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Tips from The Business of Being a Writer 2020 Seminar

On the 22nd of February The Business of Being a Writer 2020 Seminar was held at Winthrop Hall Undercroft and was hosted by Fremantle Press CEO Jane Fraser, The Business of Being a Writer 2020 features panels with Fremantle Press’ Claire Miller, Cate Sutherland and Georgia Richter and joined by a wide range of authors and book industry professionals, including Aisling Lawless, Alan Carter, Allyce Cameron, Annabel Smith, Craig Silvey, Deborah Lee, Michael Earp, Natasha Lester, Rachel Bin Salleh, Rebecca Higgie, Terri-Ann White and Wendy Binks. Here is some great information taken away from the panels…

Copyright, Contracts and Subsidiary Rights

It was recommended that you always hold on to your World Rights as you can sell these rights independently you should also keep Film/Television Media Rights, Audio Book Rights and E-Book Rights for the same reason. However, with the first book you may have to make a hard choice as to whether you hold out for your rights or get published. Insist on First Option to adapt your work for screen or television, you want to have exclusive rights to adapt your book. If possible, it is recommended you get a dedicated Arts Lawyer or ASA to help make decisions regarding copyright, subsidiary rights and contracts. Accept that the title that you give your book may be changed by the marketing department, so don’t get too attached to the title.

The Role of Booksellers

You need to make sure the bookseller knows you, this means being a frequent buyer of their books and taking the time to promote yourself, if you want them to look at selling your book and be willing to promote with book signings and actively promote the signings on social media as these signings are beneficial for you and the seller.

Creating, Distributing and Marketing a Self-Published Title

It is advised that you use Ingram Spark, it should be noted that this was said by an Ingram Sparks representative but I does come otherwise recommended but you are also encouraged to use Apple and Kobo as they accept manuscripts with illustrations. Some positives and negatives that you may want to consider are:

Negatives: It is a lot of work and a big learning curve, you don’t get much kudos for self-publishing.

Positives: It gives you greater control.

Editing Your Manuscript for Submission

These editors are looking for great story telling, a unique voice and authenticity and that the writing is correct for the genre. They want a story that has not been told yet. It is recommended to read the novel out loud to get a sense of the writing. Some editors were looking for wonderful language, others said no, they wanted modesty in the writing and were looking for an authentic voice.