Showing posts from January, 2011

5 Things A Writer Learned About Reviews and Reviewers

It's that time in my novel's lifecycle that it has to go out into the big wide world and plead for reviews. It's both terrifying and gratifying, when I thought it would merely be terrifying. Already, I've leared so much I never would have guessed about reviews and reviwers, and I'm only beginning. 1. People who read and review books are awesome. I admit, I never used to think this. I thought of book critics as obnoxious wannabes who enjoyed tearing down writers for the malicious sense of self-importance it gave them. Now I am ashamed of myself for thinking that. Who are the reviewers? Well, among those who are interested in my book, which is a coming of age story, a fantasy, a romance, a fairytale, there tend to be a lot of young reviewers. College kids, mostly, a few high school and a few just out of school, who find time for fiction around school semester schedules, math tests and English degrees. Then there is a whole slew of SAHM (Stay At Home Moms) who b

What is the Purpose of Social Media?

All the writers I know struggle to balance time on twitter/facebook/blogging and time spent writing. Possibly, probably, other people have this problem too, but I dare say it's more extreme when you work for yourself. And ultimately, no matter whether a writer is a hobbiest or professional, has a contract with a big pub or is an indie, when it comes to writing, you work for yourself. What purpose does all that social media stuff have anyway? I mean in the BIG picture? I came across an article advancing an interesting theory, and I'd like to share it with you. Why do moose carry such enormous and metabolically expensive horns? Why do some gazelles jump up and down when they see a predator, wasting time and energy instead of running off as fast as they can? Zahavy's insight was that this wastefulness ensures the honesty of their signals of fitness and speed: Only animals with an excess of the signaled resource can afford to waste it on expensive communicative displays.

J.K. Rowling On Why It's Okay To Fail

Almost Three Good Things!

I have a guest blog post today on the Backspace Newsletter on the Four Stages of Chasing Markets. How much do you -- and should you -- shape your writing to fit what's trendy and popular? I love reviews, especially glowing ones, and there's a new one up. You can read the short, professional version available on Amazon, but the really funny bits are only found in the longer version up on the blog Unlikely Explanations . (Which has the caveat posted: " Formerly "Laura's Bad Ideas". Please don't take anything you read here seriously .") Except of course, you should take her ideas seriously, because she liked my book. And yes, I do know her, and I can tell you that she's very smart, with excellent taste in literature, and her opinion means a lot to me. That's two good things. I haven't complained about anything yet, though and I'm going to remedy that right away. Has anyone noticed that the new Blogger interface, while wonderful in

Martha Stewart and Jeff Bezos on the Kindle

I'm going to blog more lightly here over the next few months, as I have two other blogs to tend, and some guest blog posts I still owe. Maybe I'll post every Monday, I'm still trying to decide.  Meanwhile, here's Martha Stewart talking to Jeff Bezos about the kindle. I was going to put this on 500 Words, but I decided it made more sense here, since this blog is about writing and publishing and the other is really more aimed at connecting to readers. UPDATE: Might be nice if I actually included the video. Sheesh. What's funny to me is how "well, duh" this already sounds to me, when it was "Wow, really?" such a short while ago. 

Up To My Neck In It, As Usual

I don't do it consciously, but that doesn't mean I don't do it on purpose. I always overbook myself with work. When I have too little to do,  actually do even less than little. When I have too much, even though I might come up short, at least I finish a few things. It's frustrating, but maybe it's meant to be. Without that slight buzz of worry at the back of your mind that you should be doing something, nothing would get done. In the long run, that wouldn't be very satisfactory. Of course, I know people can overdo this. Type A personalities who are innately worried and obsessed to begin with need to learn to relax. I am by nature pretty relaxed. So I need to push myself if I am to do more with my life than sitting on a beach looking pretty. (Did I ever mention I worked as a mermaid once? That's what it involved. Sitting on a beach looking pretty. Letting folks take their pictures with me and give me tips, which I spent at the used bookstore across th

3 Things I'm Excited About In the New Year

It's a new year, and I've got so much planned! First off... My new blog is up, please check it out and consider Tweeting, Liking or Following it. If you're already a published author, send me an 500 word excerpt and I'll post it! If you a writer but not not published yet, send me a 500 word flash story and I'll post it. If you're an artist, send me some art, and I'll post that. If you're a musician... you guessed it, send me your song (preferred format is as part of a video) and I'll post it. I want to support all my creative friends, because you guys rock, and you are what makes the internet worth netting into. I'm so pleased without how many artists and writers have already responded. This blog is going to be fun! I've also been invited to blog for the new Fantasy Fiction Forum , which will be aimed more at readers than writers. I encourage all of you fantasy and horror fans to join us over there. These are a smart group of writers