Friday, April 19, 2013

All the Other Kinds of Writing by Dianne K. Salerni

I think all aspiring writers imagine what it’s like when you finally publish a book:
Digging back into research
for a book I wrote 7 years ago.
deadlines for your editor, biting nails over your reviews, book signings, and etc. But I for one never realized just how much writing I’d have to do that wasn’t manuscript writing.

A lot of us have our own blogs, of course. Personally, I post twice a week at my own blog and once a month here at Project Mayhem. Occasionally I post for my agent’s blog.

Then there’s blog tours around the release of your book. Some authors create one release promo and send it out to everybody participating in the tour – or offer a choice of three. In my opinion, it’s a bit of a cheat to the bloggers and the blog readers when the exact same thing appears on 30 blogs. I’ve stopped accepting those on my personal blog, and I’m definitely not going to take that approach for my own blog tour. Anyone who's kind enough to host me is going to get an original post.

Interviews are easy. You answer the questions. Guest posts are trickier, especially if you’ve just publicly declared (ahem!) that you plan to make each one unique.

But that’s not all. My publicist pitched me and my book to Huffington Post, and they said they’d consider accepting an article on X topic. So, there’s an assigned article for me to write – and hope they like – and hope they post. It’s not guaranteed.

My agent recently asked for a 1 page synopsis on two different books, to be used in pitching for film and foreign rights. So don’t think you’re done with the dreaded synopsis after your querying days are over. I also didn’t realize I’d be the one to write sales announcements. They are harder than they look!

Last week, I wrote an 8-page synopsis of the second EIGHTH DAY book and a 5-page plan for the series story arc.  This weekend, my To-Do list includes: the proposed Huffington Post article, 2 posts for my own blog, this post for Project Mayhem, and two guest posts for THE CAGED GRAVES tour -- one on the inspiration for the story and one on mortsafes.

Then, on Friday night, the producer of the short film based on WE HEAR THE DEAD called me. The producer and director are working on a “series bible” – a proposal for a television series based on the film and the book. The producer wanted to know if I could compile a list of events in the Fox sisters’ lives that didn’t make it into my book, as well as every séance trick I can think of. So exciting! But since I wrote that novel in 2006, this is going to require digging back into my original research. 

I've been writing like a maniac all week and never touched any of my manuscripts. Who knew?

13 comments:

  1. Yes, but it's all so exciting for you!!!! :)

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    1. Thanks! It is exciting, but I didn't know how much writing you had to do when you were a writer!

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  2. Oh man. I may have to give up then. This sounds really hard.

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    1. Oh no you don't, mister.

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    2. Agreed. No giving up!
      (Just more writing.)

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  3. Still, an 8 page synopsis?! Your agent and/or editor must trust you not to ramble on, use that generous page count wisely, for those of us who still need to adhere to the one-page model. (LOL)

    Seriously though, congratulations on making it this far in the process, it's an accomplishment many of my writer friends are still waiting and working towards.

    It's taken me over ten years just to sell one book, and I'm still waiting to begin the first round of edits for my editor, so I'll soon be navigating your current phase of the process.

    Still, you have every right to want to work on your new manuscripts, one cannot build a career on only one book alone.

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    1. Well, I don't know if she *wanted* an 8-page synopsis. She didn't specify a length, but since she was at that point editing the manuscript of Book 1, I thought she needed a detailed idea of where I was going in Book 2.

      I did wonder if she was going to take my name in vain when she saw the length of it. :D

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  4. Dianne, you're doing an excellent job with it all. Now, please pass the caffeine.

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    1. LOTS of caffeine!
      And not a lot of sleeping, that's right.

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  5. And readers, if you want to see one of those original, one-of-a-kind Dianne interviews, stop by my blog, http://carolinebyline.blogspot.com, May first!

    If that Huffington Post article doesn't get picked up, I know you can find a way to make it do double duty. I wrote a poem for NPR's You Must Read This segment last year, and while they were interested, the opportunity for it to run came and went. I decided to share it this year with readers via school librarian Mr. Schu's blog. It ended up being a lovely way to connect with readers -- while not what I originally intended, it was just as meaningful to me. I'm using it again today while I talk at the NM Library Association's youth luncheon.

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    1. Thanks for hosting me, Caroline! Can't wait to do the same for you with the Roanoke book! (One of my favorite historical mysteries)

      It did occur to me that if they don't want the article, I can find some other use for it.

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  6. For some reason the piece that of this that shocked me the most was writing your own sales announcements! You're busy, but in the best possible way.

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    1. The sales announcements are HARD! They all sound like run-on sentences to me, and thus inherently BAD, but that's how they work.

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Thanks for adding to the mayhem!