Tag Archives: public speaking for authors

Tonight’s talk at the library

Writer- Be careful orThis is the press release for my talk and signing at a local library tonight 5/21/15. The question is (and it’s a common one for unknown, debut authors) — will anyone come?

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“How much of this is real?”

The background for magazine writer and editor Marci Diehl’s debut novel What You Don’t Know Now could be set in 2015: Unpopular wars. Racial and cultural divisions. Heightened tensions between Russia and the West. Military actions in the Middle East. A generation navigating change. But the historical background is set in 1967, and an journey takes place “within and without” an 18- year- old American girl in Europe.
Since the release of her book in November 2014, Diehl says she finds readers intrigued especially by two topics.
“I get asked all the time: ‘Did this [story] really happen to you?’ and ‘How did you get your novel published?’ ” Diehl says. She’ll discuss the answers to these and other questions Thursday, May 21, 2015 at the Wood Library in Canandaigua, N.Y.
“Marci Diehl captures a nuanced tone in her writing of historical accuracy, the move to adulthood during a tumultuous time, and cultural beliefs of a small-town educated family in the Vietnam War era,” says Melissa E. Travis, PhD, MLS in a review. “The accuracy and cultural awareness in Diehl’s [novel] is stunning.”
Diehl used details from a real travel journal she kept years ago in the book – and based one character on her own uncle, the late Jack O’Connell, CIA Chief of Station for the Middle East during the late 1960s through 1971. O’Connell is the author of King’s Counsel: A Memoir of War, Espionage, and Diplomacy in the Middle East (W.W.Norton & Company).
The coming-of-age commercial novel is from Merge Publishing, based in Syracuse, and is available at the Wood Library, 134 North Main Street, Canandaigua NY. The talk and signing is 7p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Authors don’t just write — they speak in public, too.

WYDKN RIT panel

That’s me, speaking at the Publishing Without Perishing Symposium held at Rochester Institute of Technology, by The RIT Press, and The Wallace Center at RIT. The symposium was for academics who want/need to publish their non-fiction, scholarly works. What am I doing there? I’m not an academic. And that was the point.

I was on the panel “Self-Publishing: Wonders and Woes of DIY” to talk about other options in “trade” publishing today. I was there to represent Merge Publishing, an independent publisher, and to talk about the difference between self-publishing and indie publishing. We had a good crowd.

Promoting a book also requires being able to speak in public: Something I’ve been doing for a long, long time before I ever wrote a novel. I kind of love it. (Although, looking at the photo, which was taken by RIT photographer Elizabeth Lamark, I’m not sure about the sweater-over-the-shoulders look I was sporting. RIT is one of the coldest campuses around – huge with sweeping winds, and it was in the ‘teens that day.)

In the process of gathering notes for my part of the presentation, I asked Don Stevens, founder of Merge, for some additional info I might use for the Q&A portion of the presentation, and he sent me answers to a few questions. They were so interesting, I thought I’d share them here, so you might know what else goes into producing a book.

What was the motivation behind the creation of Merge?

It was frustrating that besides the major publishing houses, vanity press seemed to be the only other option. There were a few small university presses, and some niche ones, but their image, marketing (or lack of), made me wince. Other small press publishing companies looked promising, but it seemed like they would just publish anything.

What was the learning curve involved for you as publisher?
I learned that even though there’s help, there is a lot to do. The expectations of writers are challenging, but the expectations of readers are just as challenging. Most of the times these two don’t correlate. Some writers want or think they need everything, expect to charge a lot for their books, and do not understand patience and the element of time. We are not a large publisher, we cannot offer the same services or give their results. Some readers want masterpieces for only deals, or even for free.
How did you decide on a printer/fulfillment? What options did you come across?

I asked around and used what other authors have used. I liked Lightning Source for their distribution, but knew I needed an extra printer for fulfilling orders for books signings/etc. So I use two printing sources.
How did you find The Librarian, La Literati?, etc. [online web and podcast shows that I have or will appear on as an author]
Research, research, research. Talked to other writers, and many publishers, to decide on what they were doing. Some ideas that I thought would be great were a disappointment. But everyone’s goals are different.