Thursday, May 31, 2007

New Class, No Divorce

We had the first meeting of our ghostwriting and freelance class last night at AC and I think it went very well. There are 14 total signed up and all but one showed (or let me know they had to be gone)! They were very receptive to the ideas and I think it will be a great class even though its only six weeks long.

One of the students is a teacher from England, Sally Vaughan, who has been over here on a teacher exchange program. She's a house guest of Jodi Thomas' right now and is incredibly delightful! (gee you can almost hear my English accent!). After class we went back to Jodi's and had a fine time chatting about the oddities and frustrations of the book business - but that and two bottles of wine is still a good time!!

For those of you (my spouse in particular) who are wondering about the mysterious nature of my last post, NO I'M NOT GETTING DIVORCED! It's weird when your husband reads your blog and then says, "Ummm, is there something I need to know?" Really! I think when he read the "has been a thorn in my butt for years" part he just assumed it was him.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Head Spinning

So much to do, so little time - as usual.

We're anticipating the arrival of the first copies of Picks & Shovels. They should be here the morning of June 8th - so excited!! We are also attending the local FiW conference that weekend so that will be the book's debut. The we're off to the agents and editors conference in Austin where we will be doing a preconference workshop on ghostwriting.

We are also starting our summer class at AC tonight which is a beginner's guide to ghostwriting and freelancing. Liz & I are teaching it together and then she will teach it in the fall and I will teach the novel class and the critique class.

We're also plotting the release of our fall books and devising marketing plans for each of them. The test work will be done using Picks & Shovels so we'll see the effectiveness of the different marketing avenues and plan accordingly.

Speaking of marketing, I went to a marketing meeting yesterday that involved a friend who is trying to reach the next level of her career. It was interesting to say the least. As much writing as I have done lately about the ingrained nature of old paradigms, it was very evident there. Some of the participants had already shifted their mindset to the next level and some really hadn't. It was an interesting example of how limiting beliefs can kill great ideas. We'll see what comes of it.

Speaking of limiting, I've made some decisions lately to take control over one area of my life that has been a thorn in my butt for years. There comes a time when you have to decide if you will continue to ignore you own issues or just frickin deal with it. So I'm dealing. Sorry to be mysterious, but I will also be keeping a diary about it and publishing it in 2008 so I can't reveal everything here.

On the slate the rest of the week are three ghostwriting projects that need various tweaks, nothing major, just time consuming. The ghostwriting has been going rather smoothly lately for a change and everyone is working away on their projects. All of the ghostwriters are busy though the editors are a little bored right now. Of course, their time is coming since so many of these projects will reach completion about the same time.

My next big project (are there ever any little ones?) will be getting the TAG Publishing website up and accepting orders. I'm planning to do that this weekend and since I've done so many websites now, it should be relatively painless - here again its just time consuming.

106 days to my next cruise!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Next Cruise (and a bit of a rant)

Flights are all booked to Ft Lauderdale for our next cruise in September. This time, we're off to the Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Anitgua, and the Bahamas. I'm so glad we're making this an annual event! It really gives me something to look forward to.

September 13th will also mark the switch to my working full time for TAG Publishing. Not that I have any plans to discontinue the freelance work I'm doing - in fact I will probably be doing more since I will have more time, but I'm excited to see where it all leads.

On the slate this week is the next draft for the lipo book, finalizing the first draft for the Botox book, and finishing up a first draft on a business book for a client in London. I have to admit it's such a nice switch to go back to writing about business when I've been neck deep in nip, tuck, suck books this spring!

One other item that most of you have probably heard about is the uproar over Simon & Schuster changing the language in authors' contracts to now have indefinite rights to a work as long its in their electronic archives - which basically means forever. This is a perfect example of why small publishers (like ours) are popping up all over the place. As the corporate publishers squeeze more and more from the authors, they are looking for other options. While big name authors still have the power to negotiate a good contract, midlist and especially unknown authors are at their mercy.

The sad thing is that all of this is completely unnecessary. Big publishers operate from a sense of lack, that they must have every option available in order to squeeze out one more dime from a limited market. This is the worst backedup thinking that I have ever seen in a business environment. It's not like we're going to run out of readers! And the thing is, if you produce a good product, people will come to know that product and trust you to give them what they want.

It's time for authors to stop allowing publishers to push them into formula type, book mill books that are not where their heart is. It's time to just say no. No to the "us" versus "them" mentality. No to the disintegration of great fiction just to earn a buck. No to allowing your time and talent to be wasted while your book languishes in the corporate machine.

Personally, I think its time publishers and authors worked together for their mutual benefit. I think its time for honest communication and clarity in financial dealings and if it's broken, for God's sake fix it!!

Just my thoughts today.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Read All About It!!

We've been so busy my head is still spinning!! BUT we are solidifying plans to get our little publishing company off the ground. So Excited!! The offical name will be TAG Publishing, LLC. We've got our fall line up solidified and are tentatively and very selectively looking for manuscripts for next year. We've decided to launch a fiction line and add to the nonfiction line we currently have. Those of you reading this blog are the first to know - so pass it on but only to the very best writers or agents that you know.

The nonfiction line will consist of our writer's reference books (we will continue "The Wealthy Writer" series) as well as self help and financial books. That's not to say we won't entertain other ideas in the area, but they have to be good! (DUH!) Our next book in the non-fiction arena is The Wealth Attraction Factor and will come out in Hardback in October. We will be following that up with our first fiction release, The Christmas Rat - a small hardback gift book that details one family's zany xmas! Our publishing website will be up soon and I will keep you posted as to the new developments.

If you know of someone who may be interested in sending us an idea, please let them know to send queries and the first ten pages to: TAG Publishing, LLC P.O. Box 8975 Amarillo TX 79114.