Huntingdonshire writers' group talk. 2012
Huntingdonshire Writers' Groupt Talk 2012
Nigel Cooper will be giving a talk at the Huntingdonshire Writers' Group, Huntingdon on Tuesday 4th December between 7:30 and 9:30pm.
Nigel will be the guest speaker for this meeting and will be talking about the world of publishing, offering his first-hand knowledge of the peaks and troughs of publishing and will also be signing free copies of his novel Email From A Vampire.
Address and other details can be found by clicking this link: Huntingdonshire Writers' Group
Below is the excerpt from the Huntingdon Writers' Group 11th December 2012 Newsletter, outlining Nigel's talk. Sixteen members and four visitors were in attendance.
Ruth (the chair): Introduced Nigel Cooper as the guest speaker for the evening. Nigel is a self-published author of “Email from a Vampire”. He offered his first-hand knowledge of the peaks and troughs of his self-publishing experience.
Nigel: Explained that he met Ruth whilst he was creating his novel and that he had not come to sell his book, but wished to hand out a copy to each member present with the request that if they decided to read it, and enjoyed it, that they placed a review on Amazon. Nigel had previously been the owner of a magazine and a video production company, both of which he had sold to finance his writing career.
Nigel’s determination to capture the interest of an agent was such that he telephoned one particular agent four times each day for a couple of weeks until they relented and read his manuscript resulting in constructive criticism and guidance. Ruth carried out the proof-reading and Nigel created his own imprint in order to be able to put a logo on the spine of the book. He spent a considerable time researching the historic aspects of his story and wrote the entire 86,000 words in twelve weeks.
Nigel offered some tips for consideration based upon his own experiences:
Have your manuscript professionally proofread.
Have four or five people, who you can trust to be truthful and brutally honest to read the manuscript.
When writing, do not finish at what you consider to be the end of a chapter, write a further two paragraphs before stopping, this way when you resume, you already have the thread to follow to begin the new chapter. Accept criticism and expect rejection.
Get the time line right.
Don’t bother with the social networking sites; they do not improve your sales.
Get other people to suggest a “shout line” to go on the front cover of your book, then select or create one that you find suitable.
Check the complexities of ISBN numbers by contacting Neilsons from whom they can be purchased 10 at a time.
It is considered that if you have sold 40 copies of your book, you are ahead of the average for self published authors.
Use a professional standard software package for layout and typesetting. Nigel uses Adobe Design.
He uses Lightning Source as his print on demand publishing company.
Waterstone's are happy to take on anyone for a book signing, but don’t expect to sell more than about 50 books at best.
Nigel then mentioned some books which he considered to be good guides to writing:
Writers & Artists: How to Write
Stephen King on Writing
The Elements of Style by E.B.White
From Pitch to Publication by Carol Blake
He also said, if you want to be a great writer you should read a lot, and write a lot.
Nigel went on to talk about mapping the story; he took a tip from Alfred Hitchcock who used 3” x 5” cards laid out on the floor with an encapsulating sentence to identify the beginning and end of the story. He then used multiple cards in the same way to create chapter descriptors; the sentences evolved into paragraphs and eventually into chapters. Nigel uses a similar system but adapted for the computer.
Nigel Cooper finished his talk by reminding members of the proverb penned by Stephen King: “The road to hell is paved with adverbs”.
Hazel: Thanked Nigel on behalf of the members and presented him with a bottle of wine as he was not charging a fee. He continued with casual discussions with members during the enjoyable feast of seasonal goodies and alcohol-free wine.