Lessons from My Reading

M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

What's Your Flavor of Fae?

Fiction Lessons:
Finally read Patricia Briggs' Silver Borne.  The book concentrates on the fae this time around, though one of her werewolf friends has problems with depression caused by a fae.  Must say I enjoy her complex rendering of the subject.  Not only does she give her fae unusual attributes but she also gives them different nationalities.  If you're stuck in the Celtic rut, you might look at how she puts her fae characters together.

After paying her dues in other worlds, Briggs is proving herself a master writer with the Mercy Thompson series.  I still enjoy the fact that a weak little coyote shifter bests all the big bad guys ... in a realistic fashion.  [Meaning: the solution flows from the action.]    

Web Promotion and Mostly Conference Stuff:
The Northern Colorado Writers gave their usual excellent conference last weekend.  I listened to author's/agents/publishers give seminars ... and chatted with writer friends.  Met new people.  We may have even recruited a new member for our fantasy critique group.  All together, a great conference, but I had expected that.

I spent a good share of my time at the promotion and market sessions rather than craft sessions.  The big result from all the information I received was I combined my two blogs again.  To me it makes sense in retrospect since it was mostly about promotion anyway.  It's not like I have this huge fan base, panting for my deathless prose.

Did get a decent grade on my writing progress.  I pitched and submitted the first page of Emma to an "Agent Reads the Slush Pile" session. 

A small e-publisher attended, and I pitched because they did coloring books.  Or, had done a coloring book.  Just so happened I had a "Color-a-Comic Pre-primer", called "Pat the Pet", in my files.   My pitch resulted in a request for a full manuscript.

Kay's formula for a successful writer's pitch:  Present the basic info in a sentence or two, including the problem needing to be solved.  Sit back and let the agent ask questions.  --  Anyone care to share their experiences pitching?

My conference glow came when the slush pile readers said they'd continue reading more pages of Emma.  Even got some good suggestions for revision.

&&&&

Print books are dying.  Print books are dying.  Maybe not.

The kind people at Writer Beware linked to an article by Felicity Wood at the Future Book Seller.  Her conclusion after looking at the figures?  E-books are selling more and more with more people willing to pay for a reading device.  The kicker, though, is that the whole market for books, both e-pubs and print, is growing.  Can anyone think opportunity here?

Writer Beware also recently linked to Carolyn McCray at Digital Book World.  Her blog on "The Best Practices for E-Book Sales" gives you more bases to check on promoting your book.  A continuation of N. R. Williams discussion of increasing your traffic.

Granted, e-publishing is giving writers more opportunities.  At the same time, writers must step in and take on the duties of the marketing department if they want to sell more than ten books.  Thus, my obsession with promotion.

Progress:
Still revising my Emma chapters. 
Go, snail.  Go.

Got my Pat the Pet manuscript out to the the publisher.
Now, I wait.

Trivia:
It's been a busy celebration week.  Monday was Pie Day (3.14). Tuesday was Buzzard Day, when the buzzards returned to Hinkely, Ohio.  [We ate over-aged leftovers from our refridgerator.]  Wednesday was St. Urho's Day, when the saint chased the grasshoppers out of Finland to save their vineyards.  Today is St. Patrick's Day, when the saint chased the snakes out of Ireland.  Friday?  It's Recuperation Day.
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