For those of you who don't know, Chick Lit Chat "meets" every Thursday at 7 p.m. CDT on Twitter using the hashtag #chicklitchat. There, authors, bloggers and reviewers get together to discuss various topics. One week we picked our favorite book-turned movie actors and actresses. Last week we dished on what makes a love story work or flop.
Last night, we had Piper Denna, editor in chief of Lyrical Press, as our guest to answer our questions and take twitter book pitches. I was a bit of a question hogger on the chat, but to alleviate my guilt, I thought I could put together a few of my questions and her answers to share the love a little.
Here we go... I'm lmchap, by the way, if you don't know...
@lmchap: Are there any big no-nos in manuscripts you've seen lately and can share with us?
@PiperDenna: Since we contract romance and erotica, we have to turn away mss if they don't have the elements of romance.
@PiperDenna: Romantic conflict, both external and internal, the character arc, the dark moment, the HEA (Happily Ever After).
@PiperDenna: Also, sadly, each romance novel really needs its own H and h (him and her), with their happy ending. No serials with same H and h.
@lmchap: Not to be a question hog, but... What can we as writers do to make a blah submission a wow?
@PiperDenna: Two words: Deep third. (or if it's 1st person, go deep with it, too)
@PiperDenna: Put the reader IN that character's shoes so she sees, feels, hears, smells what the character does.
@PiperDenna: We have some new eds who will quit reading if the synop sucks, but I always tell them to give the ms a shot.
@PiperDenna: Not everyone who can write a novel well can also write a synop well. It's also an acquired skill.
@lmchap: Follow up: What do you look for I'm a winning synopsis?@PiperDenna: Beginning, middle, END. Conflict. Emotion. Resolution. And hopefully few typos. LOL
@lmchap: What are some of the best, most effective -- and least annoying -- examples of self marketing you see authors do?
@PiperDenna: God. I'd love to hear other answers. LOL. I need help with this too!
@PiperDenna: Authors need to get themselves visible in places where their target audience might see. Not blog straight promo.
@PiperDenna: Please don't EVER blog straight promo. Or msg-bomb my FB or Twitter with your tag line.
@PiperDenna: We want readers to remember our name, but not in a Head On, Apply Directly to the Forehead way.
@PiperDenna: Character interviews, author interviews, some interesting info on the setting, bonus material...
@PiperDenna: Some readers like to "get to know" authors. Be careful about talking about yourself for EVER though, you know? LOl.
@PiperDenna: If it's your own blog, feel free 2 talk about you. But other blogs, I think it's better 2 focus on your char's, story.
@lmchap: But what if we are the MOST interesting person in the world??? lol
@PiperDenna: I bet you are. LOL!
@lmchap: Would good bonus material include epilogues, deleted scenes, alternate endings, etc. like on a DVD?@PiperDenna: I think those would all be awesome! Or, you know...a free firemen calendar. (LOL)
@PiperDenna: And I mean, policemen calendar, Magic Mike anything, military calendar... just some general ideas. *wink*
@lmchap: Oh, I'm on it. I have a great imagination when it comes to "employed topless men" calendars.
@PiperDenna: Sometimes I edit a book with an outta-control epilogue, and I advise the auth 2 cut from book and put on website.@PiperDenna: I used to call them "epiladies" because they are often painful for the reader. Better 2 quit on a high, a la Seinfeld.
So, I hope you find her responses interesting and informative. I sure did.
Be sure to check back later, today, for a new book review post.
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