It you are an aspiring author, like me, writing may be the smoothest part of the journey. Feeling inspired, outlining, writing, and even editing can come easy to creative types like us. What to do with your creation? Well, that’s were it gets tricky.
I turn to the AuthorTube community for help on topics like beta readers, professional editors, literary agents, self-publishing and more. AuthorTube is an informal community of video bloggers who share their expertise on writing, editing and the publishing industry for free on the YouTube platform. Some of my favorites are:
- iWriterly: A resource for adult and YA genre fiction with how-to videos on traditional publishing and self-publishing hosted by author Meg LaTorre. Meg is charming, but keeps it real with the tough advice newbie authors may not want to hear. She has great insight into the industry and often brings together literary agents and publishers to share their expertise. [UPDATE: Meg is on hiatus indefinitely but her content is still available]
- BookEnds Literary Agency: Although this agency rejected my query, I still love to hear literary agents Jessica Faust and James McGowan share their perspectives and advice for querying authors. It is a vast educational resource for writing query letters, negotiating contracts, and learning about the publishing industry from an agent’s point of view.
- Alexa Donne: A traditionally-published YA author offers her insights into writing and the publishing industry. She usually posts two to three videos per week, which always have interesting and useful content, including interviews with other authors, book reviews and ruthless writing advice.
What do these AuthorTube channels have in common? A genuine and sincere interest in helping new authors navigate the turbulent waters of traditional publishing. There are a thousand more book and publishing YouTubers to follow and so much great advice to be gleaned.
I recommend you subscribe to these channels, and more, for five important reasons:
1. Avoiding Amateur Mistakes
Before you even consider querying literary agents, your manuscript should be proofread and polished. If not, it may be hard to remove yourself from the story and spot errors that will turn off would-be agents. What mistakes are those exactly?
Look no further than AuthorTube for answers. From poor pacing, to weak subplots, telling versus showing, and many more, we have all made a couple of these mistakes somewhere in our manuscript. The good news is, once you are aware of a problem, it can be FIXED.
2. Sharing Your Work
This was a tough one for me. After the first, second, third and fourth draft (and I had a semi-polished manuscript), it was tempting to do another round of edits instead of sharing my book baby with the world. Opening yourself up to criticism is so hard, especially when your work represents years of effort and the subject matter is close to your heart. But, if you really do want your story to see the light of day, you have to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight. AuthorTubers great advice for writers looking to get feedback on their stories.
3. Navigating the querying process
Rejection. Ouch… it hurts. You only have one shot to land an agent, so your query letter needs to sing your praises. Your first chapter should shine. The synopsis must be succinct and compelling. But how?! It is so difficult to condense your 50,000-100,000 word novel into a one-page query letter that makes it out of an agent’s slush pile. It’s ruthless out there, I tell you! You need some help. Enter real literary agents granting exclusive access into their world. Understand their decision making process and pet peeves to make your query stand out among the rest.
4. Marketing Yourself
You may be an accomplished writer, but a social media guru? Maybe not. These days, aspiring authors are expected to have an online presence, whether that is a Facebook page, Twitter handle, Instagram account, website or all of the above. This is especially important if you choose to self-publish your works of fiction, but that’s a different topic altogether. Establishing your social media presence can be fun, and it is a great way to connect with other writers. Plus, you position yourself as a savvy self-starter when querying literary agents.
5. Tough love
We’ve all heard the writing advice to “kill your darlings.” You know, cut out those flowery, but unnecessary, descriptions, characters and plot points from your writing to tighten up your story? But what about cringe-worthy character descriptions, cliche dialogue, tropes to avoid, and terrible endings? Most AuthorTubers don’t hold back and will give you the honest, but tough, advice you need to take your manuscript to the next level. They’ll spew the kind of harsh truths your friends and family are too kind to say when giving feedback on your novel.
So, there it is… AuthorTube is the YouTube niche you’ve been looking for. Skip those cute cat videos, DIY tutorials and video game reviews, and dive deep into the wold of publishing. Your future (published author) self will thank you! A little wishful thinking there, but it doesn’t hurt to keep a positive attitude… am I right?
Leave a comment below letting me know your favorite book and publishing vloggers!
Love and light,