Thursday, April 14, 2011

Speakers Provide Valuable Information

On March 31, Rebekah Hunter Scott and Michael Ray King shared their perspectives on query letters.

Rebekah, author of Motherhood is Easy, provided tips for writing successful query letters and explained the synergy of the publishing industry. From her blog came a book, that made editors want her magazine articles, those marketed her book and blog, and that launched the writing of a second see the possibilities.

"Know your goals and then research publishers to find a good fit for those goals," advises publisher Michael Ray King of ClearView Press, Inc. When you find the right publisher, be sure to follow submission guidelines to the letter. Not doing so almost certainly guarantees your submission a home in the publisher's circular file. He expressed surprise at how few authors abide by this simple caveat. Mike has just three submission guidelines: write one paragraph each about yourself, your project, and your niche market and marketing plan. He reminded us that to be successful, writing is 10 percent, but marketing is 90 percent. In that vein, he suggested that all writers have a 30-second synopsis of their project memorized for conferences and chance meetings.

We don't want people to steal our work, but we must be equally vigilant not to steal the work of others. On April 7, Lucille Ponte, professor of law at Florida Coastal School of Law, made a PowerPoint presentation on the ins and outs of copyright law. Downloading video and music from the internet or too closely mirroring a scene from a book or movie could be intentional or unintentional copyright infringement, she warned. To know what is and isn't allowed she directed us to the federal government's web site, or if you prefer video tutorials, visit Cornell University.

To protect our own rights, she recommends consulting an attorney certified in intellectual property before signing any contracts for your work. Attorneys can be found through the Florida Bar.

Our next speaker will be Kia Ricchi on Thursday, April 28, 2011.

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