Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Authors on Show

Lorraine Holloway-White first came to my attention on Harper Collins' site Authonomy for the very silly but very obvious reason that we share a surname (you can read more cool stuff about Lorraine and her really rather good writing at the end of the interview). I soon realised how much more there is to a person than a name, and it was no surprise when, earlier this year, she announced she was setting up the website Authors on Show, a showcase for talented writers seeking representation (there's also a super Facebook Group and a great blog that's constantly full of informative, fresh material). Utterly unpaid, and by sheer force of will, hard work, generosity, and passion for her writers, Lorraine has attracted a super team around her on the website who work tirelessly to expose their writers to the people that matter, and shine teh spotlight each month on a few of their finest.

As I've just started my own press, the site is now even more of interest to me, and I was delighted to speak to her about the site and how it can benefit writers, agents, and publishers. Before you take a closer look at what Lorraine has to say, why not go and look at this month's featured writers on the site:
Margaret Callow
SueAnn Jackson Land
Craig Saunders

1. How and why did Authors on Show come about?
My agents said I needed to be seen and get my name and books known. It made me think about how other authors had to do the same and I thought we could help each other with that by me promoting their book, them promoting mine. The snowball effect if you like.
That isn’t what happened though is it? I don’t think this is what my agents had in mind. My book is rather lost on the way somewhere in all this, but I love what we’re doing for others.

2. What do you offer authors that other sites don't?
Well for one, our authors can’t dump their books and walk away. We expect more off them than that. We offer a quiet, friendly, calm place to visit where everyone supports, promotes and encourages each other.
There is often voting, which readers can take part in
We hope to get agent interest for our authors and have already been working on that for one author in particular.
We are mailing all agents and publishers informing them about the site and hope the fact we have so few books to look at each month means they can spare the time to look at them. The big sites have so many there, that it takes forever going through it all.
By keeping it select, there is more chance someone will be ‘spotted’
We promise to promote those we showcase as much as we can and wherever we can in order that they may be seen further afield. We hope those showcased at any one time will do the same for each other as well. That way, word spreads and more people see them.
We offer editorial advice, competitions, interviews from authors, publishers and agents, help and advice where able and there is more planned for the future.

3. As a writer, you must have an elevator pitch for your book. So what's the elevator pitch for the site?
Authors on Show is THE site for all agents and publishers to find their next big best sellers. Small enough to look through quickly, but big enough to make a huge impact in the literary world. Come to Authors on Show if you want quality not quantity

4. You describe the site as a showcase. To whom are you showcasing, and how do you go about reaching them?
We are showcasing to people around the world, fellow authors, readers and more important agents and publishers. As I already said, we are contacting agents and publishers to ask them to visit and take a look from time to time. We know this has already been done by some, but we want to make it THE place for them to come first when looking for new talent.

5. Could you say a little about the website networking principle you operate? How do you get around the usual problem sites have of being by writers and read mainly by writers?
Mainly because, we aren’t a site where anyone can upload their books and then walk away hoping someone will read it. It is by submission and selection process only and judging is very strict and rigorous.
Also one of the conditions of being showcased, is that our authors use their social networking sites to help promote us as well. Instead of just other authors looking, we reach their friends, family and work colleagues. In other words, people who buy and read books. Even authors do that you know. They in turn tell others and so it goes on. Again, the snowball effect. On our FaceBook page I know there are quite a few following Authors on Show who aren’t authors themselves but are readers. Also we have agents and publishers following us, which is rather good

6. What is the unifying factor for the work on your site? Are there any kinds of book or material that you wouldn't have? And is there a kind of book you're looking for?
We accept all genres and hope to have a good mix each month. We wouldn’t show outright pornographic material or needless violence, but are willing to look at all submissions with an open mind.
Like any agent and publisher, we are looking for books where the quality of writing stands out from all others, but we especially support authors who promote and help themselves. Books we are likely to turn down would be from authors who expect to dump their book, walk away and expect others to do their work for them. That is something Authors on Show won’t accept or tolerate.
Show us you’re serious about yourself and us and we’ll be serious about promoting you.

7. How do you ensure that all your authors get coverage whilst maintaining quality levels to keep people looking?
By keeping the numbers down of those we showcase it is easier to be more selective. Each month we aim to showcase six authors and they are chosen by the three main team members of AOS. We each like different genres, which helps tremendously when it comes to reading. One thing we all agree on though is to only show the books that are well written, edited properly and have an author willing to work hard to achieve success.

8. You would be most happy in one year if...
On the personal side good health is the most important thing to me as mine has been pretty bad for the last 2 years and I’m just coming out of it all. On the writing side, to see my book accepted for publication.
Professionally, I (and the team) would be thrilled beyond belief to have one or two of our authors from Authors on Show get representation or a publishing deal from having been on our site. That would be incredible. Finding a way of getting paid for all our hard work on the site would be nice too.

9. How do you think the publishing world is changing, and how do you see what AOS offers fitting into the new landscape?
Things are changing a lot in the publishing world, but I firmly believe books with pages will never stop being very popular. That said, I think some of the ways forward now are excellent and we, at AOS, will be offering advice and having people from all aspects do articles and give interviews where they can advise our authors on all aspects of publishing..
We are even looking at maybe acting as literary agents ourselves at some point and maybe arranging publication in conjunction with others, such as yourself, for those who want it.

10. Can, and if so how, do people approach you to join?
There is no membership or signing up necessary to be a member of AOS. All you need to do is follow us on Facebook, Twitter, our blog or Authors On Show.com and promote us wherever possible. If anyone wants to be showcased, there are Q&A’s on the main site, which talk about submissions, how to contact any of us and what is required.

11. As a new publisher, how would you suggest I go about using your site to find great writing?
We would be happy to see you there and hope you will be from time to time. If there were specific genres you were looking for, we would be willing to mail you when those were due to be showcased. Likewise, if a publisher/agent contacted us asking if there was anything in particular we thought truly stood out in a field they were looking for, we would be happy to keep an eye out for them and notify them when we found something we thought fitted the bill (as we have already done).

--

Lorraine Holloway-White is an author of two books and is presently working on her third. Becoming well known throughout the world for her mediumistic photographic readings and absent healing, she is also the Founder and main Team Leader of Authors on Show, a writing site showcasing authors from around the world. In only two months, the site is already very popular and is being viewed in over 60 countries. That number is growing steadily each day.

Within a couple of months of placing her first book, A Guide’s Guide to Mediumship and Healing on a well known writing site, she secured a Literary Agent. Her book is presently with a well known publishing house under consideration.

Her third book, and editing of her second, is presently on hold as she works full time now promoting others on Authors On Show. She is joined by permanent team members and fellow authors, Nicole Scheller (editor) and L Anne Carrington (blog and entertainment news). As well as these permanent members, there are also AOS helpers and friends, Robert Dean (Bobby’s Blog), Louise Wise (Interviews) and Sessha Batto (Ongoing Flash Fiction Competition).

It says something about Authors on Show, that these people give their time free of charge and willingly work so hard in order to help promote their peers. It is the combination of this team, which makes Authors on Show such a success. Lorraine hopes that they too in time will achieve success with their own books and hopes by working on the site, it helps their own exposure.

Work by the Team Members can be seen on the AOS Blog

More can be seen about Lorraine and her books on her private blog

3 comments:

  1. Well done, Lorraine! The site is a credit to you and your team. I hope it goes from strength to strength.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Very interesting - just goes to show what a little determination can do! Thanks for introducing her Dan!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for that lovely interview, Dan and for the extra exposure. It is a pleasure working in conjunction with so many lovely new friends.
    Lorraine

    ReplyDelete