Sunday, June 14, 2015

Week in Review June 14

Happy Flag Day!

Since this seems to be one of the few holidays not taken over by washing machine purveyors and greeting card merchants, I'm big on celebrating it. And since no one said exactly what KIND of flag needs to be flown today, here's my suggestion:






During last week's review Terri Lynn Coop picked up the thread about platform/eyeballs/comments and said
I'm seeing that popular blog posts are more likely to be discussed on FB than on the blog. With the need for sign-ins, captchas, etc. it is easier to hit the FB button, port it over and discuss it there.

I recently wrote a post that, for me, took off. It was widely shared, discussed and laughed over, with shares and replies sometimes 2-3 deep. But, on the site, it shows 3 comments.

A lawyer friend who writes amusing political commentary is finding the same thing. No one comments on the blog itself, but the FB posting discussion may go on for days. I also often find the FB discussion more lively and interactive.

But, if you set up a FB page for your blog, it dies on the vine. The action is in the personal pages.
That's interesting because my experience is exactly the opposite. My Facebook pages get eyeballs most often when I post pictures of cats. My blog comments (thanks of course to y'all) are off the charts.

What does that mean for querying writers who need platform? LIST THE PLACE with the comments. If your FB page has comments that go on for days, that's what you list. If it's your blog, you list that.

Where ever your comments are, that's your place to demonstrate readership.

What moves this discussion off "just my opinion" and "whatever works" though is this from Terri Lynn Coop's aforementioned Facebook page (used with her permission):
Well well well . . . I seem to have attracted a FB predator. Probably in the political venue although I have been hanging out in some Sad Puppies and GamerGate style action.

I was just bopping around some ACA and Kansas legislature mess when I was kicked off FB and had to go through some pretty decent hoops to prove my identity. They showed me pics from my friends and made me identify you by name. You are allowed two errors.

When I logged back in, I was told to "review the community standards for interacting on FB." So, someone apparently reported me as a fake or harassing account.

Second time something like this has happened since the Kansas political situation has heated up. First time involved my congresswoman.

Just wanted to let you know in case I disappear off-line.
If you're dependent on Facebook for your platform be aware that Facebook controls your access to their service. Since you do not pay for it, you're in much weaker position if they decide to jerk your access than if you're a paying customer of a website that hosts your blog. (Since I use a free service via Google/blogger, I'm at their mercy for access as well.)

As for the ongoing comments on the lunacy that is Captcha, I thought Terri Lynn Coop might have just made the definitive comment:
PS: Hey, "captcha" WHAT IF I AM A ROBOT? A SENTIENT ROBOT WITH FEELINGS THAT YOU HURT EACH AND EVERY TIME YOU FORCE ME TO DENY MY TRUE SELF JUST TO LEAVE A COMMENT.
but then on Monday, this from kdjames.com is also perfect:
HA! Recaptcha just made me laugh. I'm not a robot, but I'm getting there. One body part at a time. :-)

I loved that last line in stacy's description of meeting Craig Johnson at Printers Row in Chicago:
OTOH, we still have the Printers Row Literary Festival, and this year was particularly fun. Got to (briefly) meet Craig Johnson, who held a great talk and and was very personable when he signed books. I apologized for the atrocious weather we had yesterday morning and he talked a little about the time he did a 52-city book tour in cities where none managed to have any baseball teams.

I didn't ask whether he liked the Cubs or the White Sox because, boy howdy, I didn't want to trigger a riot in the library, which I'm pretty certain is deemed neutral ground by the fans.

On Monday the contest results were delayed till noon cause I was felled by a terrible headache and you really REALLY don't want me looking at contest entries in that state.

The puppy pictures (and goat!) were perfect. I have to admit the one closest to what I actually looked/felt like was posted by QuirkyElf




And the contest results went up and our own Donnaeve was the winner.

John Frain said what many of you have thought at one time or another:
One final note. The subjectivity of this crazy business we're all volunteering to enter hits me. With all due respect to all pieces mentioned, my favorite entry (I'm looking at you S.D. King) was not even listed. One more reason to cast the query net wide.
Every time I've had someone else also looking at the contest entries, we've almost always picked different winners, and a lot of time, different finalists. This is absolute proof that querying widely is the only way to go, even if you really like one particular agent. (I've posted about the dangers of Dream Agent Lists before.)

On Tuesday the topic turned to agents recommending freelance editors. 

ProfeJMarie outlined the EXACT problem that our original poster would have called hinkie:

On the other hand, the hinky part to me is this kind of situation, too: I had a writer friend tell me that an agent she queried rejected her, but then offered her editorial services. My writer friend was under no illusions that getting her manuscript edited by this agent would suddenly change the agent's mind to represent her after she made changes/revisions, but the whole thing huele mala - smells bad - to me.

And your olfactory senses are not betraying you. This is EXACTLY the problem that was rampant years ago in agenting. Agents would get queries, only to turn around and market editorial services to the queriers. This is Wrong Wrong Wrong.

Amanda Capper had an interesting question:
If my publisher said, "This quarter you only sold 5 books on Amazon, two on B&N, and one hard copy through us", how would I know any different? Not that my publisher would, he's a really great guy. I think.

For starters, your contract requires royalty statements that show how many books were sold, shipped and returned in every royalty period. Every publisher provides these. A publisher who does NOT provide these is not a publisher you want to do business with.

And if you were savvy, you got an audit clause in the contract that says you get to look at the publisher's books once a year.

A publisher who won't let you audit the books is one I'd have SERIOUS questions about working with.

I spend a good deal of my day working with royalty statements and making sure they're correct (they're not always.) That's one of the (many) benefits of working with an agent.



On Wednesday the topic turned to using someone's life as a basis for your book.

I mentioned that the warranties and indemnities clause of a publishing contract would come in to play here and recommended (strongly) that our Questioner consult a publishing lawyer.


Lance asked: Is this similar to a model release form used by photographers?

Yes.

Pharosian asked:

But what if you choose a name for a very unlikeable character, and someone who really has that name claims defamation? Is the author safe as long as the character isn't a public figure? But what if I accidentally choose the name of a state congressman I've never heard of? What are the guidelines here?

Defamation requires intent (generally speaking.) Thus naming a character Janet Reid and making her a literary agent who ate writers for breakfast would require that you actually meant for readers to know (or intuit) that it was me. And it would have to be damaging as in "eating writers for breakfast" is something that would damage my reputation (versus enhance it, as we know it does)

The difference here is that the Questioner was using the story of someone's life, with her permission implied. My point is that implied is not enough. You need it in writing, and you need it written by someone who can help you navigate roadblocks ahead that most writers can't even imagine.

Kitty asked
How does this apply when writing your memoir? Do you suppose Frank McCourt had to get permission from his brothers and parents to write about them? (I've read all three of his memoirs twice and love them.
No he didn't. Frank McCourt was writing his own life, and his own memories. He had to warrant that this memoir was true to the best of his knowledge and wasn't libelous, but my guess is that the lawyers at his publisher read it over before it went to final copy edits.


NotAWarrior Princess asked: How on earth does this not wreak havoc on memoir?

Your memoir is YOUR story. Your truth. Not someone else's. Where this whole thing about "absolutely true" went off the rails was with A Million Little Pieces by James Frey that started out as a novel and then got published as a memoir.

Once people started questioning it, the publisher back pedaled. And Oprah required a stern couch finger wagging.

Everyone would have been a lot better off if they'd just said "look, this is how I remember it and if you don't, well, I was on drugs, what do you expect."

The cases of books like Angel at the Fence; Love and Consequences; Misha: A memoir of the Holocaust years; and Go Ask Alice are a different problem. These are just outright fabrications. The questions isn't about who remembered what here, it's that none of this stuff actually happened.

Your memories might not be what everyone remembers, but you will need to prove that you actually lived on Carkoon to write "Carkoon: A Memoir" these days.

Susan Bonifant asked:
Can an author ever release themselves from liability via the "any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead is purely coincidental" disclaimer?

It's not a universal protection at all. It's boilerplate in most works of fiction, but doesn't apply to our Questioner's case because of course, the book IS based on someone's life.


Dena Pawling gave us two hilarious link:

50 Shades of Grey lube lawsuit
and you'll notice this one isn't about the book, it's merchandise. So, when we all club together to market "Carkoon Recipes for Thin Thighs in Thirty Days" somebody better have thin thighs or we're gonna need to have  Terri Lynn Coop dust off her law degree and get us all out of the hoosegow.

50 Shades of Grey Texas author
notice this one is about the lack of a signed contract among authors? yea, me too.

And in case you were wondering what "My E&O carrier" means: it's professional liability insurance for advice givers.

And JulieM.Weathers said:
Criminy, now I wonder, should I change the names of my horse trader Jetreid and my renowned madam Tawana F'Enske?
absolutely NOT! (except you know Tawna has only two As in her name, right?)

Speaking of names, on Thursday we discussed how to query when the main character doesn't have a name. My advice was try different tactics and see which sounds best.

I liked Dena Pawling's list of questions to help get the right info into a query:

What helped me in writing my queries, is asking myself these questions:
1. What's unique about the MC?
2. What's the story goal? What does the MC want?
2. What's the conflict? Why can't MC have what he wants?
3. What's the crisis/black moment?
4. What choice must the MC make?
5. What's the twist?



DLM hit the nail on the head with this:
Leave agents *wanting* to know what the prize will be
The purpose of a query is to entice. Thus you don't strip down to the skin, you leave on the lace and the feathers and the leather and just give us hints of what's underneath.

It was our own Julie Weathers who once described a good query as akin to a good strip tease.

W.R.Gingell was curious about whether:
Now I'm curious to know if anyone has written a query on a cake. I've got a bad feeling that someone, somewhere, and for some reason, probably has.
I'm sure someone has. They didn't send it to me though. I have gotten queries on twenty dollar bills (I stopped using that joke soon after!)

Jennifer R. Donohue asked:
Though I wonder...if Daphne DuMaurier had to query Rebecca in modern querying style, how would she have done it? (this is my best and most favorite "nameless main character/nameless narrator" example. I get that Opie's MC isn't nameless, but I feel it might not even be so tangential of me....)

I think she was described as Max DeWinter's new bride, what she was rather than who she was. Interestingly I read that entire book and loved it and only afterwards when my mum said "did you notice" did I realize that of course, the second Mrs. DeWinter did not have her own name.

And oh my god, so skillfully done that it didn't even dawn on me till I was clued in later. Talk about layers and layers of story telling. 

What I wonder is when that happened in the writing process.

And I loved Julie..M.Weathers comment on character names:
There has to be a balance between Estunemeazz and Eklylazohra and "this is my brother Daryl and my other brother Daryl.
DLM said:
Once again, I'm struck by my good fortune in being a historical fiction author. Not only have all my characters been dead 1500 years, some of them never lived at all, or may only have been legends told in ancient propaganda.

Of course, it does rather leave me in Julie's world of Eklylazohras (Amalaswintha and Mataswintha are little less confusing for some readers), but I rest relatively assured nobody'll be suing.
Gary Corby had some of these problems when he started his Athenian series. Names had to seem accurate but also be accessible to modern readers.

One of the best names EVER will be in his 2016 book Singer From Memphis which he just turned in to his editor. (In other words, start reading the series now so you can read SINGER next year!)



And Julie.M.Weathers offered up this link to a story that made me laugh so hard I snorted Dr. Brown's Black Cherry cola right out my schnozz (ow.)

If you're not familiar with Dan Kennedy at Weiden and Kennedy, it's the super successful ad agency in Portland Oregon that did the Nike ads (maybe still does, I don't know) for years.

On Friday I related a story about an author who called his editor to complain his book wasn't in a particular store. I mentioned this was not an effective way to deal with that problem.

LynnRodz said
I think the person who contacted the author thought perhaps they were doing him/her a favor.
Exactly so. Like the readers who write to the author's with helpful notes about mistakes in the printed book (as though perhaps the author had purposely included it.)

And SiSi brought back the terrors of drive-by signings from my publicity days:
One of the worst is for the author to show up, in person or via email, and demand that the store stock the book. This is especially ineffective if you insinuate the booksellers are stupid for not already having your book on the shelf.
I always called ahead to make sure a store had books before going in to sign, but I heard stories about authors doing this from bookstore owners. It's one fast way to make sure a bookstore never stocks your books.


And I think Terri Lynn Coop is on to something here:
And no, I would never bitch to an author. I might bitch to a bookstore manager about their utter lack of taste in not having a section dedicated to "Books by Terri's Friends," with a subsection, "Books by Terri's Friends That are Represented by Janet Reid," but not the author. I tend to celebrate sightings in places from supermarkets to Walmart rather than bitch about where it's not.

Lizzie said
This must pertain to writers who are popular enough that emails from readers aren't in and of themselves thrilling.

Kdjames.com said
I'm with Lizzie-- if a reader contacted me to say they wanted to read my book but couldn't find it, I'd be so thrilled it'd never occur to me to complain about distribution. I'd be asking what format they wanted and finding a way to send it to them ASAP. For free.


I actually had this problem with one of my clients. People wrote to him about how much they loved his books and asked where to get signed editions. He'd reply by sending signed books for free. I hit the roof when I heard that and urged him to get a local bookstore to partner with for signed copies.

The bookstore is listed on his website as the place to get signed editions. The bookstore is happy (more revenue); the reader is happy (signed books); the agent is happy as is author. In other words Win/Win. And I stole this idea from some big name author (I forget who) that had exactly that set up on his website.

On Saturday we took up the topic of noms de plume

Kitty hit one of my dislikes too, with her comment:
One suggestion: Don't make your fiction a soap box for your nonfiction writing. It's one thing for the book characters to be political. As the reader, I don't care what the characters' beliefs are. But it's another thing to inject your personal beliefs into your fiction. There is a difference. I don't want to be preached to when I read a murder mystery.
One of my favorite writers does this, and it's annoying as hell. I even agree with her politics too! I just turn pages till she's done with the commentary on why the world is going to hell but it still cuts in to how much I enjoy the rest of the book.

And MBOwen pointed out:
It's true. We are a very divisive culture when it comes to social and politic views. I've seen movies and/or books protested because of a writer's privately held (though publicaly known) views though the movies and said books were not political in nature.
Orson Scott Card anyone?

Mister Furkles said:
I've quit reading novels by three previously favorite writers who wrote novels as 'morality plays'. It isn't that I disagree with their views—in one case I agreed with them—but it's waste of my time. Maybe it's just me, but I feel cheated when I pay money and time for entertainment and instead receive 'moral' instruction.

I like the description "morality plays" here. It seems exactly the right way to describe this.


Colin Smith said:
The ones I stop reading are the ones who preach throughout their novels, and caricature those who disagree with them unfairly. An atheist who writes novels promoting the infallibility of science and human wisdom, and presenting all "religious" people as stupid and backward will not get much interest from me. Sorry. :)
I think the key part here is the "caricature those who disagree with them" phrase. And that's interesting because caricature is just bad writing. We could all probably live with someone taking a position through their novels if the writing was good. We'd call it seeing the other side of the coin. When you think about it, we've all felt empathy for the bad guy in a well written novel. Think of Key to Rebecca and Eye of the Needle.

I think bjmuntain got this exactly right:

I disagree that a novel influenced by a particular view is necessarily preachy or bad. All novels are influenced to some degree by an author's views, and not everyone will agree with them. But that doesn't make them bad, uninteresting novels.

I do agree that novels should never be preachy. Most people who read fiction want to be entertained, not preached to. The novels that have the most impact on society have views that are subtle and almost unnoticed by the readers, yet stick with the reader long after they've finished the novel.

And speaking of bad writing and Rush Limbaugh, here's what I think is the definitive article on Rush Limbaugh's books for kids.

Dena Pawling said:
Another of the members never got around to mentioning to her editor [she sells directly to a romance publisher, no agent] that she wanted to use a pseudonym, so she was surprised to find her book on the publisher's website and on the shelves with her real name, which is confusing to pronounce and impossible to spell. She thinks it puts her at a disadvantage because readers will have a hard time asking at a bookstore and/or typing it into a search function. So, if you choose not to disclose it up front, BE SURE to remember to do it EARLY in the process.
Early in the process is at the contract stage. You want the nom de plume listed on the contract or those kinds of name mistakes are MUCH more likely.

MisterFurkles mentioned William F. Buckley:

The late William F. Buckley was founding editor of the conservative National Review and also wrote a series of cold war--Blackford Oakes--spy novels under his real name. Other than being anti-Soviet Union, the spy novels were apolitical. Did liberals who like CW spy novels but disagreed with his political views refuse to read his novels? I don't know.

I disagreed with a lot of what Buckley believed, but I did read SAVING THE QUEEN and did love it!

When I'm not reading your comments and tormenting my clients with synopsis demands, I'm working my way through City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg (pubbing in September) a 900+ page novel about New York in the Seventies. I'm about half way through and I love it so far. This is slated to get a big big push in the fall from the publisher so keep an eye peeled for it.


Have a great week, and see you back here on Monday for a fresh round of questions!


New blog subheader:

I've been thinking about this all day and trying to think of a delicate way to say this, but there just isn't. You'd have to pour ten gallons of stupid into a five gallon bucket to call an editor and rant like that.--Julie Weathers


21 comments:

Susan Bonifant said...

I hope you love writing the WIR as much as I/we love reading it. It's just too hard to circle back to all the comments some days, and the points you capture really, really help.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Another lovely WIR. Thanks!

I happened to notice, once, John Green on Twitter talking about having gone into a book store to sign books they had on the shelf (at least I think it was him?), and the employees....were just totally unprepared for such an event. They didn't know if they should let him. They just could not countenance what he wanted to do. It was the weirdest thing, to me, to read. I'm sure much weirder for him.

And, Rebecca is one of those books I read once, and after the last page flipped back to the first page and read again (Song of Solomon). I've read it so many times since then, maybe ten, I don't know. The mood, the characters, the layers...it's on my shortlist of Things I Recommend when people come to the library front desk and ask "What should I read?" (don't worry, I recommend new things too, and all across the genre charts, but "new" frequently means "not on the shelf, so we'll reserve it and give you something else in the meanwhile")

Julie.M.Weathers said...

Great week in review as always. That cute puppy. He is zoned out.

"Criminy, now I wonder, should I change the names of my horse trader Jetreid and my renowned madam Tawana F'Enske?

absolutely NOT! (except you know Tawna has only two As in her name, right?)"

Yep, but remember the discussion about how names should fit in with the cultures of the stories? Tawna just sounded too modern to my ear. I'm hoping savvy readers will connect it. I've even got readers complaining about the name Amanda even though it appears on birth records in 1212, but perception matters. I'll fool around with it before I'm done I'm sure on both Tawna and Amanda.

nightsmusic said...

I didn't chime in on this originally because it's been a long week of 100 mile drives to an offsite office and I was just brain-mush for the week however, the post about the Facebook comments thing was very interesting to me because I despise Facebook and am only there because at one time, I needed to be. I was a sheeple... If I am required to post replies on Facebook or read articles on Facebook or any one of a dozen other ways authors/readers/others use it as their platform, I skip the whole thing. I much prefer the blog/forum format to Facebook.

Dena Pawling said...

In addition to being Flag Day, today is my Navy son's 21st birthday. He's promised to Skype us this afternoon before he gets snockered.

I have three mentions in today's WiR! And I see I'm now memorialized for all eternity for my inability to count past the number 5 =)

Have a great week.

Donnaeve said...

A sublime WIR, and thank you for a re-mention of the FF win. Feeling all tingly again.

Hey, last time a shark did that for me I was snorkeling in a sanctuary down in Key West. I should have known all those zillions of feeder fish were scurrying by post haste for a reason. Up from the murky depths rose a "nurse" shark. I don't care that it was called a nurse shark. It was BIGGER than me and DIRECTLY below me.

Can we say freak out?

Congrats Julie W on the sub-header for the week!

bjmuntain said...

Yay! I made it to WiR!

I know that Janet spends a lot of time on the WiR. I first saw the change in blog header (yay, Julie!), then spent the next hour or so refreshing the screen to see when it changed (not constantly, but periodically). It hadn't changed by then, so I went for a nap. I came back to see my name in print. :)

Regarding mistakes in a printed book:

Mary Robinette Kowal was shocked - and angered - to find that the first line in Glamour in Glass was missing from the print version of the book. Not mis-edited but MISSING.

I remember when she found out about it and was complaining about it on Twitter. Of course, the first edition had already gone out to the bookstores by this time. What could she do?

She created stickers with the first line on them, that she could give to anyone who bought her novel so they could stick them in the book where the first line should have been. When I was talking to her with a friend of mine - who works in a library - she gave her a bunch of stickers and said if my friend's library system needed more, she'd send more. You could tell that she was still perturbed about it, even a couple years later.

She also has book plates and bookmarks and even T-shirts with that first line on it now.

Here's her blog post about it: New beginnings – or – What happened to my novel’s first sentence?

That's how one author fixed one (very huge) publishing error. And - I'm sure - managed to sell more of them with her ingenuity. That, my friends, is marketing.

DeadSpiderEye said...

The thorny question of political commentary through fiction, mmm? Yeah we call those publications newspapers here and that's the problem, most views termed political, are received -wisdom- and if the organs that dispense your wisdom, work in a manner typical in mainstreamer media, then you're in trouble. Genuine insight into complex cultural and social issues, that's a different barrel of monkeys and it's usually worth having a gander at what an author can pull out of that ferment. But, complex issues tend to be -- complex and wedging 'em into narrative form is fraught with the risk of the same simplification and narrative stereotyping that occurs in the media. I wouldn't say don't do it, well yeah I would actually, cos you're gonna get it wrong, everyone does, it's just a question of how wrong you are.

I do have a tip for pseudonyms, pick a surname that occurs before S in the alphabet and has A for the second letter but don't go too extreme, Aaron A Aardvark will get you laughed outa town.

Colin Smith said...

Yay Julie! Congrats for Sub-Head of the Week! :)

It's funny how many of our writerly dilemmas boil down to one answer: Write a durn good story, write it well, and write with integrity. That advice addresses so many concerns, not to mention social commentary, preachiness, politics, character names, genre, and so many other things. It's so easy to worry about these and forget what this whole fiction writing thing is about: writing great stories with compelling, believable characters, and writing them well. That's the perfect antidote to being preachy, or caricaturing, etc.

SINGER FROM MEMPHIS!! I love it already. OK, I'm too old to fanboy, but thanks for sharing this, Janet. What I really want to know is where I can get merchandise--Nico and Diotima action figures, mugs, t-shirts, video games...? :)

LynnRodz said...

Janet, I wonder if you ever say to yourself, "why did I start this week in review?" If it's any consolation, at least you know all of us are aware of the time you put into it and we appreciate it so much.

I'm not sure about being in this WIR. This past week I didn't have time to comment much, so mine were very short and to the point. I still think, although the person was clueless, they thought they were doing the author a favor. Or (this also crossed my mind) they may have done it for their own means trying to get chummy with the author. Who knows?

BJ, I love how Ms. Kowal handled that. Decades ago, I use to be a cruciverbalist for a newspaper here in Paris. My first one had several mistakes because it was set wrong. I was not a happy camper, never mind I'd never been camping before. Oh, I take that back, I did go to summer camp as a kid for a couple of years. Where was I? Oh yeah, anyway, I was pissed, but what can you do? "Stop the presses!" Hell no, it went out like that with an apology when the answers appeared.

Donna, I loved the Keys, especially Key West, but that was before my boating accident. Even then I wouldn't have gone in the water. You're a brave lady.

LynnRodz said...

Whoohoo! Typing on my smartphone with one finger and no mistakes. None that I can see, so if there are, don't tell me.

Congrats, Julie!

DLM said...

Squee! I am back in the WIR again. :)

Lynn, I've wondered whether Janet ever repents the time this must take.

LynnRodz said...

Me too and I wouldn't blame her.

Terri Lynn Coop said...

As always the WIR gives me a huge happy and helps with the niblets I missed.

Thanks for including my cautionary tale. The morale of the story is to have a back up in case your main platform is interrupted by reasons real or imagined. For example, had I been benched for a week (the typical hand-slap,) my best friend was going to broadcast that I could be found at my blog.

As for the platform thing, damn, tis tricky.

Someone asked Chuck Wendig when his blog took off and became a community that required thought and curation rather than just him and a few friends talking with the occasional drive-by spam. He said is was about 2 years ago. No big surprise, it was when his Mirian Black series gained traction. But he put in a crap ton of work to get it there and he social medias well.

Love the sub-header! And I love that it rotates. And yes, I screen-shotted it when I occupied that vaunted virtual real estate. Don't judge . . .

I will be on the road and at a massive toy show next week, so the WIR will be even more important to keep me up to date on the doings in the shark tank.

Back to packing the van: Terri

Lisa Bodenheim said...

Congrats Terri as sub-header of the week.

I am just back from a weekend away, 9 months in planning, with the marvelous Dr. Jennifer Harvey, professor at Drake University, Iowa and author of "Dear White Christian: Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation." Vibrant energy, wonderful keynote presenter, thought-provoking challenges held with hope.

And, now to wind down, it was great to sit and read this Week in Review.

AJ Blythe said...

As I've had another one of those weeks and have had to miss and skim posts and comments I'm super appreciative of the time and effort Ms Reid puts in to bringing us the WiR.

bjmuntain - thanks for sharing the story of 'the missing first sentence'. A perfect example of how to turn a negative into a positive and make it work for you. A very professional response, and yes, great marketing!

kdjames.com said...

So, don't give away the goods for free, huh? You're such a stickler. I can't imagine even one reader contacting me like that, but I hope that if it happened with any frequency, like twice, I'd find a way to direct people to an outlet where they could BUY the book.

I somehow missed the thread about comments in other places. It's funny, I'd just had a conversation with a friend telling her I must be the only person in the world who writes a blog post and gets comments about it on a completely different blog (of which I'm admin, but it's a group effort). Thing is, it's a "private" blog. Well, not strictly private requiring sign-in, but way off the beaten path and not available to search engines. That's part of its charm and everyone over there values that sense of seclusion, however tenuous. I'd never give anyone a link to it just so they could assess some fucking platform. Those readers have supported and encouraged me from day one of this writing effort and I'm fiercely protective of them. Might that reluctance someday hurt my chances with an agent or publisher? I don't even care. Some things are far more important.

Beth said...

The phrase "drive-by signings" reminds me of a strange experience I had in a bookstore once. I was browsing the selection of new books. I pick up one, and noticed the author had signed the title page. I flip back to the cover to see if it was marked as an autographed copy. It was not, nor was there any indication on the display that these were autographed. I flip through a couple others, and see that they are all autographed.

I decided to alert the employees. They were as surprised as I was. The person behind the counter at the time happened to be one of the managers. He explained that the author was local. Apparently, the author had come in once and, without informing them, decided to autograph all the copies of his book. The manager shrugged and said they would mark the books accordingly.

I guess it's nice that the author was giving away free autographs, but what's the point of promotion if no one knows you're doing it?

LynnRodz said...

What you don't see at night, you see in the morning. I should've said, "...but what could I do.

Gee, where is everyone? I didn't realize flag day was such a big holiday, everyone's out celebrating. (Btw, love the flag.)

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Great WIR.
Awesome subheader.
And, it's all about the out-of-it sweet pup.
Oh, congrats to Donna again. IMHO your FF was one of the best ever.

stacy said...

Thank you, Janet! Great WIR.