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Well, Hi There!

June 14, 2011

Testing …

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Query <– truly a sad and lonely word

November 15, 2009

I was going to comment on Anne Frasier’s blog, but it ran too long. This is my unpublished-writer’s version of this post.

I use UPS in my day job. I send deposition transcripts out to lawyers, and I need to be able to track that the packages have been received. So I get an email from UPS when each of my shipments is delivered.

So I decided to query on my new novel. I’ve been working on it for almost/around a year (note to self: in future, mark on calendar the day you start a new book). But a year in aspiring novelist time is not the same as a year in real novelist time. There’s that other, at-least-40-hour-a-week job taking up the hours.

It’s good. And it could use one more run-through before it’s wonderful. Or am I making the perfect the enemy of the good? (hate that phrase)

Agents take forever to respond. And the first 30 pages of the book are what they are going to be. They really are ready for an editor. Why not start sending out the queries now? I can continue buffing up the rest of it while waiting for the rejection letters.

(insert pithy comment about positive thinking here)

I’ve done my agent search. I’ve found an agent who seems just right. She’s not a super agent. She hasn’t done any really good deals, according to Publishers Marketplace, which puts a crimp in my dreams of JKRowlinghood. However, she’s got a nice group of romance authors. In fact, one of her authors is one of my favorites. She has given interviews on the web, and seems like a genuinely pleasant, intelligent, sensitive person.

I go to her website and read the guidelines. I write a blankety-blank synopsis. It takes days. It’s okay, but it ain’t litercher. I look at her guide to a query letter and write mine, making sure to put in the elements listed there. I print it all out with the requisite number of pages from the ms.

I put it in a nice 10 x 13 white envelope and add it to the deposition transcripts going out that day. Two days later, I get the email confirmation that the query package has been delivered.

I happen to be on Twitter, and the agent happens to tweat an amusing comment about a query she’s just read. No one in the world would know from that comment who the query was from.

Except the person who wrote the query.

I love writing. I hate publishing.

Twitter thingy

October 25, 2009

Okay. So I made up this little utility a couple years back. I use it all the time. I mean all the time. Whenever I’m using a computer keyboard. I never type words I hate to type.

Like definitely. I type dfl and “definitely” automatically appears.

Basically, my little utility (called Stenogger — you can see it over there –> in the right column) is like Word’s autocorrect feature, a little more robust, and it works in everything — email, word processors — and, I just realized, Twitter.

It’s a teeny tiny joy:

I type aff and “@Anne_Frasier” shows up.

akbb = @katiebabs
ajane = @jane_l
akkn = @Karenknowsbest
appa = @ElyssaPapa
amvn = @mcvane

On and on.

Anyway. I loved this little thing so much, I thought every one else would too. I priced it way too high and sold three copies at 19.95, ha.

But I still think it’s wonderful. So I lowered the price to $1.95 (meaning, that as soon as I publish this post, I’m going to e-junkie to change the price to 1.95). Maybe someone will get it and love it as I do.

For one thing, if you’re writing a fantasy novel with weird names, you don’t have to remember the spellings.

or words like schadenfreude (I type shfe and “schadenfreude” comes out)

or your website address (I type mfid and “; comes out.

PS: If you decide to get it and you have any questions about it, post a comment here.

PS plus: Disclaimer (embarrassing) I compiled the program before Barack Obama was a household name, and it’s in Stenogger as Barak Obama (bbma). But all the entries are easy to edit.

note to self

August 9, 2009

Okay. This blog has the Best Title Art Ever. Or whatever you want to call those duckies.

Duckies like black and white cows
White hat and black hat
serious attitude

and cute as hell

Aren’t human beings interesting?

Useful Link re Google Settlement

July 3, 2009

Writer Beware has a post up with many useful links regarding the Google scam scanning settlement.

Best YA Blog

May 9, 2009

I’ve known this forever, but have I mentioned?

This is the Best YA Blog.

nuf said.

Hi, there

April 27, 2009

This is my own personal blogaho, and I’m not used to having guests. I forgot to say hello and thanks for stopping by.


Thanks for stopping by!

I mostly talk to myself here, as you can probably tell. Getting input on the chapter has been lovely, such a treat. Really thank you.

I have no self-control

March 31, 2009

or sense of decorum.

Yes, I’m sure everyone on the Internets has seen this by now, but it just so gleefully and cheerfully reflects my hatred of 43 and my love of 44:

Yet Another Artifact of the Change in the White House:


So I’m writing this new book . . .

March 10, 2009

And it’s great. It’s already a novel. All I have to do is get the story out of my head and onto the page, ya know?

And its going great — great characters, great world, great story. (Thank you, gods, for sending me this story!)

I get about 60 pages in, and the ending comes to me so I write that quick. Delicious, heh heh heh.

And then I realize — I’m kind of stuck. Too much information! I’m like a Dalek stuck on the wrong word: backstory! backstory! backstory! (only I don’t know it . . .)

On Twitter, I see mention that Anne Frasier is thinking about starting a critique service.

Fifty bucks! I remind myself that my goal is to be a perfeshunul here. I take the plunge and send her the first chunk of my brilliant but mind-of-its-own-infested wip.

Thank the gods for Anne Frasier. I’m so lucky. I got more useful information from her feedback than I would have in a whole retreat weekend that cost me a thousand bucks!

gotta go now . . .

In The Future. (today’s episode)

March 8, 2009

Via Twitter, Jane L asks:

If publishing moves away from advances, how will agents earn income? percentage of royalties?

In the future, publishing and epublishing will be two different things.

Oh, but they are now! you say. Yes, they are. But they don’t know they are two different things, so they’re experiencing a lot of mental illness.

So, in the future, publishing and epublishing will know they are two different things.

So let’s say I’m a new author. I’ve got a hot post-apocalyptic fantasy romance pageturner good to go. It has complete sentences, has a story, is set up for sequels. Colleen Lindsay loves it.

Instead of shopping it to a publisher, my spiffy agent and I arrange and pay for the editing, design, etc., get the isbn number, and make the title available for e-devices.

Agencies will be the new Houses. Marketing will happen through sites like Dear Author, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, and avidbookreader.

True, there are no advances here. Worse, there are upfront costs — editing and design.

There is also no publisher taking freaking 90 percent. My agent and I can split the pot, say 25/75 to 40/60, depending on who takes on the upfront costs.

Think of it as test marketing. And we keep the epublishing rights. I’m trying to figure how good epublishers like Samhain would figure in this.

Anyway, the hard copy, foreign, film, audiobook, et al. rights will still exist to be sold.

The difference is, in the future books will have a history, guided and gated by professional agents, when they are shopped. Fewer paper and ink books will be printed, but more actual books will be out there for people to read.

The price of ebooks can drop enough to bring in more readers — and the agents and authors will STILL make more money per sale.

And here is why it’s good for paper and ink book publishing: They won’t be manufacturing so many books that end up in the return pile, which is the 800-pound gorilla that explains the mess publishing has got itself into.

So to agents out there, I say: Be brave! Think in a new paradigm. And, by the way, my hot post-apocalyptic fantasy romance is available . . .