How does a publisher decide which manuscript to publish?
Nicole Boske heads the editorial team at Impress and Dark Diamonds, imprints of Carlsen Verlag.
Even as a child I tried to discover the magic behind the printed word, and I knew my dream job before I started studying German. I always wanted only one thing: to help great novels find a home – in the hearts of their readers.
In the summer of 2014, my wish became reality. Under the shining grey sky of Hamburg I started as an editor for Impress and Dark Diamonds, both imprints of the famous publishers Carlsen Verlag [German publisher of the Harry Potter books]. As programme manager, a position I assumed in December 2018, my responsibilities also include planning and finalizing the programme and ultimately deciding which novels will be published. A pleasure as well as a challenge. We can’t publish all the manuscripts submitted to us, even if there’s an enormous amount of passion behind every single one of them.
But how exactly do we make a programme?
Antje Tresp-Welte is the winner of the Your Perfect Plot challenge set by BoD and Beemgee.
In her guest blog post, she gives frank insight into her writing process and her experiences with Beemgee.
Short stories were child’s play
When something intrigues me, I spin a story out of it. Until a few years ago I wrote mostly fairy tales, short stories for adults, poetry and stories for younger children, some of which were published in magazines. My story about a bad-tempered spectacled snake was published as a little book, “Charlotte and the Blue Lurker”. For all these stories I only sketched a few thoughts as planning and then wrote them down relatively quickly.
By now, book projects fascinate me too. Currently they are crime novels and fantasy for children from 8 or 10 years.
Long takes longer …
During a holiday at the North Sea I had the idea for my first crime novel. In it, the protagonist, an eleven-year-old very imaginative boy with a penchant for drawing, not only saves his grandma’s tea room from demolition, but is also involved in a mysterious story about a pirate who died long ago. I developed the original idea into a plot at a seminar for authors. I found the topic so great that I couldn’t wait to start writing it. Beforehand, I made notes on the individual characters and considered important cornerstones of the plot with the help of the hero’s journey. I started off with a great momentum and was soon able to read the first chapters to my son. Unfortunately his comment was, “Mama, that is much too long!”
… not to be longwinded
My two test readers came to a similar conclusion and I too had noticed that it somehow “grated”. I wasn’t really getting to the point. Was it due to my preliminary planning? Was it not detailed enough? I dived into the text, shortened passages, removed individual characters and worked out others more precisely. This changed entire storylines. At the same time my story gained more (narrative) speed and I found the tone for the language. (more…)
The first novel to state in black and white that the author worked with Beemgee.
This is certainly not the first book for which our author tool was used. But it is the first time that an author explicitly mentions Beemgee in her acknowledgements. Thank you, Katharina, we’re glad you use Beemgee during your story development!
All The Rage – Der letzte Schrei
published by the renowned Piper Verlag (Bonnier group)
Susanne Pfeiffer has recently joined the Beemgee team. She interviewed her friend Katharina Gerwens for us.
Beemgee: Congratulations, Katharina! It’s always great when you can hold your own book in your hands … How many novels have you published so far?
Katharina: This is my eleventh regional thriller published by Piper. Soon I’ll make it a dozen ….
Beemgee: I think ALL THE RAGE is a really good thriller title! You like double meanings. – But I want to get at something completely different: You know my foible to start every book by reading the acknowledgements – and here it says, last but not least, you worked on the plot with BEEMGEE! How so?
Katharina: Because for me any support I get is worth mentioning! I have asked so many people in my field about all sorts of things, and in these conversations new aspects have always emerged – the least I can so is say thank you! ALL THE RAGE is, by the way, the first book in which I worked with Beemgee – and it was a great help to me. (more…)
See what’s new and track the continuous improvement of the Beemgee storytelling tool in these release notes.
May: Copy projects to create versions or drafts of stories (Premium) | Revised Tour
April: Export .rtf text documents (Premium) | Reorganisation of FREE feature set | Referral function
January: New servers
August: Create new plot event cards while FILTER is set | change order of STRUCTURAL MARKERS segments (Premium) | new Premium character attribute SECRET | German translations revised | new CHARACTER DEVELOPER category dividers | new Premium plot attribute ATTRIBUTES
July: Error reporting function
June: Adjustable line height for COMPARE CHARACTERs (Premium)
May: Free Registration | GDPR conformity | new Premium plot feature ESSENCE | new Premium plot feature CAUTIONS
March: Character views DEVELOP-COMPARE renamed | “Fastest Story” six step app entrée on www.beemgee.com | collaboration with Mrs. Wulf online
February: SLL Certificate renewed | Symfony backend update
January: Services | new character attribute WISH | renamed character attribute CENTRAL TRAIT | new story attribute SETTING | improved on-site help texts
Beemgee and ProWritingAid are proud to announce the runners up and winners!
Every three days participants of The Plot of Gold Challenge received assignments per e-mail. Within thirty days, authors of fantasy, historical fiction, romance, and pretty much any other genre or style you can think of had complete outlines of their stories. Many submitted these to The Plot of Gold Competition.
Choosing the winners was much harder than the judges had imagined, since the standard of the entries was very high across the board. Thankfully, the PDF exports of the many Beemgee projects we received provided thorough insight into the nature of each story, including its strengths and weaknesses.
Beemgee has come a long way. The features so far:
- FREE registration: Log into your account with your e-mail address and password.
- Tour: Turn the guide to Beemgee’s basic functionality on or off at your leisure.
- Context-Sensitive Help | ? |: On-site explanations and advice about each specific aspect of story development.
- “More About …” Buttons: Context-specific links to in-depth articles on each specific aspect of story development.
- Retractable Tool-Bar: Keep your workspace uncluttered by closing the tool-bar.
- Autosave: Project saves automatically after every change.
- Simple-Share: Share your story’s project link with your co-author, editor, producer, etc. (Attention: anyone you send the link to will be able to edit your project – Beemgee always saves the newest version).
- Work Offline: Continue working on your project even if you lose the internet connection (free features only) – the project will sync when you are back online.
- Language Switch: Use the tool in English or German.
- Premium Registration: Log into your account with your e-mail address and password – see and adjust your account and billing information.
- My Stories: Unlimited number of projects.
- Copy stories to create versions (drafts)
- Detail Views: See detail views of character sheets, pot events, and your step outline.
- Export PDFs: Character Sheets, Plot, Step Outline, Project – with selections for narrative/chronology, all attributes or input only, etc.
- Export RTF text files to re-import in writing software for treatments or as manuscript document.
If you speak German, this online congress could be for you!
From the 5th through to the 12th of November, bestselling authors and experts from all fields of storytelling and (self-)publishing are giving advice, knowledge and tips on everything to do with writing and selling novels and stories.
It’s all free on www.online-autorenmesse.de.
Beemgee is taking part too. Hear what we have to say about how to create compelling characters on the 7th of November at 6 p.m. CET. Click the banner to register for free to the online author fair:
ProWritingAid teams up with Beemgee to run the 30 Day Plot of Gold Challenge
To enter, click here: Plot of Gold.
“This one is outlining way better than any other story I’ve outlined. I’m going to assume this is in part due to using Beemgee. Best tool I’ve ever used.”
“Thank you for this awesome platform. I really enjoy working with it. … I really like beemgee because it makes writing complex stories a hell of a lot easier.”
“Your resource is amazing. What an amazing tool. I’m … now very much a fan of this new software. Although I write using Scrivener, I can see how I can do all my planning through Beemgee, and then slide everything into Scrivener.”
“It was exciting to discover Beemgee. It was like light at the end of the tunnel for me, a guide I so needed.”
“I am very impressed with what I have seen so far.”
“I’ve just started using Beemgee and I’m really enjoying the Character developer features …”
“You aim to have Beemgee ‘clutter free and easy to use’, which I very much appreciate. I like the character overview …”
“It’s a great tool.” (more…)
BoD and Beemgee are looking for heroes!
Click here to take part in the competition!
UPDATE: The winner is … Call for story outlines by Beemgee, Ink-it and CONTEC México 2017.
This is Yolanda Prieto Pardo, whose story outline LOS ALTOS VUELOS DE JOSEFINA was chosen in the Fiction without Friction contest we ran with Contec México and Ink it. She has won a lifetime subscription to Beemgee Premium. Furthermore, our friends at Ink it will publish the novel online all over the world in 85 countries.
The CONTEC/Beemgee “Fiction without Friction” call for stories
Many innovations relevant to authors of stories and “content” apply to publication and distribution. However, digital aids can also help creators right from the moment they have their first ideas.
With Beemgee.com, fiction authors have a tool that helps them organize their plots and develop their characters. When it comes to pitching the work to a publisher, a Beemgee project provides a powerful supplement to the traditional exposé.
For publishers and other content disseminating organizations, Beemgee is a new tool that increases productivity during the evaluation process and considerably improves the workflow between author and editor/producer/publisher.
To showcase this new approach, CONTEC and Beemgee are running a call for stories, which the ebook platform ink-it is supporting.
Turn your story into a book for sale in over 40 online stores! (more…)
From the point of view of one of the founders.
I’m Olaf. Despite my name, I’m British, but I moved to Berlin in the 90s. Until a couple of years ago I worked for big German publishers. Like (I suspect) many people in publishing, I harbored the secret desire to be an author. Such was my ordinary world.
One day I met my friend Amos for coffee. He is a filmmaker, and we spoke about a movie he was working on as well as the novel I wanted write. We discovered that we knew of no online tools conceived to help authors structure and outline their plots. This was the inciting incident for my own story.
After I had spent a few days ruminating, I noticed that I had a clear idea of what I expected of an outlining tool. So I started researching what was on the market. And I found … nothing. At least nothing that came close to what I saw in my mind’s eye.
So I went to Robert, whom I knew professionally and respected for his integrity and acumen. I told him I was thinking of a web-based software for authors, but that I would only conceive it if he would be my partner.
To my delight, he needed merely a few days to agree. Our journey had begun. (more…)
Blogposts and articles about Beemgee:
20.02.2019 | The Tempest (Autorenforum.de) | Autorenwissen: “Das Autorentool Beemgee – wirklich besser schreiben?” von Antje Tresp-Welte
27.07.2018 | The Writing Platform | Screenshots: Beemgee
25.05.2018 | Jessica Halermoeller, BoD Fingerprint | Schreibwettbewerb “Dein Perfekter Plot”
05.12.2017 | Neil MacDonald Author | I won, I won, I won
18.10.2017 | Suzanna Williams | Review: Beemgee novel outlining software
11.10.2017 | Renee Scattergood | Beemgee has saved me
05.10.2017 | Erika Frose | Are you a pantser or a plotter?
27.09.2017 | Kathy Edens | Writing App Reviews… Beemgee (more…)
Welcome to the Beemgee blog.
This blog is about that tricky concept “storytelling”. We examine how fiction works and what stories really consist of, concentrating especially on plot and character development. Many of the posts are inspired by functions and features of our outlining software. It’s all about the craft of creating stories. (more…)
There is a craft to storytelling.
Much of that craft has to do with the structure of the story being told, the construction of its narrative. Many authors build this construction first, before filling the first page with text. The process of planning how the story works is known as outlining.
There are significant benefits to outlining. For one thing, going through this process usually entails fewer rewrites later. When the author knows the direction of the storyline, it is easier to keep all its threads under control while writing. Without this direction, there is a danger of losing the plot half way through.
Of course, any story is “told”. It therefore has language – text, if the medium the story is presented in is, say, a book. Film has language too. But apart from language, stories have structure. It is in building this structure that Beemgee can help. (more…)