Next he asked the audience to either take the notes they had made and write about when this feeling arrived without stating the feeling or to try evoking this emotion without actually naming it by using action and/or dialogue.
This exercise, he said, allows authors to bypass both the obvious emotion and the obvious descriptors. After completing this drill, a show of hands indicated that much of the audience had something new that they felt they could easily include in their work in progress because it was real, authentic, and less expected and would be well received by the reader for all those reasons.
It was Maass’ opinion that obvious emotions are dull to readers, and he suggested that authors do a word search of their manuscripts for words like anger, desire, fury, worry, guts, twisted, and clenched. This effort shows authors the overused, obvious descriptions of emotional journeys. He further stated that by using strong secondary emotions writers can wake up their readers emotionally by creating characters that connect with them.
He then encouraged writers to pick eight other places in their work in progress and do this same exercise to create characters that come alive in a fresh, gripping way because their emotions and the way these emotions are described are deeper, more dimensional, new and unexpected. As time was running short, Maass mentioned that there are 380 prompts in his new release that can help authors grow and that will help writers bring beautiful writing and strong story events to their work.
Maass left us with the following sentiment. “I think we are moving to a place where there are no genre or sections in a store to define us but where we define ourselves.”
Award-winning author, Jenna Kernan, has been nominated for two RITA® awards for her Western romances and received the Book Buyers Best Award for paranormal romance in 2010. Upcoming releases are The Texas Ranger’s Daughter, February 2012 and Beauty’s Beast, April 2013. Connect with Jenna at www.jennakernan.com.
Subsidiary Rights Continued from page 7
In the discussion that followed, one author suggested we look at Amazon’s bestseller lists for Germany, France, etc. She said Americans occupy almost all of the slots. She said German publishers put out 400 titles a year and 380 of these are Americans.
A marketing company executive asked what authors are leaving on the table. An author said a friend is making $15,000 to $16,000 a year on six titles in Germany. She said the markets are bad everywhere except for Germany. She stated the technology is behind in Europe and it will take a few years to catch up.
The moderator asked what authors should do. Several authors stated we need to work with someone used to dealing with foreign rights—a foreign rights agent. There are many cultural differences that we as authors may not know. There are even laws in many countries such as Japan about price, for example, where e-books cannot be priced less than print books.
The discussion ended with a lively talk on indie authors and audio books. It was generally agreed that this is profitable, and authors will earn their investment back. But the narrator is everything. If you pick a narrator that readers don’t like, your book will sink. Don’t wait for narrators to come to you, go out and get samples.
Listen to them read a scene from every major character’s point of view. ACX and Audible were mentioned, and it was generally agreed authors should pay the flat fee rather than do a split on royalties. It generally costs between $2,000 and $2,500 to make an audio book. One author said she earns that back in a week.
A second author said it takes her a month. The return on investment is amazing, and this market should definitely be explored.
Karen Whiddon is the author of close to 35 books. Currently she writes for Harlequin Romantic Suspense and Harlequin Nocturne. She has regained the rights to ten of her backlist books from both Kensington and Dorchester and has put nine of those up on Amazon. Recently she sold the audio rights to five of these to Audible, Inc.