ABB blog Traci Hall Feb 6th
Publishing Industry News from agent Evan Marshall
I belong to a local writer’s group called South Florida Fiction Writers—we used to be a romance-only organization, but broke away from Romance Writers of America in 2022, to be more inclusive of our writing community. We meet in person monthly, or on Zoom. https://sffictionwriters.org/
In January, we were pleased to have Evan Marshall as our guest speaker to discuss industry news. I’ve shared my notes, in case you’re interested. He is no longer accepting clients—and that is the state of the industry.
How to get an agent?
Evan suggested looking for a younger agent actively searching for clients. Do your research on Publisher’s Marketplace. They have a free version, or one for 200.00 per year. Look for who acquired, what genre, and what publisher.
It is harder than ever to sell, so do your research by tracking deals.
Digital Publishers are still acquiring stories and they are used to working with authors who are not yet agented.
Check out the Editor’s Wishlist on Twitter
HQN will sometimes send out a wish list, so check their website of social media pages.
Someone had asked how polished a manuscript should be, and if it is worth the money to hire an editor before sending the book in.
Evan replied that the manuscript should be very polished. He suggested looking for NY editors who are now freelance if you decide to spend money on an editor.
Evan’s predictions for 2023:
Rise of medium-sized digital publishers
Big publishers are afraid to take risks on books
Trends are diversity!
Big demand for sexy romantic comedy—readers 20 and up!
Domestic thrillers—but the market is saturated with talented authors so hard to break into
WWII is still very hot for historical fiction
Amish romance is out.
Historical romance, dead at big publishers but doing okay at medium-sized digital.
Mainstream fiction would need to be a super big idea.
Important to fit a genre—no more mash ups.
Question was asked about older heroines?
Yes—an older heroine with a younger hero is considered diverse
Publishers are looking for series rather than standalone—they want to know that you can do more than one book if they invest in you.
Romantic suspense, mysteries, and cozy mysteries are all still doing well.
Mental health, if handled right, is an okay topic. People read to escape.
Social media is very, very important. If you are not on social media, it could be a reason for a publisher to say no. If you are not published yet, start a blog or following on the subject you’re writing about.
Someone asked the shelf life of a book?
Someone asked about a nonfiction book being easier to sell than a fiction, the subject being mental health.
Evan said that yes, it would be, so long as the writer had the correct credentials, a following already, and was a certified professional in that particular field.
Memoirs are still of interest.
I hope this gives insight if you are looking to expand your horizons from indie publishing—good luck in your journey! Being part of a community is the golden ticket, in my opinion, and the ladies here at ABB are amazing.
From cozy mysteries to seaside romance, USA Today bestselling author Traci Hall writes stories that captivate her readers. As a hybrid author with over sixty published works, Ms. Hall has a favorite tale for everyone.
Mystery lovers, check out her Scottish Shire series, set in the seaside town of Nairn, or the Salem B&B Mystery series, co-written as Traci Wilton. Her latest project is an Irish Castle cozy as Ellie Brannigan. Whether it’s her ever-popular By the Sea romances, an Appletree Cove sweet romance, or a fun who-done-it, Traci finds her inspiration in sunny South Florida, living right near the ocean.
Traci wants to hear from you!
About The Project
CHAT is the story of a woman who meets a charming man online and develops a flirtatious relationship with him until things take a strange turn.
It’s meant as a warning to anyone thinking it’s their right to terrorize another person either online or in person.
As an awarded, sold, optioned screenwriter, Kim originally wanted a filmmaker to buy the script, film it and take it to film festivals. Somewhere along the way, Kim was unable to let it go and decided to produce it herself.
If you’d like to be part of CHAT’s journey and get updates, click the blue FOLLOW tab beside our video trailer or pledge a few dollars and be part of the CHAT Team. See our fun incentives on the right…
Here is what we are all about:
The script made Coverfly’s Red List in 2020 and 2021 in the Short Thriller category and had several placements in prestigious screenwriting contests like the quarterfinals in Oscar Qualifying HollyShorts Screenwriting Contest.
After being a Top Ten Finalist in Shoot Your Short and a quarterfinalist (2nd Round) in Austin Film Festival two years in a row, Women In Film Seattle member, Kim, decided to produce CHAT herself. When Brad Johnson made a bid to direct, the two partnered to develop the project.
In the fall of 2021, Kim and Brad talked about how to make this film and what it would take to turn out the best version on a budget. Luke Zwanziger, a Portland filmmaker and screenwriter himself, signed on as Assistant Director and the producers felt like they’d hit the jackpot. Luke can do everything and brings a wealth of talent and know-how to guide the team. Luke’s Filmmaker Reel
By the end of 2021, CHAT had it’s lead actors and the excitement grew. Eryn Rea of Grey’s Anatomy and Amazon Prime’s The Scottish Play, would take the lead, Julia. Josh Price of TURN: Washington’s Spies and Devious Maids, was offered the role of her pursuer. Antonio Mitchell, from Seattle’s Theatrical Scene signed on to play Burke in a supporting role.
Emmy Award-winning Cinematographer Madeline Down, a Seatttle powerhouse, also known as the Seahawks videographer joined the team and Seattle Sound Woman, Meredith Wylegala, was added. Tara Forth, President of the Seattle Composers Alliance will score the film and Trina Griffin Director of the Seattle Film Summit will be our Covid Compliance Officer and a PA on set. Derek Johnson, a Seattle filmmaker will be our gaffer. He documented 9/11 in NYC, which lead to 10 feature and 4 Emmy credits.
Make sure you click FOLLOW on the top right and give an email so we can keep you updated on our filming process.
In the age of #MeToo and calling out men who make women feel less than worthy with unwanted sexual advances, the producers hope CHAT sheds a light on how women see this attention as frightening, knowing it can escalate into something very dark.
On a personal note, Kim once had a stalker and this pursuit of a stranger contributed in some part to the story of CHAT. She wanted to make a film that highlights a woman’s ability to fight back.
The film takes place mostly inside a backyard cottage office and around the house and cottage.
The story chornicles the evolution of an online relationship so there are many shots of two people interacting at their desks. We wanted the cottage office to have a charm that would be in opposition to the theme.
Shooting a film in the time of COVID, is tricky but we have a very small cast and crew and one location. Our Covid Compliance Officer will ensure safety and cleanliness on set. Protocol will be followed. In the case of a positive test before filming, we have alternate people to step in.
Films cost money. It might be possible to make CHAT for less but then it would look like we cut corners and we wouldn’t be able to pay our crew or actors fairly. $12,800 means we have top talent and crew. The money raised isn’t a number we pullled out of the air. We did a strategic budget allowing for paychecks, equipment rentals, accommodation, insurance, permits, and post production costs like editing and music.
Although Seed & Spark has been around for awhile and is well-respected in crowd funding circles, especially for films, we understand not everyone will want to jump on board and be part of CHAT at first. We hope you’ll come around.
Be a FOLLOWER by hitting the button on the top right! We need 500 followers.
If you’re on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or at any social media site where you would like to spread the word, we’ve designed some easily copied and pasted shoutouts below. It would be amazing if you want to let friends know that being a film investor is the new going to space with Jeff Bezos.
HELP US GET THE WORD OUT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!!! Tweet or Post one of these
My friends are making a film in Seattle!
Be part of their impressive little circle by giving a dollar or two so you can put film supporter in your bio!
@Chat_shortfilm #filmmaking #giveback
RT please https://seedandspark.com/fund/chat#story
OR Tweet this by copying and pasting!
CHAT, a Short film about meeting unsavory characters online, is on Seed & Spark crowdfunding platform for 30 days
Help finance a film and call yourself a film financer. Become a CHATTIE!
#IndieFilm #filmmaking #screenwriting
What people say about the script…
Feb 23, 2021 – Filmmaker Cari Haim – Twitter
Ho-lee-crap! Just read .@kimhornsby’s short ‘Chat’ and I am in AWE. Did NOT see those #twists coming and I completely understand why this is an award winning script. #specscriptshoutout
Feb 25, 2022 – U of Memphis Film Professor Marty Lang – Twitter
Brad showed me the script – I loved it!
Visit our Team page to see how amazing this crew and cast are!