotional techniques center around partnering with others such as guest blog posts and critique fests (like this one!). Another key element for success, I think, is genuinely caring about those you want to connect with by asking what you can do for them; for example, cross promote published followers, as you do with your Awesome Books blog page.

    I also believe in utilizing Amazon's full potential, e.g. adding tags and asking others to tag my book with the same keywords, trying to get at least 10 reviews as soon as my book is available on the site, joining Author Central and creating an author page, having an Amazon Connect blog, and conducting a bestseller campaign to drive sales on a single day as part of the preorder campaign.

    I'm glad you asked these questions. :)

    Michelle
    http://michellefayard.blogspot.com

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  6. Hi Alexia,
    In answer to your question:
    1) No
    2) Haven't got that far yet
    3) The most interesting t5echnique for promotion I've heard about is the idea of giving your work away for free via the web. The article is 'Copyright and the Future of the Future' by Cory Doctorow and I gave a brief description of it in my 3rd July blog. You should have read of his article...it's very insightful and you can get it for free from his website. The details are on my blog htt://vickybruere.blogspot.com

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  7. I'm not sure I have answers to your questions, but they are fabulous and I feel like I've learned something reading other's comments :)

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  8. Q1: Definitely if it doesn't feel right, go with your instincts. But also, if the personalities don't click, if you're looking for a very hands-on agent (for instance), and you know this one is an I-email-if-and-when-I-hear-news agent, and ESP if the agent doesn't follow up on appointments with you or appears otherwise overwhelmed or disorganized.

    Q2: Some great answers already! Tags galore, and don't be afraid to target niches and ask for book reviews.

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  9. I haven't walked away from an agent, but I have publishers. I think it's all about having the same vision and goals. If you don't have the same ambitions, it won't work. As writers we sometimes forget we're choosing the literary agent (or publisher) we want to have represent us. Not just anyone will do. We need a helpmate who feels strongly about our book in the same ways we do. If that chemistry isn't there, move on!

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  10. Great questions.
    #1 No. I'm very happy with my agent. I chose to work with her because she "gets" my work. Also, good communication is key in any relationship, don't you think?

    #2 I've noticed lately that authors who are well supported by other authors do quite well.

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  11. Ditto!! @angelina (Q2) I <3 this writing community.

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  12. #2 - Word of mouth is still the best promotional tool. However, I did think what Andrea Cremer did with Nightshade was interesting--she created a blog under one of her character's names and an actor actually video-blogged as that character, with clues and questions that would be answered within the book.

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  13. 1) No.

    2) Elana Johnson just did a great job. So did Beth Revis. One of the most impressive is the person who wrote Like Mandarin. She had her bloggers write posts about who they'd wished they were most like when they were younger. Who didn't have someone they admired as a teen? It got the word out and made for some interesting posts.

    And it worked. I'm reading the book right now.

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  14. 1) I cannot even imagine turning down an agent even though I have read all the very good answers already posted.

    2)Elana Johnson's Possession was very well publicized through blogs, twitter and contests. She did such a good job, though, because she built her platform before. She even gave away her e-book From the Query to the Call to anyone who asked (she still does!). That really built her up too.

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  15. I agree, Beth Revis and Elana Johnson had such great buzz I HAD to get the books. As for your first question, only in my dreams. ;)

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  16. Q1: no, not yet. But I know I will have to be happy with both before I'll sign up with them It's a big commitment!

    Q 2: I agree, Elana Johnson and Beth Revis did great stuff!

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  17. I haven't had number 1 happen to me. No agent requests yet, but I know of others it has happened to and they said it wasn't the right fit, or the agent never submitted their work, basically poor practices.
    For number 2--the blog tours, to me, are a great way to get a lot of people involved.

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  18. Hi! Such great questions and I'm reading the answers with interest.

    Q1: No - still hunting for the first offer.
    Q2: I think if you can create a buzz among kidlit world,that buzz trickles down to the actual kids. Because bottom line, parents usually buy the books, and I know I've recommended books to students and librarians after I've read something that's had great Internet buzz.

    Following you now! also on Twitter @HeyMsJRo

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  19. Don't have an answer but reading the comments has been fun :)

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  20. I wish I could say I have had to turn down agents but alas....

    As for #2, not fir sure but I think knowing other authors, being big in the writing community and getting your name out there as MUCH as possible.

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  21. I can't answer either since I've done neither of those things yet. For me this is still a hobby and fun. No real "work" yet. =D

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I love talking with friends new and old! What's on your mind?