local authors

What are your Publishing options?

A couple of days ago, I facilitated a workshop at the Arts Council Windsor Regions’s Artspeak Gallery as a part of their Art.Work series and in partnership with Bookfest Windsor. The subject of the workshop was Publishing 101 and I’m happy to say it went well and we had a really good turnout.

Since the workshop was a one time thing, and only available here in Windsor, I thought I would share with all of you the materials I prepared for the workshop, so you too can benefit from them. Here goes:

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You’ve finished your manuscript, edited it, had beta readers go over it, edited it again, and now you’re ready for the next step. But what is the next step? As a writer with a completed manuscript, what are your options?

Barring doing nothing more than putting that manuscript 2.ArtWORK.Oct16-350x226aside and starting the next one, here’s what you can do to get your book to the public:

  • Self Publish
  • Pay for Publishing Services
  • Find an Agent
  • Find a Publisher

Which option is right for you? Well, that depends on what you’re willing to put in and what you want to get out of the experience. Let’s look at each option individually.

  1. Self Publishing

The success of a self-publishing venture is directly related to how much money, time, and effort you put into it. You can do everything yourself cheaply and easily these days and print as few or as many copies as you’re willing to pay for and then do what you wish with those copies, whether it’s giving them away or selling them on a consignment basis at local stores, or directly at local events. Or, you can become an entrepreneur and make a business out of selling your brand and your book, doing all the learning and legwork required to be successful in a challenging industry.

The Pros: When you self-publish, you have control over everything. You make all the decisions, creatively and financially. You get the largest percentage possible of the revenue from your work.

The Cons: You have to do all the work, or pay professionals to do that work for you. You risk a lower-quality book and you face a lack of support. There is a lot to learn and a lot of market-research to be done. You will have less access to the market as a whole and may struggle to get your book in front of readers.

  1.  Pay for Publishing Services

I originally had this under the heading of ‘Find a Vanity Press, or Hybrid Publisher’ but I want to be clear about what this option entails. There are a number of companies out there for whom authors are their source of income. They sell publishing services, which allow you to end up with a published book by paying them to produce it for you. A lot of vanity presses are scams, though not all of them are, you just need to be aware of what you’re getting into. Vanity presses are not selective, they charge you to publish your book, and they will often not provide much beyond that original transaction and allowing you to purchase copies of your book from them to re-sell. Hybrid Publishers are a little different. They combine the vanity press model with the more traditional style publishing model. They can be selective, they may offer you more support, but you may still have to pay for their services. Each hybrid publisher is different, depending on how they’ve constructed their business model, so do your research and read your contract very carefully before signing, especially if you’re being asked to pay for any part of the publishing process.

Pros: Your book will be published by professionals. You’re paying for a quality product. The press may offer other benefits at a price.  

Cons: A lot of vanity presses are scams. This method can be expensive. You may receive no support beyond the production of the book, leaving marketing and distribution entirely up to you, just as it would be with self-publishing.

  1. Find an Agent

Agents are brokers. They represent your work to publishing houses and try to broker a deal on your behalf, making their profit from this arrangement. It makes sense then that an agent would try and bring your manuscript to the larger, more reputable publishing houses that have deeper pockets. A number of publishing houses prefer to, or will only, accept manuscript submissions from agents, so your chances of being accepted by a larger publishing house are much better with an agent. However, with a smaller publishing house, an agent will likely be of little to no use for you.

Pros: You will have someone other than yourself championing your manuscript. The agent has contacts within the publishing industry they will use to your advantage. The agent can get you a better deal than you might be able to get yourself, and some will offer their advice with the contract process.

Cons: The process of finding an agent, then having that agent find a publisher who wants your manuscript can be a long and frustrating one. A part of your revenue will go to the agent. An agent accepting your manuscript, does not guarantee that a publisher will.

  1. Find a Publisher

Publishers are selective. Depending on their size, they have a certain number of books they put out each year and they usually have certain genres or types of books they specialize in. When looking for a publisher, it’s important to consider only those that would be interested in your manuscript, as in ones where your book will fit. A publishing house is essentially a team of professionals that exist to find books they can bring to market and sell. The publisher will handle all aspects of getting your book from manuscript to finished product, including but not limited to: editing, cover design, layout, e-book production, printing, distribution, and marketing. You will still be expected to promote yourself and your book to help it sell, but you will have what support the publisher can offer throughout the entire process.

Pros: You will have a team of professionals behind every aspect of the production and sale of your book. You will have the reputation of the publisher behind you. The publisher access to distribution to get your books to the market. You do not have to pay for any part of production.

Cons: Your contract with the publisher will determine what royalties you are entitled to. You may have less creative control over the final product. The publisher’s schedule decides the release date of your book.

So there you have it. Which option is right for you? Well, that’s a decision only you can make. Even though I’m a small publisher myself, I hope I’ve given you an unbiased view into your publishing options.

 

Ps. As a reminder, our submissions open October 24th! You can find our submission guidelines on our website: www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/submissions 

Mark your Calendars!

We’ve got a lot of important dates coming up that we wanted to make you aware of. Book launches, opportunities to meet us and browse our selection, workshops, and even our submissions re-opening, we’ve got something for everyone!

September 18th – Open Streets, Windsoropen-streets-windsor

This Sunday Windsor is closing a large stretch of road from one end of the city to the other and we’ll be right at the heart of it in the artist fair, which is part of the Downtown Hub. The event runs from 9am to 1pm, so if you’re looking to take part, make sure to come early!

Here’s a link to more information on this event: http://www.citywindsor.ca/residents/planning/open-streets-windsor/Pages/default.aspx

 

contrastSMSySeptember 19th – Launch Party for The Secret in Mossy Swamp, online

Rita Monette’s newest Nikki Landry Swamp Legend actually goes live on September 17th, but we’re celebrating on Monday, September 19th and you can join us on Facebook for an online launch party. There’ll be prizes and games, a Q and A with the author, and general hanging out with the Mirror World team and other fans of the series. 4 pm to 6 pm EST.

You can get more info and RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1158930637504097/

 

September 25th – Word on the Street, Toronto

We’ve mentioned this one before, but on Sunday, September 25th we’ll be in Toronto for what promises to be a MASSIVE literary event. We’re excited to be a part of things and we’ll be a booth #13 in the Fringe Beat section if you’re local to Toronto and want to come out and see us. We’ll be there from 10 am to 6 pm.

Here’s a link to more information about this annual event: http://thewordonthestreet.ca/toronto/

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September 30th – Worlds Collide Gala, Windsor

This will be the event of the year for us. In partnership with our new imprint, Adventure Worlds Press, and local theatre arts group, Sho: Art, Spirit, and Performance, we’re celebrating different worlds coming together. We’re also celebrating the launch of all of our 2016 titles and an illustrated version of Adventure Worlds Press’ sci-fi anthology, No Light Tomorrow. Cash bar, prizes, readings, music, author Q and A, what more could you want?

7 pm at Sho: Art, Spirit, and Performance. 628 Monmouth Rd, Windsor.

RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1186485788080361/

 

2.ArtWORK.Oct16-350x226October 12th – Publishing 101, Windsor

Arts Council Windsor Region and Bookfest Windsor have asked me to facilitate a workshop on the ins and outs of publishing for beginners. This workshop will give an overview of a writer’s options once he or she has completed their manuscript, then we’ll go over some tips and tricks for creating a query letter worth taking notice of. $10 for members, $15 for non-members. 6:30 pm to 9 pm at Artspeak Gallery. 1942 Wyandotte ave, Windsor.

More info and registration for this workshop can be found here: http://acwr.net/event/publishing-primer-acwr-art-work-workshops/?instance_id=183852

lightertkdscoverwithfontOctober 17th – Launch Party for The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, online

Like Time Travel? So do we and we’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of book two in The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Series by Sharon Ledwith. Monday, October 17th is the day and you can join us to celebrate the launch of another book in this great series. Again, there will be prizes, games, Q and A with the author, publisher and fans of these books. Best part is, you don’t even have to leave your computer to attend. Time TBD.  

RSVP here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1669063423411610/

 

October 24th – Our Submissions Re-Open

I’m sure this is the announcement you’ve all been waiting for. On Monday, October 24th, our submissions open for our 2017 season. So if you have a manuscript that you think would be a great addition to our current list of titles, then I suggest you take this time to go over our submission guidelines and start preparing your manuscript to send it in. And, if your manuscript still needs a little bit of work, maybe you’ll find our Mirror World News videos of use.

Our submission guidelines: http://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/submissions
Our YouTube Series: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-d6tf8fpn4_mjraKjM-hUQ

October 30th – Retrorama, Windsor

Sunday, October 30th, we’ll be at Retrorama in the vendor’s room. An annual event celebrating geek culture and collectibles, Retrorama is not to be missed and is the perfect opportunity to come out and meet us. Mirror World and Adventure Worlds will be sharing a table and we’ll have all of our books for you to peruse and pick up! $10 entry fee, 10 am to 7 pm at the Caboto Club, Windsor.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/207296576294831/

david-mclain.jpg.jpegNovember 17th – Launch Party for The Time Traveler’s Resort and Museum, online

Another launch party! Yep, we’ve got more books coming your way, and this one is worth raving about. The Time Traveler’s Resort and Museum by David McLain is a time travel book like no other and we’re really excited about this one because it encompasses every single genre we dabble in. Time Travel, Science-Fiction, Romance, Adventure, Fantasy, it has it all! Join us to celebrate this ground-breaking launch!

Event listing coming. Like our Facebook page to be kept informed! http://www.facebook.com/mirrorworldpublishing

toudesketchDecember 1st – Launch Party for #Tourdesketch Windsor, location TBD

We’re wrapping 2016 up with another book launch. This one’s special to us because it’s all about our home town. As you know, we’re about different worlds, but how can we celebrate other worlds without also celebrating our own? Owen Swain’s colouring book #tourdesketch Windsor will do just that. And, it’s coming out just in time for Christmas… which means, presents! Join us to celebrate this launch!

Location and time TBD. Subscribe to this blog to be kept informed!

 

Thanks for reading! Are we going to see you at any of these events? Let us know in the comments below!

Introducing… Owen Swain and #tourdesketch

I made the announcement in part one of this post, which you can find just below this one, so I will just jump right in with the introduction!

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Owen Swain is a Windsor Ontario artist, illustrator and painter who works in a variety of media, is interested in all manner of subjects while specializing in on-location, observational drawing, sketching and mentoring. He is never without a sketchbook.

His creative impetus is daily observational drawing that moves beyond looking to seeing, from thinking to being and from mere drawing to discovering and developing ones own mark. Owen believes the zen of seeing/drawing has transferable life skills for all.

He is the creator of #tourdesketch an art4all+slow-bicycling culture and heritage experience now held monthly in the city he has come to love through his own daily drawing and cycling. Owen bikes year-round, however during cold weather months #tourdesketch goes bikeless and indoors to draw at some of the city’s location gems.

toudesketch


#Tourdesketch Windsor will be a colouring book filled with Owen’s sketches and tidbits about the local culture and history of our city. We plan to release this book, December 1st, 2016, just in time for you to pick up a copy for yourself or as a gift for the holidays. If you’re local to Windsor and interested in taking part in a #tourdesketch event, you can find the information you need on Facebook. Owen is an amazing artist, and his sketches will make for great colouring and a wonderful window into Windsor, Ontario.

For more information and updates on this project, please subscribe to this blog, or keep an eye on our new releases page.

Thanks for reading!

It’s Launch Day! Black Lightning by K.S. Jones is here!!

 

 

In celebration of the release of Black Lightning, this book will be ON SALE in our store for $0.99 until May 31st with promo code: LIGHTNING. Click here and enter the promo code to take advantage of this limited time offer!

You can also join us on Facebook today from 5 pm to 8 pm EST for an online launch party! There will be guest authors, giveaways, and Q and A time with K.S. Jones! Click here to RSVP.

Black Lightning Cover Final
Life moves on — no matter what…

Following his father’s puzzling disappearance and his mother’s death, ten-year-old Samuel Baker goes through the motions of living in a world turned upside down. He wears an Apache talisman, a long ago gift from his father, in hopes its promise of strength and guidance is true. But what he truly wants is the power to bring his parents back.

Heartless Aunt Janis is elated at the prospect of becoming Samuel’s legal guardian. She is sure an orphan boy will elicit such an outpouring of public sympathy that her husband will win his Senate bid by a landslide. But when Grandpa Tate arrives, things don’t go as expected, especially when black lightning strikes!

From the award-winning author of Shadow of the Hawk comes a science-fiction/fantasy adventure for young readers. “If you’ve forgotten the magic that lives in a child’s heart, this book will remind you. Black Lightning is a rare and beautiful mythic journey about one boy’s struggle with paralyzing grief and the powerful bonds that can carry a person through this world and beyond…” W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear USA TODAY and NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors of People of the Thunder

Saphs Book Promotions

Follow the Tour for Reviews, Guest Posts, Exclusive Excerpts, and Spotlight Posts:

http://saphsbookblog.blogspot.com/2016/05/blog-tour-schedule-black-lightning-by.html

 

 

Read an Excerpt:

Samuel stood beside his mother’s rain-speckled casket. He had cried his tears dry, so there was no point in trying to find more.

“Chin up, young man,” Aunt Janis said as her fingers nudged Samuel’s jaw upward. “Death is just part of life, and our photographer needs a good picture of you for the newspapers.”

A camera flashed, leaving Samuel’s red and swollen eyes burning as if stung by the sun instead of grief.

So many important days had come and gone without his father, but surely he would come home today, wouldn’t he? Samuel closed his eyes. He pretended his father was beside him holding his hand. They had a right to hold hands, he told himself. Not because he was ten, but because it was his mother’s funeral. Two years had passed since his father left, never to be seen again. Vanished, was the word his mother had used. Into thin air, she’d said.

“Take that silly thing off.” Aunt Janis flicked Samuel’s wood and bead necklace.

“No,” he said and shook his head. “My dad gave it to me.” It was a pinewood tile, the size of a domino shaved nickel-thin, which hung from a leather cord around his neck. Burned onto the front side of the wood was a lightning bolt. Its flipside bore the blackened imprint of a tribal dancer. It had a turquoise nugget and a shiny black hematite bead strung together on each side. His father had given the talisman to him with a promise: It will guide you and give you strength when you need it most.

Today, dressed in a black suit and starchy white shirt, Samuel wore it in hopes the promise was true.

As mourners gathered, Samuel’s friend Brian came to stand beside him. “Hey,” he said.

“Hey,” Samuel answered without taking his eyes off the casket.

“Is that the necklace your dad gave you? You don’t usually wear it.” Brian’s wire-rimmed glasses slid down his straight arrow nose. He pushed them back up the bridge with one finger until they encircled his eyes again. “Can I see it? I promise I’ll give it right back.”

“It’s not a necklace.” Samuel pulled the leather cord off over his head, mussing his overgrown blond hair. “It’s a talisman.” He handed it to Brian. “My dad said it would help me, but it hasn’t done anything yet. I think it was just one of his stories. It’s probably just an old piece of scrap wood with a couple rocks tied to it.”

Brian shrugged after examining the piece then he handed it back to Samuel. “I think it’s cool. You should keep wearing it anyway.”

Nodding, Samuel hung the talisman around his neck again, but this time he dropped it down beneath his shirt where it was no longer visible. It felt warm against his skin.

“Has anybody told you where you’re going to live now?” Brian asked.

“Probably with Aunt Janis and Uncle Jack.”

Brian frowned. He kicked the tip of his shoe into the muddy soil. “They live so far away. Why can’t you just stay here and live with Mrs. Abel? She doesn’t have any kids.”

Mrs. Abel was their fourth grade teacher. She had plainly stated to all who would listen that her job was to teach the proper use of the English language to children who behaved properly. A babysitter, she had said, she was not. Today, she stood in the rain with the other mourners, eyeing the ground where the hem of her long, gray dress lay caked in mud. Tufts of brown hair jutted out from under her pink plaid scarf. Even though she stood a few feet from him, she had not spoken to Samuel since his mother’s death. Few people had. Everyone had words for Aunt Janis and they talked to Uncle Jack, but no one but Brian and a few classmates had spoken to him. Maybe talking to an orphan was harder than talking to a normal kid.

Purchase Links:

Mirror World Publishing:  http://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/products/black-lightning-ebook

Amazon :http://amzn.to/24H7yrY

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/black-lightning-ks-jones/1123660287?ean=9781987976120

KS Jones

Karen (K.S.) Jones grew up in California, but now lives in the beautiful Texas Hill Country northwest of San Antonio with her husband, Richard, and their dogs Jack Black, Libby Loo, and Red Bleu. Black Lightning is her first middle-grade novel. She credits her love of fantasy to the early influences of authors J.R.R. Tolkien, Jules Verne, and H.G. Wells. Her award-winning first novel, Shadow of the Hawk, a Young Adult Historical, released in 2015.

Connect with K.S. Jones: 

Facebook ~ https://www.facebook.com/Karen.S.Jones.Author
Website ~ http://ksjones.com/
Twitter ~ https://twitter.com/KSJones2011

Everything you need to know about Writers Conferences

This past weekend I attended the Windsor International Writers Conference – and what an experience that was! Not only was this my first time attending a writers conference, but it was also my first time attending that kind of event as a publisher, which as it turns out, adds a whole new perspective to the whole thing.

The biggest barriers to attending an event like this are fairly obvious. People often have the following misconceptions.:

  1. There aren’t any near me
  2. I won’t learn anything I don’t already know
  3. It’s not worth the expense

Well, first of all, there are A LOT of writers conferences and similar events. There are genre specific ones, and general ones. There are some that are members only and some that are for everybody. And, if you’re local to us there’s now one in Windsor, sowelcome-to-windsor you won’t have to travel very far. If you do have to travel, or the one you want to go to is further away, sometimes it is worth the trip anyways, even if you only go once. There were a number of people I met at the Windsor International Writers Conference who had come as far as Seattle, or Little Rock, Arkansas and these people brought a different perspective with them and were well worth meeting.

For the second point, it is simply untrue. Writing is an art and as such it is something that you should always be working at improving. It is also a very solitary undertaking most of the time, so it helps to get out of your head and meet people who get what it’s like to do what you do. And on the publishing side of things, there is always so much to learn. The industry is constantly evolving and if you are a writer who wants to see their books on the shelves, then you need to make connections within the industry or at the very least learn what it takes to bring your book to market as a self-publisher.

Lastly, the most common objection I hear is about the cost. The actual figures vary from conference to conference and I agree that on the surface they look a little high, but now having been to a conference I can tell you with no hesitation – you are getting your money’s worth.

Here’s an example of what registration (incl. Pre-conference and post-conference) covered at the 2016 Windsor International Writers Conference:

~2 roundtable intensive workshops with a publisher or agent.
~Optional 1 on 1 meetings with publishers or agents of your choice.
~Several Panels featuring publishers, agents, authors, and editors
~All meals and beverages during the official hours of the conference
~A welcome bag including pens, paper, and a program
~Guest speakers on various topics incl. Branding, blogging, researching, self-publishing, query letters, synopsis, perspective, and voice.
~Entertainment in the evenings incl. Music, theater, and a Mexican fiesta.
~Workshops, incl. Poetry and screenwriting.
~Contests for poetry, short story, opening paragraph, and descriptions. The winners of which were awarded free attendance to next year’s conference.

I hope that helps to clarify the value of a writers conference. If you’d like to know more, come back next week (or subscribe to this blog) for part two of this post when I share my experience as a publisher at this event.

coverrevealTNS copy

In the meantime, I would like to remind you all that the Cover Reveal for Elizabeth J. M. Walker’s This Night Sucks is this Friday, the 13th here on the blog and then next week Black Lightning by K.S. Jones goes live on May 17th! It’s not too late to pre-order this book. In fact, you can do so here.

Mirror World News: The Importance of Beta Readers!

I first came across the term ‘Beta’ in reference to video games. When I worked at First Age Studios, we made use of teams of Beta Testers to try out games and applications that were still in development to get an idea of whether the game was ready to go to market, or if it still needed a little tweaking. And guess what? It pretty much ALWAYS needed some improvements.

Books are the same.

imagesWhen it comes to manuscripts, these test readers are called Beta readers. They’re the people you get to read your manuscript before it’s ready to be submitted to an agent or editor and again before it is ready to go to print.

Beta readers can help catch things that the people who are working closely on the manuscript, namely the writer, the editor, and the publisher, might miss. They can also serve as a test audience to see how the book will be received in general by the people who read it.

For this reason, it’s important to have a variety of Beta readers read through the manuscript and give feedback. No two readers are alike and more people test reading means a larger pool of opinions to draw from. Too many beta readers though could pose a logistical problem, so I recommend sticking to three to five if possible. This leaves room in the unfortunate case that one of your readers isn’t as reliable or helpful as the others, and doesn’t overwhelm you with notes afterwards in case everyone is really thorough.

So who makes a good Beta reader? Well, technically anyone who reads your work in this pre-published stage and gives you feedback is a Beta reader, but the more feedback they give, the better. The Beta readers to avoid are the ones that give one word answers or who just tell you ‘I liked it,” or “I didn’t like it.” The point of having your manuscript read at this stage is to get feedback, positive, negative, or otherwise.

This feedback can give you an idea of whether your book might be engimagesdaging to your audience, whether it fits the genre you are writing in, or whether you missed or overlooked something in the plot, characters, or setting. It can also help you predict and be prepared for the kinds of things people might mention when reviewing your book later when it is available for sale.

Now typically, Beta readers are not professional readers. They are simply people whom you have approached or who have maybe offered to read your manuscript. You’re going to need to tell them what to look for. I suggest sending them a quick and broad questionnaire along with your manuscript so they know what kinds of things you want them to look for while reading. I would recommend including some general questions like, ‘What did you like?’ ‘What didn’t you like?’ ‘What do you think could be improved upon?’ as well as some more specific questions that highlight the things that you maybe know you want to work on, like ‘How do you feel about the prison break scene in chapter 5?’

As a publishing house, when we employ Beta readers we’re looking for a variety of things,, namely, how engaging a story is, what works and what doesn’t, if the author’s intentions come across clearly, and if there are any plot holes or things that the readers don’t like or don’t understand.

Ultimately the goal of having a manuscript BETA read is to help look for weaknesses in the story that can be fixed or strengthened and to test the manuscript with readers to see how they respond to it.

So you may be asking yourself, ‘What do I do with the feedback once I get it?’

Here’s a few things to keep in mind as you read over the opinions and the suggestions that you get back from Beta Readers.

  1. Take all criticism with a grain of salt
  2. Only use the suggestions you agree with
  3. Compare all the feedback and pay closer attention to the points where the opinions align
  4. Only make those changes you feel can reasonably make without changing your vision or compromising your story
  5. DO NOT rewrite your book to suit the opinions of others; instead use the opinions to make improvements as you feel necessary
  6. Remember that it’s your book and you have the final say in how the story is told.

8MWNEWSLOGO

For an in-depth discussion on Beta readers and their usefulness, check out the latest episode of Mirror World News here: https://youtu.be/7y6z-vWIF_k

Mirror World News 002: How to write a Query Letter!

Mirror World News is LIVE on Youtube! Check out our second episode and make sure to subscribe!

A well-written query letter is your best first impression to an agent or editor. It is more than just the ‘cover letter’ to your submission, it can be your ‘foot in the door’ to getting published. However, a good or even great query letter is not going to guarantee publication, but it goes a long way toward your book being noticed and remembered and that can sometimes make all the difference.

The best query letter I’ve ever received came from Elliot Baker for his novel, The Sun God’s Heir. Elliot has given me permission to share his query letter with you, so I want to discuss what makes it so great, so you can have an idea what an editor or publisher is looking for.

Dear Ms. Dowsett and Ms. Damodred,

(Even in the opening line, the author is showing that he has done his research and knows whom he is addressing +10 points.)

It was a pleasant surprise to read your request coming on the heels of my former publisher’s unfortunate demise. Thank you for reaching out.

(Here the author mentions how he/she came across this opportunity. Something like this or really anything that creates a possible link the author has to the publisher will help to form an immediate connection in the publisher’s mind and therefore make that author, or his book, stand out. +10 points.)

I am seeking a new home for The Sun God’s Heir.

(Direct and to the point. +10 points)

an epic metaphysical adventure with historical underpinnings

(He tells us what it is, the genre and possible target audience. Lets us know immediately if it is something we would be interested in.  And, it is. +10 points.)

complete at 105,000 words.

(This information is actually important. Crucial, even. It tells us how big of a project this is. Whether it’s a short story, a novella or a full-length novel. In our case, we only publish full-length novels of 50,000+words, but might balk if it was 200,000+words as we don’t have the time and man-power to dedicate to a project that size. No points awarded for this, it should just be included, every time.)

A possible well-worn comp would be Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.

(Negative 1 point for shortening the word ‘comparison’. This is a novel he is pitching and he is a writer, so we expect to see full words used. However, I like the comparison. You can’t go wrong with comparing yourself to a well-loved and undisputedly well-written novel series. Not necessary, but it helps us to understand again the style and genre of your book as well as a possible target audience for it. )

I have completed the second book in the series along with ninety-thousand words of the third.

(Ok. It’s a series, not a stand-alone. +10 points that he is pitching the first in the series and not all three. Obviously if we like the first enough to pick it up, we will probably end up publishing the series, but this way we only have to look at one book at a time. That being said, it’s nice to know in advance that there will be more to come. It’s good to be upfront about things like that. It lets the publisher make an informed decision and know what they are getting into should they choose to go forward.)

In 17th-century France, a young pacifist kills to protect the woman he loves, unwittingly opening a door for the reincarnation of an ancient Egyptian general determined to continue a reign of terror begun three thousand years ago.

(A concise synopsis that captures the imagination and also manages to show a hint of the author’s style at the same time. Excellent +20 points.)

Taking up the sword will not be enough. Rene must reclaim his own ancient past to stop the red tide of slavery from engulfing the world.

Joined by a powerful sheikh, his sword wielding daughter, and a family of Maranos escaping the Spanish Inquisition, they fight their way through pirates, typhoons, and dark assassins to reach Morocco, the home of an occult sect that has waited for Rene through the eons.

(A little more information now that we’re drawn in can’t hurt. He tells us what’s at stake, what we can expect, and again hints at genre and target audience.)

Published in July of 2014, I was pleased with the review response the work received on Amazon and elsewhere. http://tinyurl.com/12345

(Both mentions the author’s history as well as how the book has been received so far by people who have read it, but doesn’t dwell on the details. He also helpfully provides a link should we wish to research it further ourselves. +10 points)

I understand that everything is up for change in a re-publication, but I have acquired the images on the current cover anyway.

(Shows the author is both flexible and helpful and understands the publishing business. +10 points. Since authors and publishers are essentially entering into a business partnership, these qualities are important and it’s nice to see them as early as the query letter.)

Attached please find the first three chapters and a brief synopsis. Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you.

(This shows the author read the submission guidelines and has followed them. He is also again polite and subtly requesting a response from us. +10 points)

Cheers,

Elliot Baker

So that’s… a lot of points, but the count isn’t what’s important and neither is following a template. What you need to do is be yourself, use your own writing style and hit all the highlights.  You’re a writer. Let your writer’s ‘voice’ speak for you. If a publisher likes your style of writing and its present right from the query letter, that publisher or editor will be that much more inclined to like the rest of your work also. When it comes down to it, a query letter is basically just a first impression, so make it count!

To summarize,

Address the person you are speaking to.

  1. Create a connection.
  2. Be direct and concise.
  3. State your genre, target audience, and wordcount.
  4. Include a brief synopsis to ‘hook’ your reader
  5. Mention your author history or credentials
  6. Be polite, show your style, and most importantly FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES!

Announcement! Submissions will re-open November 15th, 2015!

We’ve had a killer summer. Actually, the whole year has been great. We set ourselves some lofty goals and we rose to the challenge. Because of that, I want to thank a handful of people for helping us get where we are today. So a big shout out to the following people, without whom we would not have pulled off this ‘Summer of New Releases’!

Our Acquisitions Editor, Robert Dowsett – Thank you for reading through an unprecedented amount of submissions and for editing so many novels at such a grueling pace. We really appreciate all that you do.

Our Publishing Assistant, Lauren Ridgewell – Thank you for joining our team just in time to help us with all the ‘little things’ we used to have time for, but don’t anymore and for creating such a beautiful website for the Local Authors and Artists Festival.

Our PR Assistant, Sarah Jane – Thank you for all the assistance you’ve been able to give us, despite your busy schedule. It is appreciated!

Gail Dowsett – Thank you for stepping in to help us edit when we needed an extra set of eyes.

thank_youSapphyria’s Book Tours – Thank you for all your hard work and long hours organizing blog tours and press releases for us!

Sabrina Wiese – Thank you for your help with LAAF and for all the work you’re still doing helping us to get ready for the big day!

I’d also like to thank all of our authors for entrusting their work to us and for working so hard with us to get their novels out into the world. To Matthew Freake, Leigh Goff, Sharon Ledwith, Elizabeth J. M. Walker, Rita Monette, Joshua Pantalleresco, Nate Friedman, and Adam Gaylord – you guys are the best of the best. Thank you for all that you do!

Lastly, thank you to all of our readers, reviewers, bloggers and community partners – you’re the reason we do all this!

NeverWe’re pretty sure we’ve got something great going on here at Mirror World Publishing and we’re hoping you feel the same way. That being said, we’re not the kind of people to be satisfied with great. We’re determined to keep getting bigger and better! So if you’re interested in going on this journey with us, we’ll be resuming our hunt for the best in #escapismfiction as of November 15th, 2015, with aims to publish 3-4 more titles in 2016.

Here’s what we’ll be looking for:

Escapism Fiction.

Our goal is to provide our readers with the ability to escape the mundane through wildly creative fiction. We’re looking for books that act as gateways to other worlds, other times, or other concepts of reality. We prefer strong story telling and strong character development as well as imaginative settings and interesting themes. If your manuscript transports a reader somewhere else, tells an engaging story, and then brings them back feeling like they learned or experienced something unique, then we want to publish your book!

As for genres, we consider primarily:

  •  Speculative Fiction
  •  Fantasy
  •  Science-Fiction (not military)
  •  Romance
  •  Adventure
  •  Adult, New Adult, Young Adult, Middle Grade, or Children’s
  •  Cross-genre, or things that don’t fit genre norms.
  •  Outside the box thinking.

We don’t like to limit ourselves, so if you have something you think we’ll like but doesn’t fit the above list, please send it anyway. We’d rather take a chance outside our comfort zones than miss something great.

Thank you for considering us and we look forward to reading your submissions. To find our Submissions Guidelines, click here.

We’re Hosting and YOU’RE invited!

We’ve got some great events coming up and we hope you can join us! On Thursday September 3rd from 6pm until 9pm Murandy and I will be at the Artspeak Gallery in Windsor (1942 Wyandotte St E) with Sharon Ledwith, Nate Friedman, Elizabeth J.M. Walker and Rita Monette!

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Click here for the facebook event and be sure to share this invite with local friends. The more the merrier!

And, on September 26th from 10am to 5pm we’ll be at the WFCU centre (8787 McHugh St) in Windsor along with 65+ other local authors and artists for the Local Authors and Artists Festival! Please mark the day in your calendar because this will be a local event you don’t want to miss!

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For more information about this event go to http://www.laafestival.wordpress.com or check out the event on Facebook.