Wednesday, November 07, 2012

"A terrifying image flashed through my mind of Apollo in bell-bottoms and a slinky shirt."

 Editing mistakes are usually just annoying. But I find some, every now and then, which make me laugh. Like the one I found yesterday while I was editing.

 "Don't all Air Pirates know how to fry?"

 With me yammering on and on about my blog party - and now finally having a moment where I am free of editing - I thought I should better explain the main reason for holding it.

 When I finally got serious about wanting to publish my sister, who has a head for marketing schemes and an understanding as to how all this works, sat me down and gave me the facts straight. "Get your name out there. Get active in the internet word."

 The very idea of this scared me. The things she suggested terrified me. Blog frequently? What if I didn't have that much to say, day after day? Surely my posts would get boring if I did them five days a week. Use...Twitter?! That weird updating thing which had so many people talking? Become active on Facebook again? Facebook, the local gossip page where people go to complain. My sister was insane for suggesting all this, I thought. Even worse when she said to get into contact with authors and do...MARKETING RESEARCH! (I could have had a heart attack at this point.) Besides, my book wasn't even finished yet. What was the point of talking about a book still being written.

 Thankfully, I trust my sister and slowly did what she said. I started a blog, a serious one - okay, so it isn't SERIOUS...but it's official. You can't have everything. I set up Twitter and spent a month stumbling around in the dark on there. I made a Facebook fan page. (I didn't even have any fans. A fan page?) And I did something I dreaded. I read others blogs and commented, worrying I would end up sounding like an idiot. "Hi, my name is Jack. Very nice, do you like coffee?"
 Oh yes, and I posted. Over and over - and usually my posts weren't that great. Kind of like the comments. 
 "My name is Jack. I am writing a book. You should read my blog because this book is interesting. Do you like coffee?"

 I also contacted authors. Yes, I emailed them. And not just little known authors. No, I went after the famous ones. (See how much I trust my sister.)
 My emails were very much like the comments and posts. During this time I was going with traditional publishing. So I usually said something like, "Hi, my name is Jack. I am writing a book. Can I have the name of your agent?"
 Shockingly enough, none of these famous authors laughed at me. In fact, two were very helpful - two I've mentioned before. Arthur Slade and Philip Reeve. They took the time to answer my email, AND add helpful hints. "When sending a query letter, here is what I found helps."

 I also followed authors on Twitter and I still talk with them. They too have given me a lot of helpful advice, as well as just being a great support.

 And I say all of that to say this.

 It is NEVER too early to start getting people interested in your work. I won't claim to have everything worked out, all the answers, or a huge following, but I am WAY ahead of where I started from. When I first began this blog the ONLY one who read it for at least a couple of months was my sister. Kind of discouraging. (Yet sweet. She would even comment just to give me a boast.)
 It took a lot of hard work to get my site what it is today. It was a ton of work - anyone who claims it is easy needs their heads checked.) One must put in time and effort. If you are serious about your writing start now. Talk to other bloggers, read their posts, take an interest in them. (You might even meet some great friends.) 

 And now, to my point. With the Blog Party I am hosting, I am hoping to give some of you a chance to get word out about your book. As I said, it is never too early to start, even if your book is still being written. Mine was when I first set up my blog, and I wasn't even sure it would end up being the book I published. (You have my Artist to thank for it coming out.)

 Now, I can only hope that made some sense. Listen to me, giving writing advice as if I know what I'm talking about. 

 Also, before I go, I have another update with the book. I spent the better part of an hour adjusting Clair's amazing pictures so they will look best in the book. (I will not even go into how annoying positioning pictures is. Aye, it is very worth it - these are Clair's drawings after all! But it is still a pain in the neck. They didn't want to do what I wanted them to.) However, I finished the ones I have, and I also fixed up the formatting. Now I just have to send it in for a review, then order my copy to make sure it looks nice when not on a computer.

 And, that is all. For now. 

 Allons-y! I have NaNo tomorrow - hopefully.



  1. Wow. I don't think I would have ever considered e-mailing a real life author! How scary! But how cool that they answered you. :) And how brave of you.
    Thanks for the little boost and advice. Believe it or not, it was helpful.

    I know exactly what you mean about commenting on other people's blogs. AWKWARD! You're like, "Hey, I just met you, and this is CRAAAAAZY..." Ahem. Yeah.

    About my little ol' word count. I'm squeaking by on the bare minimum. :D I just hit something like I have a little more writing to do today before I'm back to the 'You will finish by November 30th" stat.


  2. Akkk! That's sad and cool that I was in your home town and didn't know it! Hey, maybe you can tell us why there was a giant metal alligator in front of a museum? My family was rather rather curious!

    We were at Starbucks/Albertsons about 9:30 am?

    I have read the books and while I do like the books better I learned long ago after being really mad about my favorite book's movie being completely and totally WRONG (Ella Enchanted.....I'm still bitter as you can tell!) to not count on the movie being anything like the books and that has made for a much happier me!

    I need to read up and see if I can join this blog party of yours! The friend who was editing my first book FINALLY finished (it took him two years and lots of bugging.....) and he called the day we left to ask if he could bring it over after being warned when we were sure, if you don't mind driving 12 hours meeting us in Boise! =P

  3. Eeee! Wow! It's all coming together (how exciting!). I seriously can NOT wait for the day when I can say "I've just finished my final edit..."

    And yes, I do like coffee. Nice to meet you. ;)

  4. Okay Jack, when you're a big famous author who has a best seller expect a couple dozen random emails from a little girl like K-Minty who wants advice on publishing her book. ;)

    I can see it now: The tables will be turned!! (Not to freak you out or anything...)

    God bless (farewell, etc.)

    PS: It is okay with me that you are a smart robot. Smart robots are cool.

  5. I've considered emailing my favourite authors and just saying how much I loved their books. Then I always felt excessively awkward. What do I say? Would I sound stupid? :)

    When we first started, our sister was our only commenter. And... our followers were friends and family who had no idea what blogs were. We had a slow start, and dodgy writing, but we rise! And enjoy your blog very much, so I'm glad you took your sister's advice to start it. :)

  6. Jack ~ This is a very encouraging post. I can't say that I ever really thought serious about publishing things - except poetry, and I write very stuctured, rhyming verse, which is Not In these days. I never got past the "I want to write" stage, and never finished a book, though I've got half a dozen, wildly different story plots that I've tinkered with for... well, years. Part of the reason I started blogging was to force myself to keep in practice as a writer. I did Nano the last two years for the same reason. *And* to keep myself from going in to automatic edit mode, as soon as I get any sort of length to my stories.

    I also have trouble commenting on other people's blogs. I definitely have a hermetical bent. I don't talk to people. Ever, if I can help it. And when I do make so bold as to speak, I am so awed by my own daring, that I go back into hiding again :-)

    Anyway, I hope that your blog party goes smashingly well. It sounds like fun! Congratulations on getting all your editting done.

    And... *do* Air Pirate know how to fry - eggs and bacon, possibly?

  7. That gave me a chuckle! We all learn the hard way, don't we?
    And what about the air pirates who can't fry?

  8. Wonderful post. I love your sisters advice. I don't like coffee, but I do drink tea - preferably vanilla chai with coconut milk and honey - I'm one of those super-picky people with that. The only coffee I've ever liked had copious amounts of chocolate in it.

    I haven't e-mailed any big-time, bestseller famous authors - you have courage and it's awesome that they responded!

    Pirates who can fry . ..I love that! It sounds like something I would write.

  9. Jack~ This post was AWESOME. Very, very encouraging, and I loved it. :)

    So now I have a few things to say.

    1.) Your blog is one of my absolute favorites. It's fun to fun and look at and you're very professional while still acting like yourself--and that takes some doing. I look forward to your posts! You remind me a lot of me and my sisters in the way you blog, and I really enjoy commenting on it. (which is unusual. Normally I sit in front of the laptop, watching the cursor blink in the comment box while I try to think of something nice to say.) I'm glad you didn't give up, because you're really quite good at the whole blogging thing.

    2.)I AM SO GLAD someone else has trouble commenting! Especially with really popular blogs where each post has like 20 comments. I always feel a bit awkward commenting since I'm new to the blogging world and I'm not very outgoing in real life OR in the cyber universe. :D

    3.) I really, really want to read your books. They sound fun and unique and I like those sorts.

    And now I'll go and leave you in peace. :) I just thought I'd tell you what I think of your blog because when people have good blogs they deserve to know, so yes..

    God bless!

  10. Getting one's name out is definately a big part of authoring. I should probably contact some authors and ask for advice, but I'm shy-er than Fluttershy when it comes to stuff like that. (Yet I can yap my face off around my friends xD)

    XD Typos are evil, but funny. So very funny.


Do you want to leave a comment? Come on, it will be fun. I want to get to know you and know why you stopped by my site. Don't worry if you don't know what to say, I will reply with something fun. Do you want to leave a comment? It doesn't have to be a long one.