Tuesday, 24 June 2014

How to support your published & indie-published colleagues & how to encourage the VPL to buy books you want to read.

--Go to vpl.ca
--Under Locations & Hours: click *Contact Us*
--Scroll way down to Library Departments
--Then select *Suggest a Purchase*
--Try to provide title, author; ISBN #, publisher, date of publishing (all of which you can look up by googling the Amazon listing and reading the copyright page - and pasting in that link in the comments box.
--They'll ask who the audience would be for it; how you heard about it.
-- Hint: if you think they should get the paper book and ebook type that in under "Other."

Other libraries likely offer a similar service.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

GRIND WRITERS NEWS mag - June 2014

Click on the cover to read the mag
 Click here to read

--Submit. (you know you want to)
--Climate change – short story contest: they want Vancouver stories!
--CONTEST – Renaming a genre: let’s take the “non” out of nonfiction—and then fiction too.
--Female authors dominating Smashwords’ bestseller lists. But is there a dark side?
--Why would you want to submit to contests anyway?
--Royal  writing retreat
--The perils of laptop note-taking
--101 writerly uses for EverNote
--A contest only for women
--Are trad publishers avoiding the R-word? Martin Crosbie thinks they are.
--BC Writers Autonomous Fan Region
--Access Copyright: yes you  do need to know
--TWS Reading Series schedule
--Wordplay & Twisted Poets: places to go, things to do, people to see
--The Surrey Contest
--Make your life easier
--Grind Writers – where we meet & when
--We’ve looked at publishing from all sides now

--Last page: the free-write photo prompt: just write!

Read it on Issuu. And follow us.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Father's Day and Patremoirs

On June 7th, André Gerard, editor/author of Fathers : A Literary Anthology gave us a mini-workshop on his experience as an indie print publisher. He published Fathers through his Patremoir Press in 2012.  

In so doing, one reviewer said he had created a new genre:  Patremoir (pa-tre-mwär): essay, poem, play or film built around memories of the author's father.

André certainly left no stone unturned in this self-publishing project. 

Why did he choose indie print publishing in the first place? 

The book is a collection of writers (some still writing, some dead) writing about their fathers. André did extensive research on each author and wrote an introduction and bio for each piece. "When I had ten done, I started sending it off to publishers as a package. I got a whole raft of rejection slips."

Fathers became a massive learning journey. Of course it was a labour of love. "It took me 10 years from beginning to end. This is still a draft,” he says, holding up the book."It exceeds the conception I had when I started. But of course  it could still be better. Still, there comes a point when you have to let the draft go out and say, 'this is it.'"

It's a pretty impressive "it."

But who knows -- there's that quotation from Herman Melville in Moby Dick on his book promo flyer:  God keep me from ever completing everything. This whole book is but a draught—nay, but the draught of a draught. Oh, Time, Strength, Cash and Patience!  

If he was not a man of substantial patience when he started the project, that was one of the skills he surely had to develop in abundance -- especially when it came to getting the permissions to print the pieces.  

"Sometimes it was very difficult to track down who held the permissions. It could be the author, it could be the agent, it could be an estate," he shrugs, now philosophical about it. "With Margaret Atwood, for example, permissions are split. She has an American publisher who has her rights, she has a British publisher. 'Negotiate' I use loosely – you basically accept the price they tell you.

"Disney is a big force in the permission business. They want to keep their rights for movies. So they keep pushing back their dates. Usually for 75 years from the death of the author. Used to be 40, then it got bumped to 50, now it’s 75. I thought I’d get Virginia Woolfe for free – I’ve got two of her essays in Fathers. I was publishing this 70 years after she died. It’s now 75 and I wouldn’t be surprised if they bump it back further."

And there was more--much more. Learning all about the printing process, about print and POD (print on demand) vs. e-books (he decided not to do it as an e-book - it would have required re-negotiating the permissions). 

He had to learn about artists and illustrators; how to design an engaging cover; cover art; typefaces and book design; proofreaders, copy editors, substantive editors; marketing; creating all the social media platforms -- and about two of the key components: distribution and book promotion. 

Frequently he hired mentors or professionals, but he's still had to do much of the work himself. 

"There’s a whole industry that preys upon us, the wood-be writer," he says. "You can spend thousands having all kinds of suggestions made, and take courses, and attend workshops – and in the end I don’t know that you’re much further ahead. Because you can already do it right now – you don’t need all of that. Other than networking – it’s a great chance to meet some great people, passionate people  the nuts and bolts of what you need from these courses are online."

And if you choose to go the indie publishing route,  maybe you'll be fortunate enough to have mentor who's been through the process, an André Gerard who'll come to your writing group and share all the trials & treasures of the process--and maybe save you some grief.

Fathers has taken André down this continent and over to other continents attending conferences and doing promotion and readings. It's been a ride, and it continues.

Meanwhile, he's working on another project that plumbs the depths and bedazzlement of Virginia Woolfe's To The Lighthouse. And even after everything he's been through--that long, steep learning curve--he's thinks he's likely to indie publish again.

A little more about André Gerard: 

  • Beyond Memoir and Biography: Edmund Gosse and the Patremoir, here.
  • "André Gerard's Top Ten Father Memoirs" in The Guardian here.
  • André's blog, here

An article André recommends on indie publishing: 

  • "Self-Publishing: The Carnival of the Indies Issue #18 by Joel Friedlander here.

Friday, 6 June 2014

3 Agile Grind Writers Win Advance Film Screening Tix

Thanks to Toronto film publicist, Michelle Brykman - three Grind Writers get to treat someone to an advance screening of Words and Pictures on June 25  in Vancouver. 

Words and Pictures had its world premiere as the gala presentation at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.  

Matea Kulic, Laurel Radley, and Beth Brooks are the lucky Grind Writers who were quick enough off the mark to be the first three Grind Writers to email Michelle after the contest announcement.

Film synopsis: Jack Marcus (Owen), a charismatic writer, and Dina Delsanto (Binoche), an enigmatic, well-respected painter, are both teachers at a New England prep school.  As they supervise a spirited ongoing debate between their students as to whether or not a picture (her forte) really is worth a thousand words (his domain), Jack's extroverted wit clashes with Dina's private nature, and mutual dislike turns to rivalry, then rivalry to powerful attraction.

More information about Words and Pictures and its screenings can be obtained from the publicist Michelle Brykman, District PR | 647.631.7135 | michelleb@districtpr.ca.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Sebastien de Castell at The Grind Writers: on Writing a Series

We were fortunate to have Sebastien de Castell come to The Grind Writers in May, and give us a mini-workshop on "The Collaborative Process of Writing and Publishing a Series."

Sebastien's the author of TRAITOR'S BLADE, the first in his series, which he sold to Penguin.

He gave a really interesting, excellent presentation on the ways and means of writing then selling a series.

He told us about his 8  Expert Readers "who help you make your strongest book:"
  • the Concept Reader, 
  • the Craft Reader, 
  • the Literary Reader, 
  • the Genre Reader, 
  • the Industry Reader
  • the Market Reader,
  • the Proof Reader, and
  • the Distribution Reader.
He explained the role of each Reader in the process of getting that manuscript from the author's computer to the bookstore shelf.

Sebastien also told us about the mechanics of running his (now closed to new members) weekly writers' critique group where members have to post a chapter a week for other members to review and then they receive critique at a dinner meeting which addresses each person's offering (5 mins. each). Their critique is surgical and sometimes blunt, according to Sebastien -- but each member of this group wants to become a published author, so it's not for the thin-skinned or feint of heart.

An interview with Sebastien on Speculative Book Review.

Sebastien de Castell at The Grind Writers - May 2014

When someone said they kept thinking of him as "Simon" not "Sebastien," he quipped, "Yes, if I'd been Simon I would have gotten beat up fewer times in school."