Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Writer Applications debut at a publisher near you!

By Julie Wright

Last night I was up pretty late filling out a writer application. It felt like I was applying to go to Harvard (Not that I've ever filled out an application for Harvard--like they'd ever let *me* in). Who knew there were so many questions a publisher might have for a writer?

I'd actually never filled out any kind of application before when working with a publisher, but I saw the brilliance of the application immediately.

A publisher needs to know what they can expect from their authors. They need to know they aren't going to invest a ton of money in an author who isn't willing to put in some effort too. I thought I'd post the general idea of the questionnaire here. If you want to be an author, you need to know what's expected of you once they slap your name on a book cover.

Some of the questions were in regard to my education and experience in writing. They asked if I was willing to promote my book with booksignings and media interviews. But then they went on to ask if I'd be willing to take a month off for promoting my book if necessary. They wanted to know if I had any experience speaking in front of both large and small groups of people. They wanted to know if I attended writing conferences and regular critique groups so that I was always refining my craft of writing. They wanted to know my writing habits ( I didn't mention that I write in the bathtub surrounded by candles and my radio on loud enough to drown out the kids banging on the door . . . If I ever die from electrocution, you now know the details of how it all happened).

Ultimately the questionnaire wanted to know if I believed in myself enough that I was willing to invest in me the way I wanted them to invest in me.

It's a good question.

If you want to write . . . do you believe in yourself that much?

If you want to write . . . I hope your answer is yes.


Tamra Norton said...

Do I believe in myself as a writer? What a great question! I'd have to say that I always try to be optimistic because I want so much to be successful and have others love my writing. Unfortunately, at times I've had people in my life who are less optimistic, and this can be painful and discouraging--more than I think they realize. The bottom line is that I really love to write, and I want to be successful. That won't--can't--change. It's who I am.

Celise said...

Wow. That IS a great question. And the only bad thing about filling out that application would be the "talking in large or small groups." Being somewhat of an introvert, I would have a problem with that. HOWEVER, I would do booksignings and media interviews. And I would go to more conferences if I had the money. I tried bing part of a crit group and I find that I cant do it until Im completely finished with a project.

Stephanie Humphreys said...

Filling out that questionnaire sounds pretty intimidating to me. Do they have a cheat sheet :) Thanks for the summary though. I know I need to work on getting to more conferences and starting a critique group. I feel so off the beaten path of LDS authors, way up here in the frozen north, so those two things are hard for me to do.

Heather B. Moore said...

I've had to fill out a questionnaire like that before. The publishers want to invest in authors who are willing to get out there and self-promote. With so much competition now, the authors has to compete on a new level. This is a great blog, Julie.

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Oh, I kept you in my prayers for your entire interview. And I've filled out that exact same applications, way back when I first started and thought I might like to go with that publishers. Fingers and everything else physically possible crossed with wishes of best luck!

Janette Rallison said...

Gee, next they'll be asking for refrences--pick me! pick me!

I've often wanted to write in the bathtub, but I know I'd ruin my lap top that way. There is a reason my parents didn't name me Grace.