Saturday, February 20, 2010

He had The Write Stuff: Ralph Hieb

The third in a series of interviews conference chair Kathryn Craft conducted with former conferees that made successful publishing connections at The Write Stuff conference.

Kathryn: You met Karen Syed, publisher at Echelon Press, last year at The Write Stuff conference. Any advice for people pitching for the first time this year?

Ralph: The best advice I can give is be yourself and stay on topic. A good short summary of your work will get you closer to your goal than straying around what is actually in your work. I practiced delivering what I was going to say a week before the conference. Speaking out loud what you wish to say and doing it in front of a mirror seemed to help me set the timing of my delivery. I received this advice from attending a number of conferences and I believe it paid off.

K: How did the submission process go from there?

R: It took until October to get an answer, and it was a rejection. About one month later the senior editor notified me that one of the editors had read it and liked it. If I was still interested they would offer me a contract. Of course I was interested.

K: How did it feel to be offered a contract—especially following as it did on the heels of a rejection from the same publisher?

R: Is the term walking on air still being used? Because that is exactly how I felt, and still do.

K: Your contract is for publishing an eBook, right? Tell us how the relatively new eBook might factor into an author's plan for career growth.

R: Yes, my contract is for an eBook. I think that it is a good vehicle to get noticed. A recent report on the radio said that eBooks outsold traditionally published books for the holiday season. So it is a market that has a lot of potential. As you know, the more exposure an author gets the better the chances for more contracts.

Ralph Hieb, a former Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group president, lives in Bethlehem PA with his wife Nancy. Ralph is also a member of the Bethlehem Writers Group. Their book, A Christmas Sampler: Sweet, Funny, and Strange Holiday Tales, contains his story, “Walter and Stella.” Ralph enjoys reading and watching vampire movies. He hopes to someday visit a lot of European castles.

Write Stuff registration ALERT: Only 5 days of early bird registration remain! Your registration must be postmarked by Feb. 25 to receive the discounted rate. The hotel group rate of $85 will disappear on that same day. If you can't make your conference decision by then do not fear: we will accept mail-in registrations at the full registration rate of $135 up until a March 12 postmark.

Days to the conference: 34!


  1. Nice interview, Ralph :)

    That statistic you heard on the radio sounds promising for Echelon's 'intake of 2009'

  2. Great interview, Ralph!
    Good luck with the book.