Friday, January 27, 2012

Interview With Manuscript Doctor Patti Miller, Co-Founder Of AP Miller

1.      You had a bestseller on Amazon, Peter and Pumpkin Patch. How much fun is it to be a best-selling author? It’s amazing! We can’t begin to describe what a thrill ride it has been for us or how much fun we have writing books that make readers want more.

2.      You have 35 years of experience in fiction and script writing, newspaper and magazine writing as well as publishing. Where do you see the book publishing industry is heading? In many directions actually, while some readers will want the convenience of reading on any type of reader they can get their hands on. You will also see the remainder of the readers wanting to curl up with a paperback or hard cover in their hands. I must admit, I love reading a book I can feel and smell. I do strongly believe we will have both digital and print in the future. I don’t foresee any huge changes in the near future as far as digital taking over the market that much. Especially in the children’s and young adult books, as schools and libraries will still demand books in print and let’s face it, parents alike. It will be very difficult for anyone to want to give up that pleasure.  All though I do see where some genres are going to end in a big way. I won’t tell which ones we will just have to sit back and wait for it to happen. 

3.      What advice do you have for struggling authors today? Sit down and think before you begin to type. I mean that seriously, people. Make sure to do your homework before you decide to sit down and write a book. Learn the craft and brush up on what you know. There is nothing more important than hearing from a reader or a book reviewer how much they enjoyed your story. Write from the heart. Don’t write something to get in on the band wagon, and don’t offer a sloppy manuscript to an editor. Most of all NEVER insult an editor by informing them it’s their job to write your book. Or inform them your mother liked it so they have to publish it. Remember, it is an honor to get a contract from a publisher. They don’t owe the author a contract. You as the author must be deserving of that and become as loyal to your publisher as they will hopefully become towards you. If you self publish it is a much tougher road. You will be responsible for everything you do. I mean that literally. You will be strongly criticized for mistakes and trust me some comments will not be in your favor. That’s part of being an author. It is your responsibility to offer the publisher and the readers the best possible book.

4.      You co-own AP Miller with your husband. Please tell us what your company does – and how do you manage to work with the man you live with? We are asked this question quite often…first of all we are a team, we write stories together chapter by chapter or we write separately. We write in many genres and aren’t really limited. Working with Andrew is wonderful. He is brilliant and an extremely talented writer. We generate thoughts together which makes our books realistic, masterful, whimsical and fun to read. We also share much in common and of course our love of writing and for each other. It’s a team effort we never question.

5.      What are the rewards and challenges of writing and illustrating children’s books? Many! Being a retired Teacher has its benefits. You live and learn when there are children involved. I enjoy watching my books come alive and reading the joy in a child’s letter when I hear how much they loved reading it. As far as challenges, well…right now there aren’t any. I love children, and want nothing more than to make them happy by offering them a story that will take them out of reality just for a little while…it’s almost magical.

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Newt’s Victory Upsets Media Landscape

The Republican presidential primary season looks to be long, which means more media coverage will go towards following the highly competitive and combative race, thus, there will be less coverage of everything else, including books.

Unless you have a book that relates to the election and its candidates, then you are in business.   Books on Mormonism, (Romney), infidelity (Gingrich), religious right (Santorum) or Tea Party (Paul) will get attention as well as books about policy, government, elections, politics, and key issues: healthcare, job creation, taxation and budgeting.

Newt won the South Carolina primary after Mitt won New Hampshire after Rick won Iowa.  The race is suddenly a toss-up.  Romney is presumed to be the eventual nominee, mainly due to his resources and business experience but Newt, the former Speaker of the House, is coming on strong.

2012 is a busy year.  Big election, locally and nationally, Olympics.  Big sporting events, big movie releases, major awards shows, hit singers releasing albums, celebrity gossip, trends, cool Web sites, viral videos, news of the day…and millions of newly published books will compete for media coverage.  Even a recent bill that didn’t even get voted on by Congress caused a media uproar – the anti-piracy legislation.

Whether you follow politics or support any of the Republican candidates, we all are affected in the race to secure mindshare for the books we promote and market.  It’s a race, not just to the White House, but to the consumer.  So many people vie to use the media to influence and inspire sales for their book.  It looks to be as big a battle as I’ve ever seen.

Snow Droppings

It snowed this past Saturday and I surprisingly didn’t fear it nor get agitated by it.  What happened?

I thought I was at the age where snowfalls leave me feeling annoyed.  Time to shovel in the cold.  Have to drive slow.  Events get cancelled.  Power lines go down.  Gonna be late for work.  Just one negative thought competing with another in my cranium.

But I also still feel a little bit of my youthful playfulness.  The snow, visually, as it falls is beautiful.  It instantly redesigns my surroundings and paints the town white.  It reminds me nature beats humanity in the game of life.  We can’t ignore or influence the snow – how much falls, where it falls, or how long it’ll stick around for. We can move it from point A to point B, but that’s it..

My kids, four and seven, remind me snow is fun.  They slide in it and throw snowballs.  Then draw patterns in the snow with whatever they get their hands on, including their little bodies.  They don’t see the obligation to clean or the danger it poses to roads and property.  It’s just outdoor sugar to them and the more they can get of the powdery substance the better.

Truth is, the only exercise I get is in digging my car out of the driveway and shoveling a path leading to my front door, so I don’t fully mind having to clean it up.  My oldest, Benjamin, helps, so it’s a family activity.

My happiest memories of the snow come from childhood. The kids in Brooklyn loved mixing ice, even rocks, into their snowballs. It was great when you could pelt the bullies from all sides with killer snowballs.  I also loved playing football in the snow and going to Coney Island after a snowstorm.  The air would be cool but calm in a place normally populated in the summer with hundreds of thousands of screaming folks.  Just me on the cake-topping sand and the tumbling waves of the Atlantic Ocean pouring in. That was beauty and serenity at once.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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