Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Melissa Abramovitz
Welcome back readers. This week Melissa Abramovitz is submitting to the Writerly Wednesday Interview. Her Bio, book info, cover art and links will appear as you read this post.
I have a new Writerly Wednesday Guest each week. Submission Guidelines are on this site if you’d like to secure a place on my calendar.
You are also welcome to my Fiction Friday area and general Life is a Story Posts that can also be accessed on this site.
You Came here to visit with our Guest, so I’ll get on with it!
1. What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale? I like displaying my books at writer’s conferences and school visits and having people ask questions about the books. I enjoy the real-life interactions, especially since so much promotion is done electronically these days. Not that e-marketing is bad; it does allow us to reach so many people. But I especially like the face-to-face stuff.2. What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish? I deal with lots of publishers, since I write educational books and magazine articles as well as picture books and the book I wrote for writers. One of the most important qualities I look for in a publisher or editor is a willingness to respond fairly promptly to any questions or concerns I may have. I’m not talking about responding to a manuscript submission – it takes most editors/publishers forever to respond to those. I’m talking about responding to questions etc. after a book is under contract. I know editors and publishers are very busy, but I do not want to work with those who ignore Emails or phone calls. I’m not a pesky author who bombards a publisher with lots of questions and insists on frequent updates. When I do ask about something, there is a good reason. So I like to be treated respectfully enough to merit an answer.3. What do you have under your bed? Nothing except carpet! I’m pretty compulsive about keeping everything clean, neat, and in its place. If I kept things like books or clothing under my bed, it would be difficult to keep taking those things out so the area could be vacuumed. I also believe that books belong in a bookshelf and clothes belong in dresser drawers or closets. Sometimes I hate myself for being so well organized, but I must say that this trait allows me to accomplish a great deal (my daily schedule is well-organized on my desk calendar). This nit-picking trait also makes me good at proofreading my manuscripts – only rarely do typos or other mistakes get by me! One editor with whom I work frequently found a typo in one of my manuscripts and immediately called to ask if I was okay. He had never before found a mistake in my work!4. Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing? Most of the time, I’m definitely a plotter. I usually write nonfiction, so this entails sticking to an outline. However, in the rare instances when I write fiction, I tend to be a pantser. I know, this is not consistent with being compulsively organized, but there are exceptions to every rule, and writing fiction without a clue about what’s coming next is my exception.5. Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process? I’ve always written and edited on my own and have never been part of a critique group. This is mostly because the majority of my work is nonfiction assignments, and I know what each publisher is looking for. I would love to find a good critique group for the picture books and the one novel I’ve written and want to market to publishers. I know I could benefit from other writers’ ideas and opinions, and I also enjoy helping other authors improve their work.6. When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them? Ideas come to me at all hours of the day or night. Some of the best ones appear during the night, so I keep a pad of paper and a pen on the nightstand next to my bed to scribble notes. Otherwise, I’d never get back to sleep! Other than that, I often get ideas while reading news articles, books, and magazines and while out and about. When this happens, I write down the idea and put it in my overstuffed “Ideas” folder for possible use. This way, I never run out of story or article ideas. One thing I emphasize in my “Treasure Trove” book for writers is that story ideas are everywhere, no matter where you go and what you do. You just have to train yourself to notice these ideas with a writer’s “eye.”7. What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors? I have used Word for many years and like it a lot. Other than typing my manuscripts, keeping up my website, doing Email and Facebook, and doing some of my research on the computer, however, I am basically a low-tech dinosaur. I prefer taking all my research notes on 8×11 lined paper and writing my first drafts on the same kind of paper before typing up a manuscript. Then I do editing and revisions on the computer, of course. I also keep all my business records about queries, submissions, sales, and compensation in old-fashioned looseleaf notebooks, and I have an old-fashioned desk calendar with my schedule. I find it easier to turn pages and to have a list in front of me rather than having to constantly consult a calendar on my phone or computer or to keep updating a zillion computer files. I also like having a hard copy of everything in case of computer failure. Don’t get me wrong – I think computers are great, and I know I would never want to have to use an old-fashioned typewriter. But I also do not want to do everything on a phone or computer.
I have been a freelance writer for over 25 years and I specialize in writing nonfiction magazine articles and books for all age groups. I’ve published hundreds of magazine articles, more than 30 educational books for children and teenagers, numerous poems and short stories, and several children’s picture books. My book for writers, A Treasure Trove of Opportunity: How to Write and Sell Articles for Children’s Magazines, has been widely acclaimed since its publication in 2012. I’m a member of SCBWI and The Working Writer’s Club and I enjoy sharing my expertise through teaching teleclasses and workshops on writing. Visit my website at http://www.melissaabramovitz.
A Treasure Trove of Opportunity: How to Write and Sell Articles for Children’s Magazines (E&E Publishing)
__Treasure Trove excerpt: If you are not a published writer, writing nonfiction for children and teens is an accessible and ideal method of breaking into print. It also provides a reliable, ongoing source of assignments and markets for experienced, widely published authors. Children and teen magazine editors are hungry for well-researched, well-written nonfiction, and the chances of selling magazine nonfiction are far greater than those of selling fiction.
ABCs of Health and Safety picture book excerpt:
A is for ACTIVE AEROBICSSuch as soccer or hiking.Swimming or basketballMight be more to your liking.B is for BEACH BEHAVIORNobody should swim alone!Be sure to have a buddyAnd stay in a safe swim zone.
Thank you Melissa for doing this for me. :) I hope you’ll come back and share news of your next title.
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