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The (Often Misplaced) Anger of the Process #amquerying #amwriting

By on May 18, 2015 in The Scrawl |

I need to place a huge caveat on this post. Big. Massive. Perhaps an even corpulent caveat. I need you to understand that everything I am about to say comes from having gone through more than a decade in pursuit of publication. This isn’t some quickly scrawled screed about how unfair agents or editors or [insert faceless publishing icon here.] Up until recently my primary exposure to the publishing world has been predominately in the writing side. I make with the fancy words, crumple them up into little balls, and then send them by carrier pigeon off to Hogwarts Random House. Or something. But recently I was given a gift. I know, writers are usually only given pens, journals, quills for some reason, or new books. And we love all of those, by the way, but this gift wasn’t any of them. This gift came in the form of an agent allowing me to read some of their queries and then...

Literacy is Imperative

By on May 12, 2015 in The Scrawl |

Teaching slaves to read was an act punishable by steep fines and/or corporal punishment. That is a historical fact. And I feel like it’s critically important that we understand the depth, breadth, and power that that simple fact has on both readers and writers. It was a privilege fought for. It was a right denied people as a basic part of their humanity, their personhood. Why? It’s much harder to own someone without any distinction between them and yourself. So if you go granting slaves the right to read and write and be educated, they’re practically people at that point. Because then you’re more or less admitting that they aren’t livestock. They aren’t a different species. They are human beings with the same capacities as you, not just another possession for you. And you might be saying, “Well duh, slavery ended with the Civil War,” or...

What Amazon Really Sells

By on May 4, 2015 in The Scrawl |

Some of you know I have been very transparent with my previous attempt to publish one of my books using Amazon’s Kindle Scout program. I didn’t, thankfully, and have since pulled said book from the program. But I have been thinking and considering a strange question of late that I think might be a good thing to share with others. I was eating lunch with a friend and we began discussing the publishing world. (I’m a writer, we talk about stuff like that.) And what I proposed to my friend was that Amazon doesn’t sell books. And the big five publishers, Penguin Random House, Macmillan, HarperCollins, Hachette, and Simon & Schuster, don’t sell books either. This evoked a little surprise from my friend but when I explained it properly, I think I expressed some of my core beliefs about what publishing is and what it could be. Amazon doesn’t care if you...