Posted on Nov 21st, 2013 | 79 comments
In publishing, we’re constantly asking writers—typically a rather introverted bunch—to get involved, to engage, to network, to join groups and go to conferences. I often find myself wondering how many of you cringe every time you hear that kind of advice.
Maybe you’re not into the whole publishing “scene.” Maybe you don’t enjoy being in a critique group where people discuss your work.
Maybe you don’t want to be part of a crowd, you don’t want to go to workshops, you don’t think of writing as a group activity.
Maybe social media is not your thing. The thought of promoting your book gives you hives. You don’t want to be a speaker or a blogger or a Facebook expert.
Can such a person find success in...
Posted on Nov 19th, 2013 | 89 comments
I’ve just finished reading Brad Stone’s The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon. I’m still processing what I learned, and checking other sources for differing perspectives, but my initial reaction is that this is an eye-opening, clarifying, sobering yet illuminating resource for anyone interested in publishing or business in general.
I approached this book the same way I’ve always approached Amazon: (1) as an Amazon customer, and (2) as a person employed by traditional publishing. The two perspectives leave me feeling a little whiplashed at times, since they induce two opposing views of Amazon.
As a customer, I’ve always been extremely happy. I’m a Kindle reader, a Prime member, and I use Amazon almost every day.
Posted on Nov 17th, 2013 | 60 comments
Once you’re a published author, you’re going to have a target on your back. You will offer up your words to strangers, and not everyone will like what you write. You’ll be naked and vulnerable in front of the world. You’ll make mistakes, you may offend people. And you may not feel safe.
They will write things publicly about you, on their blogs, on your blog, on book review sites, or on Amazon. One of my friends recently received this review online: “I couldn’t even finish this book… Confusing and in my humble opinion, pointless.” Ouch.
Everyone has a right to their opinion. In fact, diversity of opinions is something that makes book publishing so dynamic and interesting. But sometimes those opinions hit us like flaming...
Posted on Nov 12th, 2013 | 1 comment
I’m blogging at Books & Such today. Here’s a snippet:
Every time I blog about platform or social media, the vocal response in the comments reminds me that it’s a difficult subject for many authors. Everyone wonders how and when to build a platform, and many writers aren’t enthusiastic about it.
There are two things I’m constantly stressing to authors:
(1) Building a platform is important.
(2) Mastering the craft of writing is crucial.
For unpublished fiction writers, these two things are not equal.
Click HERE to read the post at Books & Such, and share your thoughts.
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Posted on Nov 10th, 2013 | 36 comments
Last week I wrote a post about following your passion as a writer, versus trying to write what the market wants. I concluded that it’s a false dichotomy—you need to to both. It’s not easy living in two worlds, and it got me thinking of all the ways writers and publishing professionals have to live with the tension of being pulled in two directions.
It’s almost paradoxical, the way we need to embody characteristics that seem diametrically opposed to one another. But maybe if we acknowledge the conflicts and contradictory requirements, we’ll be better able to navigate them with aplomb and without frustration. Here are a few ways in which we writing/publishing types function in the midst of paradox.
1. We are at once creatives and business...