I knew I’d found a keeper when my boyfriend-at-the-time barely flinched the first time he saw one of our fights, word-for-word, in print. “You writers,” he said. “You air your dirty laundry. That’s how it is.”
Archive for the ‘The Business of Writing’ Category
Strange Horizons is a non-profit magazine of and about speculative fiction and related nonfiction. The magazine was founded in September 2000 by Mary Anne Mohanraj, who was Editor-in-Chief until 2003.
These days, many authors focus more time on self-promotion through social media than on marketing their books. It’s not necessarily a bad idea, but with all the social media hype, it can be easy to forget about the fundamentals.
When I first heard that many nonprofit organizations were holding flashmobs to raise awareness of their activities, I realized this would be a great idea for Odyssey. I also had an idea of what we might do: the Tom Bombadil Rap.
So what might be the value of podcasting for new and established speculative fiction writers? Is it about exposure? Self-publishing? Monetizing the work? Creativity for its own sake?
I feel passionately that some of the information we are getting is increasingly wrong and motivated by selfishness and, yes, to some degree, a form of hyperbolic illogic. We are so hung up on predicting the next big thing, on getting in on the next gold rush when it comes to ways for authors to promote themselves and market their work that we often seem to be active participants in our own destruction.
There comes a time in the life of of every author when the list of Things One Should Do exceeds one’s capacity for time investment. Commissions, anthology invitations, interview requests and business propositions… They all accrue in proportion to one’s professional reputation.
The problem with seeing one’s purpose on a panel as primarily that of speaking–“sharing” insights or regurgitating something recently read that relates to the subject–is that it turns panelists into lecturers. Speaking for myself, I’ve often found that the thinking, reading, and note-taking I’ve done in preparation for a panel may often have nothing to do with what the other panelists are talking about.
[SWFA’s presence at BEA] this year was an experiment, but a wildly successful one. We were able to inform, educate and engage people from all areas of the publishing world. Dozens of bloggers and librarians stopped by to talk to us and thank us for being there.
Writers who do not take the time to create a will with provisions for the handling of their literary estate may help make their work more obscure than it should be, and deprive readers of great fiction for reasons unrelated to an anthologist’s or editor’s desire to include them.