Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Angela Answers August 2014: Writing, Books, and Other Terrible Things

Last month I celebrated my five year Twitter anniversary. Seriously. Five years ago I had all the time in the world to respond to every DM, email, Facebook message, and Goodreads comment. Of course, back then no one cared. These days I tremble at the thought of my Twitter inbox, I haven't checked my Facebook messages on my author page in months, and I had, as of this morning, 13,958 unread emails.

Many of my direct messages are requests to like various Facebook pages and buy books--I delete those. I do not auto DM and I do not like receiving them--the exception is a nice thank you--no strings attached. I still don't do it, but I won't publicly shame you for it either. The non offending messages tend to come in the form of questions. Lots and lots of questions. I'd love to be able to answer ever single one of them, but I'd probably have to give up writing, and like...showering. Smelly authors are not happy people, so here today I wrote a blog of Answers to some of the most asked, and most random questions. I made the questions jumbo sized, so non-writers can easily find the questions that pertain to them and can skip the rest.

Share with your friends. Click here to ask your own question. Put Angela Answers in the subject. Otherwise it will go in the toxic waste pile with the other things I'm avoiding.

Facebook Q: Will you finish writing my book for me? I've tried, but I just can't get the ending.

Answer: While I feel humbled you would trust your book baby to me, alas, I have time for zero extra projects. Sadly, in addition to serious scheduling conflicts I can't read any non-published manuscripts from people who are not with my publisher Green Envy Press. Not because I am a snob, but because we live in a crazy world and I don't want to have to defend myself or an author who publishes with me, from someone claiming we stole book ideas from them.

There are very few exceptions to this rule, and those are only made for people I have worked with in the past. Please don't ask for an exception, those people already know who they are...I think.

Twitter Q: How do I publish a novel?

Answer: I love Twitter, and I have worked really hard at making myself approachable there. I want to have relationships on social media, and I don't just use it as an info dump. But because of that, I tend to have many people new to the business ask me very basic, see nonspecific, questions as they don't know where else to turn. I always feel really bad when I don't have time to help these people. I'll be honest, it used to annoy me. I used to huff and think, you can use Twitter why can't you use Google? But now I understand there is simply too much information to get a handle without some guidance from someone you trust. Since you are trusting me I tend to get a very warm feeling in my insides.

Deciding what publishing path is right for you is a big step. For some people the path seems to choose you. For other people the decision is not so easy. Since the person didn't specify, I don't know if they were asking for traditional or indie (self publishing). So I am going to give a very basic, quick-step guide to both.

Steps to Traditional Publishing:
Write a fantastic book>>>put it down/or have other people read it>>edit, edit, edit>>>put it down/have other people read it>>edit, edit, edit>>>research appropriate agents/ publishers>>>read their rules and requirements>>write a fantastic query letter and send with any other requirements >>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>> WAIT>>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>>WAIT>>> Repeat OR GET LUCKY

Now, I could help you with your query letter, telling you which agents I think are awesome (hint they are ALL on Twitter) but let's be honest:

Steps to Indie or Self Publish:
So yeah, once upon a time I was really good at query letters and stuff like that. I once wrote a synopsis that a popular agent said was the best one they had ever read--seriously--a synopsis! I am almost embarrassed at the stuff I spent time getting good at five years ago.

I want to preface this by telling you, I do not hate and wish ill legacy publishers and the people who publish with them. I think traditional publishers and indies are perfect for each other, and I think people are starting to figure that out too. At least judging by the indie authors that are being snatched up recently.

That being said, I feel more qualified to give advice on indie publishing, because I run a publishing co-op; and that is where my success comes from. SO here you go!

Write a fantastic book>>>put it down/or have other people read it>>edit, edit, edit>>>put it down/have other people read it>>edit, edit, edit>>>acquire cover, editing, formatting, and for the LOVE OF GOD don't do this all yourself unless you know someone who is going to be really honest with you.>>Arrange marketing>>>HIT THE PUBLISH BUTTON>>market>>>WRITE ANOTHER BOOK.

Social media should probably go in there somewhere, and marketing? There is more to that than would fit in this blog post or ten others. I am actually going to publish a book marketing series for authors, the first of which, Twitter for Authors and Other Introverts, comes out later this year.

Twitter Q: When does your next book come out?

Answer: Funny question. I have had a lot of issues publishing books this year, moving cross country and mad phobias have kept me from moving forward on the next book I had planned to release. OCD has made it so I have had a hard time just skipping to the next book after that. (They are all written.) HOWEVER, I decided to move forward with the release of 23 1/2 Hours to Live, my first released NA Romance--and it is coming out later this month. More on that soon!

Goodreads Q: How many books have you sold?

Answer: What's weird is, I don't even know. I didn't start keeping good track until this year. It's in the thousands.

Twitter Q: How can I get as many Twitter followers as you?

Answer: Create good content, engage, and come up with creative ways to find new people you can relate too.

Facebook Q: How do I write books?

Answer: If you ask the roughly 5% of people who leave me absolutely scathing reviews, they would tell you I have no freaking idea and you shouldn't ask me. ;) My official answer is, one word at a time. I have been told many of my books read like poetry. For me, every syllable has a feeling attached to it, like music. Every word should be important even if it's just to cut, or burn, or strike. Every word should be the right word to make people feel, to spark something in a person one way or another way.

But if you are wanting to walk me through how to plot or come up with characters, you may as well ask me how do I bleed. I just do. Stories come to my mind completed, as they are, flaws and all.

OK I have 2 prizes I HAVE GOT to mail out this weekend, (I'm sorry) so I am going to have an awesome and short giveaway. For what? Well it's kind of a surprise! I am going to take a Flat Rate Box and shove it full of everything I need to survive the weekend. Minus food...maybe. I am willing to send it to anywhere in the US and it's territories, bases, etc.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Subscribe to my mailing list!

* indicates required
Email Format


Andrew said...

I had a FB friend ask if I would write their college papers for them. I politely declined. I'm not a big non-fiction writer.

Also, I'm routinely told by someone at work that "you're a writer, you should be able to write this up quick."

Also, no.

Angela Kulig said...

Also, the cheating would be bad. ;)

Lynanne Carroll said...

I love Q+A sessions. This is a wonderful way to respond to all those readers (and would-be authors and authors)!

I'm basically my husband's personal assistant when it comes to anything writing: resumes, papers (proofing/editing), sermons/speeches....Sometimes it's troublesome (do it yourself!!), but he's really more of a talker, so I understand.

Angela Kulig said...

The winner is actually M.A. Patterson... I have no idea why RC cut it off weird.