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#SFFPit, Queries and Hope

By on Dec 11, 2014 in The Scrawl | 2 comments

Some of you follow along enough to know I participated in #SFFPit on Tuesday. It was, in a word, hectic. I was working, dipping into the hashtag when I had a free moment, retweeting which books sounded fun, and then watching, waiting and hoping for a response from an agent. I have never done anything like that. The information was invaluable, though. I got to see some works pitched that, to be quite honest, I would love to read: “Cake or death” takes on a whole new meaning when you’re a vampire hunting cake decorator. #SFFpit #A #UF — Mary Lynne Gibbs (@marylgibbs) December 9, 2014 That one killed me. Just totally made me throw my hands in the air and walk away. I want to read about a cake decorating vampire hunter. That sounds like such a fun book. I also learned which of my books, or at least my pitches, were attractive. My latest novel, the one I keep referring to as part of the...

The Self-Pub Twitter Echo Chamber

By on Dec 4, 2014 in The Scrawl |

Had some discussion on Twitter yesterday concerning writers who market well and market poorly. And the subject came up again about writers who do nothing on Twitter other than talk about their books. I follow a number of writers on Twitter and can give you the basic profile. Let see if I can give you the key points with this totally fake one:   High follower count, but almost exactly the same number of followers as following. Clearly fake profile picture. Cover image that evokes Twilight or other supernatural YA/Romance/Erotica associations. Quote that should be a big red flag for anyone actually in a relationship with this person. What do their tweets look like?   Now, obviously I’m poking fun but I have seen enough of these to be sure I’m not that far off. And that Tweet up there? That tweet is one per hour. Sometimes more. Definitely more if they pick up other...

Just Another Cliche Blog Post

By on Dec 3, 2014 in The Scrawl |

“All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.”  -Leo Tolstoy I remember when I finished my third novel I began looking around for how to query and what to query. (Author’s note: I HATE QUERYING LIKE I HATE HELL, ALL MONTAGUES AND SYNOPSES.) This was around 2003, if I remember correctly, and I remember reading a blog post by a potential agent named Rachel Vater. I think that blog post is long since gone but I recall she said something to the effect of, “I am not accepting anymore quest-based fiction.” And that was a punch in the gut for me because I really wanted to query her but I also knew pretty much everything I had ever written was quest-based, in some form or another. But then I began wondering, “Is it possible to remove ourselves from the big metanarratives of story and tell a different story?” And...

Failing at Kindle Scout

By on Dec 2, 2014 in The Scrawl |

As some of you who nominated me have no doubt heard via the automated email Amazon sent out, I did not get selected for the Kindle Scout program. Cue the sad trombones. And as I promised I would do, I wanted to give you guys a close up look at how it all worked, what I liked about it, and what I generally disliked about it. 1. Kindle Scout offers exactly nothing to help you succeed with it. So what do I mean by that? Kindle Scout is, more or less, Kindle Direct Publishing with a carrot dangled off the end. That’s it. That’s all. Once you “win” you’re given a little chunk of money and then are told to market, design, proof, edit, and promote your own work, by yourself, mostly from then on. Of course you get mentioned in Amazon mass emails and likely get a little bump on the website, but you’re still just doing it their way, in their system, benefiting...