|From left to right: (standing) Susan Walker, Quinlan Lee, MaryBeth Whalen, Carin Siegfried|
Angela Harwood, Amanda Phillips, Nancy Clare Morgan, (standing) Sally Brewster
photo courtesy of Daniel Coston
Carin Siegfried is a freelance editor with Carin Siegfried Editorial who also has worked at St. Martin’s Press. She shared how many professional readers and editors, as well as members of the marketing and sales departments, weigh in on manuscripts. Books are often shopped around to several publishers before acquired. Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber made the publishing rounds for four years before being purchased by Carin at St. Martin's. It went on to become a NY Times bestselling book and a television film starring Jennifer Love Hewitt and Joey Lawrence.
Nancy Clare Morgan brought her expertise as the former Publicity Manager with Random House, Inc. to the panel. As a publicist she always thinks about how to get free media attention for a book. A publicist asks the editor, “What make this book stand out?” She asks the author:
- What inspired your book? What are its talking points?
- What pre-marketing work have you done?
- What is your media profile?
- Who are your contacts?
- Do you know any bookstore owners?
- Do you have an Internet/social network presence?
- Who should get the galleys and review the book?
Independent bookseller, Sally Brewster, hosted the event at Park Road Books. “Book publishing is the weirdest industry in the world—but we do it because we love it,” she said. She encouraged writers in the group to keep writing and to remember that publishers don’t want to publish just one book; have at least two or three ideas ready. Her store is one of the few in the country that carries self-published books. “I want to give writers a chance.” Although she agreed with other presenters that traditional book tours might be dead, an author who takes the time to talk to a bookseller will find that her books will be more likely to be recommended and sold.
The next meeting of the Charlotte WNBA chapter is on April 9 and will feature SCBWI Crystal Kite winner, Monika Schroeder.