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Newsletter Dated: 8/26/2002 9:13:30 AM
Subject: Andrea Campbell's Newsletter
*** Greetings! ***
This newsletter is being sent to you because you are a writer, family member, professional friend of Andrea’s, or a fan and reader of her books. If you are new to the list, welcome. There are a ton of newsletters and e-zines out there to read, thanks for requesting and reading mine. I am excited about this venue because it gives me the opportunity to reach larger numbers of people in a much shorter time. It will also contain more personal content and address things I don’t discuss on my web site.
Have questions, comments, or ideas for future publication? I look forward to your input and never turn down helpful hints. This newsletter is a continued work-in-progress and I hope you will stay around to see new features in every bi-monthly issue.
*** Last Call—Book Proposal Craft ***
This newsletter is going out a tad early because I want to promote my next workshop called How To Write A Killer Nonfiction Book Proposal. It begins September 2 and registration time is running out. So if you are tired of writing books that go nowhere, have suffered more frustration with fiction than you care to think about, perhaps it’s time to try another path—nonfiction.
This course is a must for anyone considering writing a nonfiction book proposal. A comprehensive, concrete, and indispensable class on what it takes to create a proposal that will get the attention of agents. This workshop is appropriate for writers who already have an idea for a book, but would like to know the complete, correct execution of this marketing product. Some of the concepts this class will cover are:
• Is Your Idea a Good One?
• The Essential Ingredients of a Killer Nonfiction Book Proposal
• The Marketing Tone
• Format and Overall Look
• Necessary Hardcopy Tools
• Selling You
• Packaging Your Product
• The Letter of Pursuit
• The Business of Proposing
And so on…
The How To Write A Killer Nonfiction Book Proposal workshop is a month long and you will receive at least a book’s worth of information, including the latest news from editors and agents. The course costs $80 and the classes are small enough to get very specific, individual attention is assured. To register, visit Painted Rock Writers and Readers Colony at: www.paintedrock.com
*** So Happy ***
I just signed a contract with Sterling Publishers for a new book entitled Gotcha! How Science and The Law Catch Criminals. This particular title is targeting the children’s market, ages 10 and up. The book will explore actual criminal cases including puzzles and activities for the reader. If you have an idea worth exploring or possess a penchant for puzzles, please let me know.
*** Book Signing Blueprint ***
Melody Bussey, author of Crazy Cats, "A quirky tale of murder, mayhem, cats and of unfinished business" just recently gave friends and colleagues some terrific ideas for your book signing table. Melody admits to making chocolate cats and dogs to share, but also had this advice. Melody says, "I have a travel kit I carry with me now and in that little bag on wheels are:
• A tablecloth
• Silver platter or tray for candy
• Candy of some sort, make or model
• Display easels (those everything’s-a-dollar stores sell them)
• A 11 x 16 sign that can be clipped or pinned onto the front of the tablecloth—it has the picture of the [book] cover on it
• Aspirin…and any other meds you might need. :)
• Bottle of water (cause some CRM’s think you can talk for four hours straight without needing water)
• Pad of paper
• Business cards
• Mailing list (for readers to add their name and addy)
• Quick tips handouts (invaluable if you get REALLY tired of answering the same ‘How do I find a publisher?’ question….and other such things)
• Bug spray (okay…kidding…but sometimes there are whackos that won’t leave you alone and then don’t buy a book)
• Two extra Press Kits ready and waiting (I’ve met sooo many great contacts through bookstores via people walking in, who just happen to be media people, leaders of civic organizations, etc…)
• Magnets (these have a cover graphic on it as well as the ISBN) Sometimes people just don’t have the bucks, but they can have a magnet, stick it on their ‘fridge and
24/7 you are in their face :)
• List of creative phrases to sign the books with. Believe me, after a couple of hours, you run out of interesting things to write in people’s books. Having a list discretely placed so you can glance at it, makes it easy."
Melody ends with saying, "Laugh if you want, but I arrange my stuff on my table feng shui style. I have yet, after 82 signings, now, to have a cricket chirping event where I don’t sell one book. My lowest count was four (duh…scheduled a signing in a University bookstore during a football game…WHAT was I thinking???).
Thanks to Melody for these well-thought out ideas. And, authors, one other tip that comes up frequently—do NOT sit behind a table waiting for book signing action. Get up, engage passers-by and hand your books out to those who hang back.
*** Bouchercon 2002 ***
If you are going to Bouchercon in Austin, Texas,
October 17-20, I will be there—make a point of saying Howdy. The panel I am on is entitled Forensics From Multiple POV, held October 19 at 9:00 am. I am in esteemed company: Robin Purcell, author of two police procedurals will be there, Susan Baker, a judge from Galveston, TX, Daniel Bailey, Deputy Sheriff from Mecklenburg County, NC, and Joyce Spitzer, private investigator and true crime author from Southern California.
For those of you who are curious, this conference is run by mystery fans for fans from all over the world and I am told it is huge. Bouchercons are nonprofit. This year it is being held at the Renaissance Austin located in the Northwest area of the city and the cornerstone of the Arboretum development, 95-acres of shops, restaurants and theaters. For more details, visit http://Bouchercon2002.org
*** KOD Workshop Coming ***
In October I will be teaching TALKING BONES for the Romance Writers of America Kiss of Death COFFIN classes (the College of Felony and Intrigue). My Murder One class is conducted by private e-mail and is very inexpensive. I always promise at least a book’s worth of information, and, let’s put it this way, you will have my ears for a whole thirty-one days! TALKING BONES is actually Forensic Anthropology—what the corpse reveals (this workshop is different from my FORENSIC ARTIST class.) The coursework details how and what information can be obtained from a mere skeleton (also a decomposing body). Professional forensic anthropologists are usually called in when the body is decomposed, has been buried, exhibits mummification or severe putrification.
Students will learn about:
• The life and tools of forensic anthropologists
• How to excavate a site
• The different conditions of a corpse and subsequent problems with that
• What can be determined from bones
• More about the human skeleton and its clues
• How this science is used for crimes
• The jargon of the industry
• Actual cases for reference
• Other sources: Bibliography
And a bonus: cadaver dogs, their training, use and methodology
Put me on your calendar NOW!
To sign up, visit: http://rwamysterysuspense.org/coffin.html
*** Book Publishing Pecking Order ***
The hierarchy of editorial titles varies from house to house, yet it is important to understand the basics of who does what so you know how to target your submissions. (Besides, it is good business sense to know more about operations.) To that end, I have prepared a checklist.
1. Acquisitions Editor. A very important person, primarily responsible for soliciting, evaluating, purchasing and sometimes editing manuscripts.
2. Editor-in-Chief. They are in charge of the entire editing system or work on an entire line, imprint or division at a publishing house. They also consider the million-dollar advance books and help to shape the list by presiding over editorial meetings. It usually does not pay to submit to them, as they deal with agents.
3. Editorial Directors. sometimes also referred to as Department Editor. These folks function as editors-in-chiefs of the various imprints. These imprints allow a publisher to publish what are in effect, separate lists each season. Each imprint has its own editorial staff, identity and reputation. Be aware of which imprints publish the kind of books your write and submit to them. Do not use the editorial director address however, they will probably just pass your ms down the line.
4. Executive Editor. Is synonymous with either senior editor, editor-in-chief, or managing editor depending on the publisher. They can also be editors who have received a title change in recognition of their achievement or longevity, or have some administrative duties. They are too high up the ladder to submit to successfully, unless otherwise announced.
5. Senior Editor. A senior editor has the same job as editors generally but has been promoted; could be an acquisitions editor with a good deal of decision-making (and sometimes policy-making) power.
6. Editor. These people do the bulk of acquisitions and you can submit to them. This is a rather generic term and can refer to anyone involved in editing.
7. Associate Editors. Editors who are promoted from entry level. They may or may not be able to acquire, and are working solely on assigned projects. It is a good idea to submit to them as associate editors are eager to find something that will help them up the corporate ladder.
8. Editorial Assistant. Usually an editor’s assistant; manages duties that range from secretarial, such as answering their phones, typing letters, or doing first readings of manuscripts, including those activities of a full-fledged editor. Be nice to them, they may call something to the attention of the higher-ups. They can also screen phone calls and are the editors of tomorrow.
9. Managing Editors. These persons oversee the day-to-day operations of a publication or editorial department; usually coordinating production, art department and schedules, they may serve as the editor-in-chief’s right-hand man/woman.
10. Supervising Editor. Ambiguous. Title could be synonymous with either managing editor or more often, a project editor.
11. Project Editor. Reads a particular publishing project.
12. Production Editor. Generally in charge of the physical production of a publication or project, including printing, design and more.
13. Editor-at-large. Could be a staff editor who handles a variety of tasks and wears different hats; also referred to as a freelance editor or consulting editor.
14. Consulting Editor. Usually a freelancer or someone outside the office hired to offer expertise and advice. In some cases the title is honorary, given to a well-known figure to add prestige to the particular book division.
15. Freelance Editor. A person who operates as an independent contractor who may serve as an editor on a project-by-project basis. He or she may have very explicit experience or work on a specialized topic.
16. Copy Editor. A workhorse editor who reads with an eye for mistakes, often going through a ms. word by word, making changes and corrections. Sometimes referred to as a manuscript editor.
17. Publisher. The big cheese, a person who is in charge of everything that goes on at a publishing firm. Oversees the editorial department and all other functions.
18. Proofreader. Reads manuscripts of material already typeset, looking for errors in spelling, grammar, margins, etc. Does little or no actual editing.
19. First Reader. A screening person usually tackling those books that are part of the >slush< pile—works that are unsolicited. Rejects most, but passes on the most promising titles to an editor for disposition.
20. Editorial Board Member. Part of a group of people that sit in and select manuscripts for publication. They may also help to determine editorial policy. More commonly associated with literary magazines or professional or technical journals or books.
21. Book Packager. A person (who usually belongs to a larger group) that provides publishing services such as design or production. Can supply finished manuscripts and, in some cases, bound books to large book publishers, mostly on an outside, contractual basis.
22. Contributing Editor. This title is generally associated with magazines or periodicals. They may have a regular column or simply write regularly for a publication. They may or may not do editing and, occasionally, the title is honorary and awarded as a perk, where an association is valuable.
*** Spread the Word ***
Have you heard about Bookshelf News? Bookshelf News is a great new tool for authors. Registered members can submit promotions, press releases and catchy promos or book reviews for publication. Editor Tina Hess says, "And once you are registered, you are essentially part of the staff." Bookshelf News itself is an opt-in newsletter for those who love to read, and for writers who need a venue to promote their titles. For member guidelines and general information about Bookshelf News visit: http://bookshelf_news.tripod.com
*** Future Newsletters ***
In upcoming newsletters I hope to answer reader’s questions, share a new story or two, talk more about publishing, and provide additional writer’s tips. If there is any area of my life or work you would like to discuss, from autopsy to monkeys, just send me a note. Thanks for the read. : 0 )
Copyright©2002 Andrea Campbell If you wish to quote from here fine, just attribute it to me and my web site.