a discussion panel from Storymakers writer’s conference. (Our first two were with Dan Wells and Stephanie Black)
Aprilynne Pike, author of New York Times best sellers Wings and Spells, added a fresh voice to the discussion. I was impressed with her no-nonsense point of view both times I came to hear her speak.
Aprilynne doesn’t edit as she writes except for typos. Instead, she rereads what she just wrote the next day for 20 minutes and makes minor changes then.
“Writing is work, even when it’s fun. A manuscript becomes a novel with work!” She explained that in order for books to be best sellers, agents must be able to classify them. In other words, it’s a bad idea to put “my work transcends classification” on your query. Know your genre and be sure your book can be classified. She notes,“a marketable book gets you an agent faster than a beautiful one.”
When asked about agents, Aprilynne replied, “I wanted to be a best selling author. For that I needed to be in the top 6 publishing houses.” An agent was vital to that plan. She wrote 3 ½ books, and spent 2 ½ years querying agents—not publishers. In the end her persistence paid off and with the help of her agent, she has achieved her goal of being a best seller. She said, “your agent should be buying into you, not just your book. You need to find someone like that.” She recommended following Agent Kristen Nelson’s Pub Rants blog to get a good feel for the agent side of the industry.
She cautions against being scammed by a bad agent. “A bad agent is way worse than no agent. You should look up the predators and editors website.”
Keep an eye out for her third book, Illusions which is due out May 3rd, 2011.
If you follow her blog then you might have heard her good news. She had her baby at home (she was a doula in her pre-bestseller life) on November 27th. Cute little thing too. You should drop in and wish her well!
Have any of you read her books? What did you think?