Thanks James Wymore

James WymoreJames Wymore is an author of four published books and an acquisitions editor with Curiosity Quills Press. He spoke to the chapter on “Getting Out Of The Slush Pile”.

For those that couldn’t attend, you missed out. James is an entertaining, informative and fun speaker. His interaction with the group, with occasional avant-garde statements, really perk up an audience with laughter and thought. We also have to admit that there might be a little bit of genius marketing going on. By the end of the night “rejecting SALVATION” (James’s upcoming book) or “SALVATION will be available for purchase” had taken on a twisted meaning, especially considering the uber-religious facets of Utah County—the joke never got old.

For those that were unable to come, here is his handout with UVW commentary / additional lecture notes in green:

1) Write an awesome book.

James admitted this may seem trite, but it is essential. He gave two steps and one reality on this in accomplishing this:

  • Throw away your first 1,000,000 words (Ray Bradbury)
  • Read books and take classes on writing.
  • Reality: Publishing and marketing a book is MORE WORK than writing it.

He also noted that not everyone has to throw away 1,000,000 words, but it’s about learning to find your voice–this takes time and lots of practice.

2) “The best way to get out of the slush pile is to get in it.” –Lisa Mangum*

Finish your book, get it reviewed/critiqued, have the courage to submit it . . . Put yourself out there. Two additional things of advice were:

  • Exclusive submissions? No, you don’t owe them anything.
  • Don’t scatter-bomb the publishing industry.

*Lisa Mangum, co-incidently, will be speaking in-depth on “Queries” Dec. 18th.

3) Find the exact, right person for your book.

Find the person that loves your book just as much as you do. The person that wants it to succeed as much as you do. Specifically:

  • Find agents/editors/publishers who like books similar to yours.
  • Network, network, network. Connections don’t get you favors in the industry. James said it won’t change whether an agent/editor say yes or no. Only that having to tell a friend “No” is something more dreadful. Networking is for building relationships of learning, information, and so forth, not trying to twist someone’s arm into publishing a book that shouldn’t be published.
    • Conferences and Conventions
    • Pitch Sessions
    • On-line via Social Media
    • Develop a killer sentence and 3 Pitch Lengths
      • “Have one sentence that shows how your books is awesome–it’s that one killer hook.”
      • 1 minute
      • 3 minutes
      • 10 minutes

4) Write an AMAZING query.

Once you get into the slush pile, as he quoted Lisa Mangum, the best way to get out of it with your awesome, finished book is your query.

  • Be sure it has the info it requires
    • Contact Info
    • Social Media Links (Yes, before you have a book contract. “Start an author page no later than when you are ready to submit.”)
    • Writing Experience (Short Stories)
    • Short Synopsis
    • Interesting Hook
  • Must have VOICE

 Query and Book audience, “You must know your audience. Point to a number for the age of your reader.”

5) Follow the submission guidelines exactly.

Don’t be the person that proves they cannot read or follow directions. If you not reading and following the guidelines, you are only hurting yourself.

6) Be patient. (Write something else!)

Too many people are looking for their book to make it, when the industry wants to see books. There is waiting time. Write a novella, a short story or something that expounds further on things, or start a new story. The point is, keep learning and practicing.

Thanks for coming James!
We wish you the best in selling SALVATION to the masses. 😀

Comments are closed.