Saturday, September 20, 2008

Many thanks to John Graham of Paper Plus...

Maureen Crisp (www.maureencrisp.blogspot.com ) gave some good advice on self-marketing/promotion in a comment on my last post - many thanks Maureen. In many of the venues we may find ourselves as children's writers it can be difficult to have our books available for sale. I made an author visit to a local library yesterday as part of NZ Book Month and was kindly supported by John Graham who runs several Paper Plus stores in Auckland. A few books were sold and I hope this is enough to make it worthwhile for him attending on a glorious sunny Saturday afternoon. His continued support of Kiwiwrite4kidz writers is very much appreciated. I still find myself feeling so grateful to bookshops who stock my books and buyers who purchase them. I have to remind myself that they are not treating me as a charity case but are investing in a good read, but its hard work.

In the same vein, I am working hard not to feel guilty about charging a reasonable amount of money to the school I will be taking writing workshops at over a six week period (yay! - I got the job). It is more than I have earned per hour before in previous jobs but less then the recommended rate. I am very keen to do the workshops and have some exciting ideas for them and hope they will be pleased with the results. It is weird to actually be making money as a writer in an industry that up till now has successfully trained me to devalue my worth (because even if i'm rubbish i'm still worth more than 10 cents an hour which is about what I earn now). We do not seem to have a nationally prescribed and accepted 'profile' or 'going rate' like writers do in some countries and I find it makes for some awkward moments. Maybe this is another topic that can be raised at next years conference of children's writers in Wellington. To end todays post i just have to borrow this fantastic query letter that i found via Kristin Nelson's blog at www.suvudu.com/2008/09/what-i-learned-this-week-part.html :

Dear Editor:
I am monster.
Monster look for publisher.
I am main character in new book, [title removed]. 330 manuscript pages approximately.
Good horror story: lots of action. Blood.
And guts.
Monster enclose return postage.
I may be monster, but I have manners.
Monster thanks you for your consideration.

1 comment:

maureen said...

With my teacher hat on....You are a writer! You have earned your money because you are an expert in your feild....Don't feel guilty feel empowered....because they came to you- not a reliever teacher to do extension language work. It shows smart thinking on their part.
I tutor, in school, a gifted intemediate child in writing and she stretches me...my payment is in time towards keeping my registration current... while I'm not currently teaching.
It would be nice to get paid for it but in conscience I couldn't because baby comes with me and trys to graffiti the staff room while I'm challenging the child to write better/ smarter and stop showing off vast vocab.
Have fun with the kids...you will learn heaps!

Love the monster query letter!
I will make a note of your comments re setting a fee...as I am co convening (with Fi) the conference next year.

Have a positive week....I've got to clean... mother in law is coming to stay....
maureen