Posts Tagged With: pitching

Children’s Publishers

Hello All You Wannabe Children’s Writers,

Today I’m going to tell you all about publishers who focus on children’s books.  Now, are you sitting comfortably?  Can you see the pages?  Let’s begin…

First up – you need to know that I’m focussing on Australian publishers and I’m zoning in on those publishers that are accepting unsolicited manuscripts.  Does everybody know what that means?  In case you don’t – unsolicited manuscripts are those that arrive to the publisher unsolicited.  That means the publisher didn’t ask for them, they simply ‘arrived’.  Unsolicited manuscripts are different from solicited manuscripts – solicited m/s may have been introduced to the publisher by an agent or the publisher may have requested the manuscript based on you having previously published with them.  You’ve got to remember that publishers aren’t just sitting around waiting for your novel!  They’re working hard on putting together and promoting their current list, they have their ‘family’ of authors that have already been solicited (so to speak) and they have lots of other work they attend to.  Literary Agent and author Virginia Lloyd has written about the path of the solicited/ unsolicited manuscript on her blog which you can read here.

Anyhoo – for the purpose of this blog, let’s pretend you have written a sensational children’s book and you’re looking for a great Aussie publisher.  Who might you approach?

Well – the first stop would be to purchase the terrific e-zine subscription called Pass It On.  Pass It On is organised by the totes excellent children’s author extraordinaire Jackie Hosking. Each Monday, Pass It On lands in your email inbox and is jammed full with the latest info – specifically for authors of children’s and YA – on literary competitions, societies, groups, workshops, poetry, news, book launches and publisher information.  Pass It On will provide you with a way to build your writing network as well as offering all the links you need to polish your story and prepare it for submission to a publisher.

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After that – you might consider approaching some of the following…

Allen & Unwin’s The Friday Pitch – make sure you follow all their guidelines and formats.  You want them to take you seriously!  I notice that The Friday Pitch is open to non-fiction and adult as well so if you’ve got some of those manuscripts kicking around the bottom drawer….

EK Books is an imprint of Exisle Publishing.  Their motto is ‘great story, great characters, great message’ and their books are mainly aimed at children aged 4-8 years.  They also describe themselves as the new kids on the children’s publishing block – so you might consider getting in on the ground floor with them as they build their lists.

Like Allen & Unwin, Freemantle Press are looking for all kinds of manuscripts – not just children’s.  They are especially interested in work that has a strong Western Australian flavour or that has been written by a WA writer.

Harper Collins Publishing offers The Wednesday Post where they accept unsolicited manuscripts on a Wednesday.  At the moment they are not accepting children’s but they are considering Young Adult so… worth a try there.

New Frontier Publishing is looking for children’s books to educate, uplift and inspire.  I also notice that you can purchase their author submissions pack which costs $60 but includes a variety of their books (around 5 ) and a description of why each of those were chosen for publication.  A good learning curve and a few books to add to the shelves!

Pan MacMillan Australia has Manuscript Monday and while they aren’t accepting children’s picture books they are considering YA, crossovers and junior fiction.  They emphasise that you must be familiar with the work they publish (it’s always a good idea – so you find the right publisher for your story).  Do your homework before you submit!

Random House Australia has a couple of imprints that will publish children’s books.  They request a query email first (kidspitch@randomhouse.com.au) so work on your pitching skills and make that initial email something impressive!

text publishing is interested in fiction and non-fiction for junior and upper primary as well as YA.  These guys are a personal fave of mine – they publish some great stuff and I love that they’re a little bit old school – they want you to post a hard copy, in the mail.  I love that – whenever I have to send anything in by hard copy I always give it a squeeze and a kiss before I slip it in the post! *blush*

Okay – so there are many more but I think this gives you a good starting point.  If you would like to know more, you can purchase (for a measly $5) the AUSTRALIAN CHILDREN’S BOOK PUBLISHERS ACCEPTING UNSOLICITED MSS pdf from Jackie Hosking at Pass It On (you’ll find it on the side bar)

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Good luck and let us know how you get on submitting your story to a real, live publisher! *squeee*

 

 

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Love is in the (Writing) Air

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I do.

February might be all but over but romance is here to stay – the romance writing industry that is. It is estimated the romance writing industry is worth well over one billion dollars each year. That’s just in the US. Mills and Boon claim on their website that they sell four books per second. Per second! That’s a lot of covers with men sporting luscious flowing locks and ripped abs.

Romance writers are often called the rock stars of the literary world. Listening to New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Kylie Scott, talk last year at the Readers and Writers Down Under Conference, it was easy to see why. Scott is just damn cool. Her practical advice for aspiring writers and her delivery is straight down the line.

The RWDU was my first conference. Understandably, I was nervous. Would I know what I was doing? Would it be obvious to everyone that this was my first time? Would I feel different afterwards?

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Did someone say, ‘Writers Conference’?

It was fantastic. I learnt so much and now jump at the opportunity to attend more conferences.

A writer’s conference is usually filled with panels, workshops, industry talks, signings, meet and greets and an event such as a cocktail party or masquerade ball. Many also have pitching sessions where you can book in some one on one time with agents and publishers. Romance writing conferences have all this and often some of the cover models. Ahem.

There are several reasons why I love conferences:

They are about building relationships and connections 
If you go to a conference, make sure you go to at least one social function. You can meet authors, fellow writers, agents and publishers. Just don’t go expecting a publishing contract. The social events are designed for you to meet people and to have a good time – not to pitch your manuscript. The agents and publishers are at the social events to enjoy themselves, not to work. Consider it more like a first date. It’s an opportunity to make first contact, to see if there’s any chemistry between you. You can later mention in your query letter that you enjoyed talking with them at the conference.

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Conference social events are a great way to meet industry professionals in a relaxed environment.

Learn industry information
Find out about publishing trends, tips on marketing, whether to traditionally or self publish, if you need an agent, what industry professionals look for and much more.

You can tailor your day to suit your interests
Some conferences let you pay for the sessions you wish to attend, others allow you to purchase a full day pass. Either way, grab a hold of the program as soon as you can and book in to the sessions you will get the most out of.

Pitching opportunities
Many conferences hold pitching events where you can book one-on-one time with an agent or publisher. The advantage of this is you receive instant feedback (no months of agonising waiting) and the best part – the chance to ask questions. I had this opportunity last year with my dream publisher and while I didn’t walk away with a contract, I did get clear insight as to how to make my manuscript work so that it would be published. Be aware these sessions are usually not included in the ticket price and will cost extra. They can also be nerve racking. Would I do it again? You bet I would. As soon as I’ve finished making those recommended changes.

Meeting like-minded writers
Conferences can be a great opportunity to meet other writers and have the chance to form writing or critique groups. Writing is definitely something you can do by yourself but it’s a lot more fun if there’s someone else to join in.

Meeting editors
Meeting an editor in person gives you the opportunity to clarify just what an editor does with your manuscript. There’s a whole lot more than picking up on spelling and grammatical mistakes.

Improving your skills
Conference workshops provide the opportunity for your to improve the technical aspects of your writing skills.

Book swag!
I love freebies. From the name tag lanyard to the bags full of bookmarks, conferences deliver on the swag. At RWDU I ended the day loaded up with books, bags, jewellery, lip balm, post cards, signed pictures and more. Swag heaven.

Feeling inspired to check out a local conference? Contact the Romance Writers Association in your state or country and they can let you know what is happening in your area. Otherwise, check out some of the links listed below.

Just remember the following conference essentials:

1. Enjoy yourself and relax – don’t force your manuscript on any one. Being pushy is the fastest way to ensure no second date.

2. Don’t be shy. Everyone is there to meet new people. A lot of people will not know anyone else and would really appreciate a smile and a, “Would you like to join me?” at lunch time.

3. Romance writers are generally friendly and welcoming people. At the conference you will find others at all different stages of the writing and publishing journey. Enjoy yourself, meet new friends, and be comforted in the fact that you are now part of the biggest grossing literary industry in the world.

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The world loves romance novels.

There are HEAPS of romance writing conferences in 2016. Here’s just a few:

Romance Conferences in 2016

Readers and Writers Down Under
March 4th – 5th, Gold Coast, Australia.

The Passionate Pen
April 11th – 12th, Las Vegas, USA

The Love Letter Convention
April 24th -25th, Berlin Prenzlauer Berg, Germany.

Romancing the Capital
May 6th and 7th, Ottawa, Canada.

Romance Author and Reader Event
July 9th, Edinburgh, Scotland

Romance Writers of New Zealand
August 12th – 14th, Auckland, New Zealand

Romance Writers of Australia Annual Conference
August 19th -21st , Adelaide, South Australia.

Romance Writers Organisation of SA
September 24th -25th, Johannesburg, South Africa

Have you been to a romance writers conference? What was the best thing about the experience for you? Let us know in the comments below.

Categories: Pitching, Writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Share your pitch

Over the last three weeks, each of the Print Posse have shared their pitching advice – Yanicke discussed Twitter pitching, Gabbie explored the ins and outs of pitching in person, and Fiona offered some tips for participating in online pitching contests.

This week we thought we would do something a little different.

For the first five people who share their pitches in the comments below, we will provide our critiquing services and help you pitch your manuscript in 140 characters or less for Twitter pitching.

Don’t be shy. We promise to be gentle, yet honest.

And be sure to refer to this month’s blog posts for some advice.

Revised pitches or suggestions will be posted on The Print Posse’s page next Sunday the 30th of August.

share your pitch

Categories: Pitching, Uncategorized | Tags: | Leave a comment

Pitching Your Novel On Twitter

So, you’ve finished writing your novel… now what?

This month, Fiona, Gabbie and I will be discussing different ways to pitch your novel.

pitching your novel

Pitching in the A-league…

Some of the most exciting things I’ve experienced on my writing journey are Twitter pitch events.

What are Twitter Pitch events?

To state the obvious, Twitter pitch events are pitching events held on Twitter.

For a set period of time (commonly 12 hours but sometimes 24 hours) writers can pitch their novel to agents and editors. Agents and editors then invite writers to query them by favouriting the Twitter pitches (or twitches) that catch their interest.

Twitter pitch events are a regular occurrence these days: PitMad is held every March, July, September and December; PitchMAS every July and December; SFFpit in June and December; and AdPit every February and August.

And now agents and agencies are hosting their own pitch events. For example, every few months Erin Niumata invites writers to pitch directly to her on Twitter and Curtis Brown hosts monthly pitching events at #PitchCB.*

Generally, you can pitch your novel twice an hour (except when directly pitching to agents and agencies – be sure to check their pitch guidelines before participating). And to help agents and editors find your twitches among the sea of tweets on the feed you are encouraged to use category and genre hashtags. Different events utilise different hashtags, so be sure to peruse their lists before you pitch:

Usually when I participate, I make sure I have 24 pitches ready to go and I load them into Tweetdeck ahead of time (as I live in Australia – most pitch events begin when I’m going to bed). Just remember, if you use scheduling tools like Tweetdeck and Buffer, make sure you re-word pitches you plan to use more than once otherwise they may not be posted (Tweetdeck and Buffer do not like duplicate tweets when they are posted close together).

Oh, and remember, whether you are participating or simply supporting writers who are, only retweet – do not favourite twitches. That is only for agents and editors to do.

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Enter the world of Twitter pitching…

What is a Twitch?

A Twitter pitch (or twitch) is a 140 character pitch of your novel.

Most writers focus on one aspect of their novel per twitch – either character, conflict, premise, stakes or voice – the most popular (and highly recommended by many writers) being stakes (ie. When this happens to the main character, she must to this, or else this will happen).

My most successful twitch to date, however, does not have stakes in it. In fact, it was one I threw in on the spur of the moment – my last pitch for the day – and it snagged stars from three agents:

She can tame the undead with her words. He chose to become undead to keep her safe. Love destined or doomed? BUFFY x OUTLANDER #Pitmad YA PR

Why do I love Twitter Pitch events?

1. Hot-querying instead of cold-querying

I’ve had far more requests for fulls and partials from Twitter pitch events than general cold-querying. I think this might have something to do with the fact, right now, my novel is a hard sell (it is a YA vampire novel and historical to boot). Figuring out which agents might be interested in YA historical paranormal novels and worth querying is tricky – but when I pitch on Twitter I know which agents are interested in my premise because they give me a gold star 😀

2. Meeting other writers

Participating in Twitter pitch events is a wonderful way to meet other writers and extend your online network.

3. It is fun

The moment a pitch event kicks off is exciting. One minute the feed is still, and the next – wham! – the tweets start flying.

4. Honing your pitching skills

140 characters is not much. When you spend hours crafting a dozen or more Twitter pitches, you quickly learn how to summarise your novel – a skill that is never a waste to have.

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My Twitches

Here are some of my most successful twitches that have garnered multiple stars from agents/editors:

June 2015

  • She can tame the undead with her words. He chose to become undead to keep her safe. Love destined or doomed? BUFFY x OUTLANDER #Pitmad YA PR
  • Some people can tame horses, others can sweet-talk hounds, but 17yo Boudica can force vampires to their knees…with a whisper #Pitmad #YA #PR
  • In 18c Scotland, a 17yo girl learns to tame vampires with her words. OUTLANDER meets ANITA BLAKE but with panties on. #Pitmad #YA #PR #HF
  • In 18c Scotland, where hellhounds roam & witches spin lies, the survival of an entire clan rests with a 17yo girl. #Pitmad #YA #PR #HF
  • She can tame the undead with her words. He chose to become undead to keep her safe. A 18c love story inspired by Celtic folklore #Pitmad #YA
  • Cute boys in kilts. Witches harboring secrets. Monsters masquerading as friends. Life’s complicated when you’re the Whisperer #Pitmad #YA PR

December 2014

  • In 18c Scotland, 17yo girl must hone her ability to tame vampires if she wants to face the monsters who massacred her kin & live #PitMad #YA
  • Scotland 1723: To save her clan, 17yo girl must hone her vampire taming powers but it means trusting the boy who betrayed her. #Pitchmas #YA
  • 17yo Boudica can tame vampires with her words. But she’s being hunted & must decide if her childhood beau is friend or foe #Pitmad #YA #PR
  • In 18c Scotland, a smithy’s daughter & a cute vampire in a kilt must join forces to defeat the monster who massacred her kin #Pitmad #YA #PR

Some great articles if you want to know more:

* If you know of any other agents/agencies that hold pitching events, please let me know in the comments below

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