Writers Coffeehouse, April 2018
Another great coffeehouse! Jonathan Maberry was back for hosting duties, and kicked off two lively discussions on some recent controversies in the publishing world.
Thanks again to Mysterious Galaxy for giving us the space to meet, and to Jonathan, Henry, and the other organizers!
henry: finds trello is a great visual way to outline a novel, can use columns for chapters, drill in for details, etc
jonathan: no one can know everything, we all need to share so together we can find solutions to our problems
free files with sample query letters, etc are up on jonathan’s website! ready for download
discussion: diversity pushes for anthologies - what’s the right approach?
discussion: can you separate the writer from the writing? ex: lovecraft
sd writers and editors guild: henry giving talk there later this month
ralan.com: maberry’s favorite website to find markets for short stories; anthologies, etc
what’s reasonable for a developmental editor to charge?
⁃ depends on hourly or per word
⁃ seen $500 to $5,000
⁃ inexpensive but professional: $0.004 per word, developmental edit
⁃ $2,000 for 90,000-word novel: about the average for developmental and line by line
developmental vs line editor: development is high-level, looking at plot and characters, shape of the story; line editor is going line by line before final print
jim butcher has a great piece online about writing the middle
jonathan: we dismiss nonfiction writing, especially in the magazine market, but we shouldn’t; there’s always knowledge we have that other people don’t posses; even basics can be good articles, because most magazines on a topic are read by nonexperts; what sells currently in magazine context is a conversational style; pro rates: $2-$7 a word; magazines starting to be hungry again
breaking in? don’t have to be a writer to sell it, have to know the subject matter; one of his students sold an article on falling (ex: how to fall from a skateboard) to multiple markets, used it to help him work through college
write first? or pitch? jonathan: never write before you sell
everyone here has something they’re an expert in, that they probably don’t value because it’s old hat to them; “i’m just a secretary” phenomenon
basics are great: how to find a good divorce lawyer (or a web developer, sysadmin, etc)
jonathan: write an outline, pitch to multiple magazines at once (120), if make multiple sales, write different versions of the article for each magazine; get back issues, read online content to learn voice and approach; don’t have to do it that way, but even if going one at a time, be ready with their next market if get rejected
pay on publication? NOPE, always go for pay on acceptance