Island Writers' Network
|February 7, 2011 -- Minutes
Anderson, John Bickers, Tom Crawford, Sheila Gale, Lorie Getz, Ken Getz, Anne Grace, Jane Hill, Susan Lee, Norm
Levy, Sansing McPherson, Dee Merian, Peter Schwarzlose, Greg Smorol, Charlie Thorn, Norma VanAmberg; visitor
Member Sheila Gale presented the program, “Surely Someone Wants My Book,” on her experiences finding a
publisher for her novel, Dottie Flowers and the Skinner Gang, which will come out sometime this year through
Crystal Dreams, an imprint of Multi Media Publishing. A summary of her main points will be appended after the
Minutes of the January 10 meeting were approved as corrected. Treasurer Greg Smorol reported a balance on
hand of $1,743.34.
Book Distribution & Sales:
• Coastal Discovery Museum needs copies of both books; Sansing will take this week.
• Jane Hill announced that Catawba Publishing, who printed both our anthologies, is closing. We have
requested they ship us the paid-for inventory in their on-line store. A discussion ensued on finding another
printer with no resolution.
• Tom Crawford reported the following vendors who will sell books; Walgreens on Palmetto Bay Rd.,
Booksalicious in Bluffton.
• Tom will arrange a reading and signing at the Seabrook. Dee Merian, John Bickers, Jane Hill, Will Anderson,
Anne Grace, Lorie Getz, and Norm Levy agreed to participate.
• Lorie Getz announced we paid $128 to belong to the Chamber of Commerce to be eligible to participate in
Bravo and another $25 to actually participate.
• Friends of the Library will sponsor us as hosts for our events at the Hilton Head Library and asks 10% of
our sales. We may serve cookies and non-alcoholic drinks.
• We will present 6 sessions, 4 for adults, 1 for young adults, and 1 for children.
• The adult sessions will be 2-hour blocks with 3 readers and time for questions.
• All IWN members may sell their own books at every event.
Open Mike: Norm Levy announced he will host Open Mike on Monday, Feb. 21, at 7:00 p.m.
Next general meeting will be Monday, March 7, at 7:00 p.m.
Program will be presented by Jodie Randisi, author and former IWN member, who will speak on creative marketing
Meeting adjourned at 8:30.
Minutes submitted by
Surely Someone Wants My Book
By Sheila Gale
Summary of major points:
• Sheila received many rejections, some on form letters, some personalized and polite; some agents never
responded at all. Expect rejections.
• Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents and Writers Digest are two excellent
guides to find likely agents and proper submission format for each.
• You must follow stated format, which takes time, but you will be rejected otherwise.
• Your work needs to be very good.
• Don’t be afraid to call when you have not heard in a long time. She got an entrée into Multi Media
Publishing but did not hear from them again for months. So she called them and learned they were considering
the manuscript. More time went by, so she called again and learned they were publishing it. At each step, she has
called them, not the other way around, until the editor finally called to ask her to choose a cover.
• You must be extremely patient. She signed her contract with Multi Media on Dec. 12, 2008. The book will
be published some time this year, 2011.
• Get your first novel (usually autobiographical) out of the way so you can get on with the business of really
• Find your own voice. This involves liking your characters and having fun with them.
• She did not outline her first book (the autobiographical one); it was too short and had to be amplified.
She outlined the one that is being published.
• Her writers’ group has been essential. Her first one collapsed due to a member who made very negative
comments and also came late and was often unprepared.
• She carefully chose the people for a second writers’ group. They must be compatible, disciplined, and
considerate. Their format is to send manuscripts by email and meet every 2 weeks in homes. Each member prints
out all copies. The host critiques first, followed by each of the others. The writer responds last.
• Comments focus on content, not on proofreading issues.