beleatkeeney (beleakeeney) wrote,

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Celebration of the Story

St. Leo University sponsored a "Celebration of the Story" yesterday with a series of panels, author readings, and talks by a variety of local authors. I was lucky enough to be on the panel about what to do with your story once you're done with it. It had a great mix of authors with lots of different experiences in the publishing world: self-published, POD, traditionally published novels and short stories.

Whether self-published or published by someone else, we all agreed that no one has more passion for their work than the author, and marketing and promotion are now a huge part of the sales equation. For Rita Cerisi, an author with three novels published by small and big presses, the idea is clearly distasteful. She wants to focus her time on writing, not selling. It's a tough position to be in these days because publishers won't sell your book for you anymore. The author has to do it. And here's why:

It's always interesting to meet aspiring writers and hear their questions and concerns. I'm pretty straight up at panels; there's no need to hold back the truth. (Yesterday I told folks that at some point in time, they will have to go out and stick their hands up a cow's butt. Wait- it was an analogy!). As other writers have said before. "If you can be discouraged--you should be." Meaning, if what I say at a panel stops you from writing, then you shouldn't be a writer in the first place.

If you really want to do it, you'll barrel on, no matter what someone at a panel says, no matter what your family and friends say, no matter what. Because the only thing that should matter is the writing.
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