Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

Torrid Press has accepted Bad Fairies. I signed the contract this morning.

No details yet, but I will keep you posted.

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building a platform

Guy Kawasaki suggests ten points for writers who want to build a platform. His list is a lot simpler and more straightforward than most such lists I’ve seen:


I’ve got a long way to go with mine, both under this name and under Alice’s. Guess it’s time to start thinking about it. I kind of don’t like the curator model — at least not when it refers to only reposting other stuff without reaction, and as the main content. There are always interesting links, fun photos, and silly memes, but I can’t see making that the majority of posts.

Are any of you guys doing deliberate platform building? What aspects are you emphasizing? What about the mechanics?

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Changes coming

Alice Cole is going to be getting her own blog, persona, and identity soon. When that happens, most of the strictly writing stuff will move over there, and this blog will become more about family, lifestyle, hiking, and all those good things.

I’m not going to try to keep the two personas strictly apart, but I don’t intend to crosspost much, either.

We’ll see how long that works 🙂

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Erin M. Hartshorn
tagged me in a meme that’s going around, The Next Big Thing. The quickmeme entry seems to have been hacked by somebody with a Newt Gingrich fetish, but some googling turned up this as the main question list:

What is the title of your next book?
Where did the idea for the book come from?
What genre does your book fall under?
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
What other books of the same genre would you compare yours with?
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

It’s geared to writers who are published, with a new book coming out soon, so many of the questions aren’t very relevant to me yet.

I have several projects under way that I’ll begin submitting in the new year.– short stories, a couple of novellas, and a novel titled “Overamped,” about a professional snowboarder dreaming of Olympic gold who gets the woman of his dreams instead. If I took out all Joey’s sex fantasies and all the f-bombs and other modern terminology, the book would shrink significantly, so it’s not a romance 🙂 I’ll probably just bill it as mainstream when I start to market it. I plan to start with conventional publishers, which means finding an agent. Self-publishers have done well in genres, but mainstream is still pretty much the property of, well, the mainstream.

I also have a bunch of ghost story/dark fantasy/somewhat erotic short stories and novellas to go out. I’ll use a different name for those and I’m planning to focus on small online publishers, at least to start.

It doesn’t take me very long to write a first draft. It’s the second and third that take forever. Generally the “first” draft is more of a proof of concept, to make sure the characters are interesting and complex enough to sustain the story, and there’s enough story there. So throwing out an idea after first draft is pretty common for me. Then I’ll expand it in the second draft. Way overexpand it, usually. Then the third draft will be about locating the heart of the story and cutting out non-essential stuff. Usually I wind up combining subplots and characters. For instance, in Overamped, Joey owns a small sporting goods store. In one scene he waits on a customer with a small kid. I was able to combine that woman with the mother of a kid on the snowboard team to turn two “furniture” characters into a bit of emotional trouble for Joey.

I’m not going to tag anybody in particular. If you’re reading this, and it sounds like something you want to blog about, consider yourself tagged.

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If anybody’s into New Adult fiction (fiction for and about characters in their late teens and early twenties), check out the new blog at NA Alley. They’re celebrating the start by giving away books, blog graphics, and critiques — go check it out!

I’m excited to see New Adult finally gaining its niche. I hope that means Overamped can find a home there. Joey and his friends are getting lonely just sitting on my hard drive.

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Since most of what I’ve written to this point is literary/mainstream, it’s just been published under my own name. I’ll probably keep it at that, but I’m looking into whether I might want to try to keep the romance persona separate from that. I’m curious about what other people have decided and what sorts of factors went into the decision.

As a reader, how do you feel when you find out a writer you like writes something quite different under a different name — especially if it’s a genre you don’t think highly of?

As a writer, do you use more than one writing persona for different kinds of writing? Do you try to keep them completely separate, as if they’re two separate people who never even met, or do you have them all under one umbrella — something along the lines of “Bonnie publishes under the names Writer1, Writer2, and Writer3”? Do you have a separate web site for each persona?

If you’re published, how much input did your publisher have?

Any other thoughts?

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Has anybody had any experience with Smashwords for self-publishing?

I’d be interested in any comments, experiences, advice, thoughts, etc.

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New York Times article about how publishers decide when to publish ebook versions of hardcover books. Not really much depth, but interesting that the big publishers seem to have decided to treat ebooks the same way as softcovers.

I’m somewhat surprised by how much people care about this, since it’s routine for paper to come out months or in some cases years after the hardcover version. I’m also surprised to learn that Amazon is currently taking a loss on ebooks; apparently they’re subsidizing the development of the Kindle. The article seems unaware that most of the experiments that have been done have resulted in increased hardcover sales; I wonder if the big publishers are also unaware?

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Interesting post on Nathan Bransford’s blogs about the reasonableness of agent preferences.

He’s correct, of course (except for the bad agents and the scammers, but that’s a different issue), but doesn’t address at least one underlying problem: getting an agent means selling the manuscript, a job that is nothing like writing a novel.  The skill sets are entirely different.

I won’t go so far as to say they’re mutually exclusive, but the introspection and sensitivity that goes into many novels is a liability when you’re trying to convince somebody to put out actual dollars on the gamble that other people will put down actual dollars to buy something you wrote.  They take different perspectives, different knowledge, different approaches.  Some writers are very good at both.  Many if not most aren’t.  Most of us have to learn about building platform, presenting a persona, tying different facets together, and all the other tasks that go to making “author” a brand name in the eyes of the reader.

The task seems less daunting when I think of it as something separate from the writing.  When writer-me thinks about platforms, I want to go hide under the bed.  If I shift mind-set, it’s not so bad.

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