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Old 11-26-2013, 12:07 PM
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A good friend of mine was having a rich discussion about writing non-fiction. He touched on a sensitive subject -- that writers who have not yet obtained solid credentials (e.g. college degree, a history of successfully published books, e.t.c) will benefit from name sponsorship. When I shook my head at him he said that was just politics and that freshman writers just have to work with another veteran writer who has credentials by writing most of the book content, then getting the accomplished writer to just do one chapter so they can put their name on the book cover.

Needless to say we argued intensely. This is like dropping live meat in shark waters. I'm not finding the idea of latching on to a veteran writer to get your first works published as the norm. but still, who knows the "way things are done" these days.

thoughts, are you for or against this?


Last edited by egrizzly; 11-26-2013 at 12:10 PM..
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by egrizzly View Post
A good friend of mine was having a rich discussion about writing non-fiction. He touched on a sensitive subject -- that writers who have not yet obtained solid credentials (e.g. college degree, a history of successfully published books, e.t.c) will benefit from name sponsorship. When I shook my head at him he said that was just politics and that freshman writers just have to work with another veteran writer who has credentials by writing most of the book content, then getting the accomplished writer to just do one chapter so they can put their name on the book cover.

Needless to say we argued intensely. This is like dropping live meat in shark waters. I'm not finding the idea of latching on to a veteran writer to get your first works published as the norm. but still, who knows the "way things are done" these days.

thoughts, are you for or against this?
I would need some more information, do you mean jointly writing a book and having both yours and the veteran's name on the cover? What kind of Non-Fiction are you writing...?
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by egrizzly View Post
...writers who have not yet obtained solid credentials (e.g. college degree, a history of successfully published books, e.t.c) will benefit from name sponsorship.
In some all fields of writing, this is common and accepted.

Particularly in academic subjects, readers want credentials. If I write a book saying that everything Freud said was wrong, and it was time for a 'new' psychological theory, and here it is (no matter how right I might be) nobody will read it. I'm just a guy with an idea.

If the book is endorsed and has a foreword by the Chair of Psychology at Oxford, suddenly it has weight.

Even in fiction, this happens. My horror novel may get largely ignored, but if the blurb on the back has a quote from Stephen King saying "Mike is the new king of horror - if you only buy one book this year, buy this one, it terrified me" then suddenly I have readers who know what to expect, have an endorsement from someone whose opinion they respect, and are way more likely to buy.

And when the book gets turned into a musical, the posters on Broadway or in the West End will bring in more ticket sales if at the top, in big letters, it says "THE SHOW OF THE CENTURY - (add your favourite musical theatre star here)".

Originally Posted by egrizzly View Post
I'm not finding the idea of latching on to a veteran writer to get your first works published as the norm.
It is, and always has been, even in Dickens' time. Welcome to the real world.
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:43 AM
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The rub is getting Mr King to agree to put his name on your work
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Old 11-27-2013, 12:51 AM
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would getting that quote on the back not be somewhat down to an agent/publisher? i'm a big fan of Martina Cole, when Mandasue Heller's first book came out, on the back cover was a quote from Cole saying she was up and coming in the world of crime etc, surely Ms Cole wouldn't have seen nor heard of it until an agent or publisher had taken it on?

or should we all be sending extracts to big writers so we can stick on our cover letters so and so loved it? lol
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Old 11-27-2013, 01:25 AM
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...this doesn't appear to be all too apparent for beginning writers. There's an argument to be made here for prudence I guess. The word that was missing from the discussions we had was "credibility". Our talk would have been less heated if that was the discussion because in my field (healthcare) genius work from new clinicians are regarded as "work from new clinicians" until an old-timer sanctions it.

Last edited by egrizzly; 11-27-2013 at 04:59 PM.. Reason: work from new clinicians
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by risk10 View Post
The rub is getting Mr King to agree to put his name on your work
It's all about who you know. Or how big your balls are.

Who you know: Another writing group I'm a member of has a fair proportion of published writers on board, several of them best-sellers. When one brings a book out, they lean on their friends to provide the quotes. There is integrity involved; nobody will endorse a shit book, but there's a pool of name writers you can at least ask.

Big Balls? Send your manuscript to Mr King (or whoever) and ask him to read it. He may trash it, he may just give you the quote. It happens.
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by CandyCane View Post
would getting that quote on the back not be somewhat down to an agent/publisher?
No. Your agent may have someone else in their stable and they may be able and willing to make the introduction, but it's up to you to do the work.

Agents are quite protective of their writers, and writers of their agents.
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Old 11-27-2013, 07:24 AM
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I'm not sure I'd be for working with a well known writer. If I'm going to make a name for myself as an author, I want to do it myself. My plan is to self-publish all of my works. Does that come under the big balls category?
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by risk10 View Post
The rub is getting Mr King to agree to put his name on your work
I'm sure you could find someone named Stephen King to put his name on your work. The phone book is probably loaded with them.
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Old 11-27-2013, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeMatt View Post
I'm sure you could find someone named Stephen King to put his name on your work. The phone book is probably loaded with them.
that would constitute some type of violation then, since the literary community would assume it was THE Stephen King but all the while they are being misled. Anyway, it is ballsy though ;-) Funny thing is if a no-name writer does that and his books sells like hotcakes, there's absolutely nothing King could do about it!

Last edited by egrizzly; 11-27-2013 at 05:04 PM..
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by egrizzly View Post
...this doesn't appear to be all too apparent for beginning writers. There's an argument to be made here for prudence I guess. The word that was missing from the discussions we had was "credibility". Our talk would have been less heated if that was the discussion because in my field (healthcare) genius work from new clinicians are regarded as "genius work from new clinicians" until an old-timer sanctions it.
I am having a bit of difficulty following your argument here... if the work is presented as scientific, and published in a reputable journal, it would require peer review, regardless of how old or young the author is...

Also, I am not sure why a recently graduated or soon to graduate clinician would want to publish a significant volume of work in a book (unless it is a review of some sort), as, I am only assuming here, that they would not have had a lot of cases during their very short career...
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Old 11-27-2013, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by PickleBottom View Post
I am having a bit of difficulty following your argument here... if the work is presented as scientific, and published in a reputable journal, it would require peer review, regardless of how old or young the author is...

Also, I am not sure why a recently graduated or soon to graduate clinician would want to publish a significant volume of work in a book (unless it is a review of some sort), as, I am only assuming here, that they would not have had a lot of cases during their very short career...
Pickle the non-fiction I'm talking about is not even close to being related to my field. It's just on writing non-fiction generally. However in that previous post I was drawing parallels from my work in healthcare.
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Old 11-27-2013, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
It's all about who you know. Or how big your balls are.

Who you know: Another writing group I'm a member of has a fair proportion of published writers on board, several of them best-sellers. When one brings a book out, they lean on their friends to provide the quotes. There is integrity involved; nobody will endorse a shit book, but there's a pool of name writers you can at least ask.

Big Balls? Send your manuscript to Mr King (or whoever) and ask him to read it. He may trash it, he may just give you the quote. It happens.
Mike I'm assuming this writing group is online? or is it local....
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by egrizzly View Post
Pickle the non-fiction I'm talking about is not even close to being related to my field. It's just on writing non-fiction generally. However in that previous post I was drawing parallels from my work in healthcare.
Well then... then the next question would be, what are your goals, if it is;

a) to take credit for the work, use your name
b) disseminate the work, use the celebrity name
c) get famous, use your name
d) get rich(er) [maybe], use the celebrity name
etc etc
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by egrizzly View Post
Mike I'm assuming this writing group is online? or is it local....
It's online. Also amongst the membership are several agents, including one of NY's biggest. You have to pay to be a member, so it keeps the riff-raff out.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:42 PM
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I think all work deserves some credit since genuine effort was put in it. Good works of course, does get disseminated subsequently getting more exposure and rewards for the creators (both known and rookie authors).

...it meets all of the above. The more important element however was drawing a valuable conclusion from the discussion on whether or not to use a well accomplished author as a name sponsor :-)
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by egrizzly View Post
...this doesn't appear to be all too apparent for beginning writers.
It used to be. Self publishing has pushed a lot of this stuff to the background.

Originally Posted by efoshee1 View Post
My plan is to self-publish all of my works. Does that come under the big balls category?
It may come under the 'welcome to obscurity' category.

Originally Posted by egrizzly View Post
Funny thing is if a no-name writer does that and his books sells like hotcakes, there's absolutely nothing King could do about it!
Apart from sue you for misrepresentation. He could take you for everything you own.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
It's online. Also amongst the membership are several agents, including one of NY's biggest. You have to pay to be a member, so it keeps the riff-raff out.
ahhh, I see. well, there is that saying that get what you paid for.
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Old 11-28-2013, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by egrizzly View Post
that would constitute some type of violation then, since the literary community would assume it was THE Stephen King but all the while they are being misled. Anyway, it is ballsy though ;-) Funny thing is if a no-name writer does that and his books sells like hotcakes, there's absolutely nothing King could do about it!
Celebrity names can and are protected by trademark. To use King's name, you'd have to be in a completely different genre, not writing Horror etc. Although King could still more than demand that you apply your name differently to his: S. King, Ste King. S.K. etc. It's all about permission, and if you don't have his permission, you can't and shouldn't use his name for writing horror, even if it it's yours too.

Celebrities will be sent Advance Review Copies for endoresment purposes.They'll get it free, and if they like it, they put their name to it.
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Old 11-28-2013, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by egrizzly View Post
ahhh, I see. well, there is that saying that get what you paid for.
If you use it right you get a lot more than you pay for.
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Old 11-28-2013, 10:41 AM
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I have a friend who had a chick-lit book published. She knows other authors of the genre and they network and push each other's books in their blogs and on facebook etc. Unfortunately, she hasn't been able to get a second book published, even though her first sold reasonably well. My book would likely appeal to the roughly the same audience, so I was hoping to get a blurb from her or maybe someone she knows. But at this point, she doesn't have much cachet.

We have a family friend who is friends with the author Pat Conroy (The Great Santini, Lords of Discipline.) Should it get that far, I'm definitively going to see if I can get my book in front of him. I've got nothing to lose.
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Old 11-28-2013, 12:57 PM
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Tough break for your friend Joe.

Most of the authors I know in my genre, I know through writing forums. L.A. Witt, I know via another site, and she's the one who's just released our latest anthology. I think anothologies with the likes of L.A., who writes full time, are the best way to go for some authors. It's a good way of getting your name about to a wider audience.
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Old 11-29-2013, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
It may come under the 'welcome to obscurity' category.
I agree that it might happen, but wouldn't it also depend on the amount of self-promotion a person is willing to do in order for their work to be noticed? Or am I living in a pipe-dream?

There are people who have really good stories, but they are rejected by publisher after publisher until they decide to self-publish. So if they were not relegated to obscurity, why would I be? Is there some secret code that I am unaware of?
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Old 12-09-2013, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by efoshee1 View Post
I agree that it might happen, but wouldn't it also depend on the amount of self-promotion a person is willing to do in order for their work to be noticed? Or am I living in a pipe-dream?

There are people who have really good stories, but they are rejected by publisher after publisher until they decide to self-publish. So if they were not relegated to obscurity, why would I be? Is there some secret code that I am unaware of?
...there's a sensible ring to that. If you already have works there that have been published you are more likely to be taken seriously.
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