Sunday, August 29, 2010

IT'S TRICKY

“This speech is my recital, I think it’s very vital
To rock (a rhyme), that’s right (on time)
It’s Tricky is the title, here we go…” RUN D.M.C. It’s Tricky

The Mighty Run D.M.C. said it well. But for them- rippin phat beats wasn’t all that tricky. They were a BRAND. A NAME. Every kid, whether from the city or the sticks wanted roped chains or at least ADIDAS shell top sneakers. They had the talent, the skill, and marketed their music to the masses.

As I am researching who to query and what they are looking for, yada, I am coming across more and more that agents and pubs want to know how YOU see your own personal brand, how YOU can be sold as an author. They are looking for your career arc, not just that first book. AND THEY ARE NOT doing all the work for you.

So, what sets you apart? Makes YOU as an author different, unique, a fresh voice in the publishing world? If you haven’t thought about it, you better start.

“It's like that y'all (y'all), but we don't quit
You keep on (rock!) shock! Cause this is it..."
RUN D.M.C. It’s Tricky

…And getting published sure is!

12 comments:

  1. Hey Liz & AJ....Getting publish sure is!rocking confidence!-Meetika:)

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  2. The whole having to market myself scares the crap out of me, personally.

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  3. my big fear is that i have no idea where if it in. i have no idea where to start. i don't know where i see my writing career going. just how much work are they expecting us to do? isn't writing and honing our skills enough?

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  4. It is scary as hell. But the market is fierce. I was in a place a few months back where I felt my writing would speak for itself.

    I had genres issues big time. Didn't know where I fit in. You have to read books you feel are similar, read blogs from readers of the genre. Read up on cross genres if you are in between.

    It's not that you will have to come up wth your own marketing plan but you have to know your audience. That takes time.

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  5. Hey C! & Howdy A (I know you're listening in)

    I surfed over to playlist.com and played It's Tricky to get in the spirit of your post. It's hard to feel scared about anything when you're rockin' out to that. :)

    I think it's very much about finding a balance - conform, but be unique. Build an audience - without being published? Yep. And polish polish polish your MS - because editors don't edit. Hmmm.

    I don't know about scary - but frustrating, yes.

    I worry about polishing my voice right out of my MS. I worry that some of the advice I get comes from sources less educated than I am in this industry. I worry that advice from experienced pros in the field is often contradictory from one to another.

    Sometimes it feels like you need to write what they want if you want to get published. But everyone says to write the story that's in your heart. Your voice, your story - but in the language and style of your chosen market. Yep, balance - It's Tricky.

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  6. I think your voice is one of the most important tools in your arsenal as a writer. When I first started with crit groups and jumped in so fast taking all the advice that I did lose my voice.

    I stepped back from critting so much. Got the basics down and am still learning.

    However, regardless of voice your market is a separate issue.

    I know who I want reading my work, who I thinks my work is comparable to, yada. That is key in a query. The agent will know you have done your homework.

    You need to sell yourself to an agent, no? Then you have to know who you are selling yourself to as a whole. The query is the first step in marketing yourself. It's a completely different animal than writing in itself.

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  7. P.J., I so keep hearing the song in my head! Love this lil' diddy.

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  8. All this crap we need to know and do is making me exhausted.
    Brenda

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  9. Grab some coffee Brenda and join the club. But the more I sit with it, the more it all makes sense.

    My MS, I thought, was complete. I am in re-writes now. And as I do that I am keeping up with the market, trends, best selling lists, yada. When I am ready to submit again, I will be 100% ready.

    I didn't listen when peeps told me to sit back and wait. I've paid the price. But am all the smarter for it...

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  10. It may be a different animal - but the way I see it, it's related. All the marketing in the world won't help if they don't want what you write - if you don't write what they want. So, no matter which part of the process a writer is at, there still has to be a balance with the other parts.

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  11. P.J., good point. So when honing your voice you should be thinking about who will pay to listen to it! LOL.

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  12. Actually, I've read that advice a few times. Just yesterday I read something from a published author that talked getting nowhere querying and marketing until her strong voice was 'tempered' with the aid of her CPs.
    It's not something I obsess over - but what will sell is in the back of my mind while I write. As is who will read it, which marketing techniques will work best, is it enough unique - enough like already published works.
    Like your title says: IT'S TRICKY.

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