Yog’s Law—It’s More of a Guideline

You’ve no doubt heard of Yog’s Law. It was coined by James D. McDonald and advises ‘money always flows toward the author.’

That’s generally good advice when you’re dealing with scam agents who want to charge ‘reading fees’ or vanity publishers with contracts that steal your rights and obligate you to buy thousands of dollars worth of your own books for the ‘privilege’ of publishing with them.

It’s also a relic of a time in distant memory when big publishers fully underwrote all the costs of publishing their authors—including promotion, tours, advertising, giveaways, and full-service editing. Nowadays, like the pirate code, it might be best to consider it more of a guideline, really.

(John Scalzi and John Hartness have already done excellent discussions on how when you self-publish, there’s ‘Writer-You’ and ‘Publisher-You’ and you pass the wallet back and forth. You can read those here and here for their […]

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Do Launch Parties Work?

Launch parties seem to be everywhere nowadays: at bookstores and libraries, at conventions and on Facebook. Costs range from minimal to pricy, and the effort of planning, promoting and hosting a party is one more thing that takes a writer away from writing. So, are they worth it?

I’ve held and attended a lot of launch parties. On the whole, I’d say that they help to sell books, especially to people who might not have otherwise purchased that particular book. The party atmosphere lends itself to making an impulse purchase amid the food, decorations and festive atmosphere. There’s also a touch of guilt involved; after all, the author is your host, and it would be nice to buy a book to thank him/her. But I think that the real incentive to purchase comes from the ability for readers to feel like they’ve gotten to know the author through the personal […]

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Getting Here

<Looks around!> Wow! <Fangirl squee!> <Thud!>

What am I doing here, on this blog, with people that I admire for their strong characters, their ability to give me a vacation from life, for making me think?

Got me. I’m not famous. Not as a writer, anyhow. Now, if you are into dogs or plants, but this blog has nothing to do with any of that.

So here I am, surrounded by those I admire. And stalk. I go to their signings, I follow their pages and blogs and tweets. I want to know more about them. How do they get their ideas? Where do they work? What famous person did they model their characters after?

I want to be the one that finds out what happens in the next book before anyone else.

Boy, that IS stalkerish.

I could stalk, though, if I didn’t know […]

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When networking and PR turn into something else entirely. Part Two.

Last time I posted it was on the benefits of networking in the business. And frankly the benefits are astounding, even for a social misfit like me. For some people networking is easy—thinking here of David, who seems to make friends like nobody’s business. It’s harder for me. It just is. Partly because I don’t remember names. (It’s a social affliction. I forgot the Hubby’s name on our honeymoon after knowing him since 8th grade and dating him for over 7 years.) Partly because of foot-in-mouth disease. But I still have made more friends as a writer than I have enemies. I hope. And a lot of them appear here regularly, and I have seen them at Cons regularly, and I plan to see them at more Cons, and I plan to do PR with them, and I really like them!

In fact, Misty Massey and David B. Coe (DB […]

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Targeted PR, Cross-Promotion, and Knowing Your Audience

Today I’m going to piggyback on Faith’s PR post from yesterday. She gave some awesome advice that those of you who recently sold your first book and think 12-18 months until release is a long time should pay extra close attention to. Trust me, when it comes to promoting your first book, the months directly around the release are going to be madness so already having templates for interviews and your website up, professional, and easy for search engines to find will make things easier during a time that has the potential to be very stressful. If you’re not yet at that stage in the game, bookmark her post and come back to it when you’ve sold.

Faith also mentioned reviewers, review sites, and bloggers. Whether you are published or not this is something you can research now without any extra work on your part–simply note what review sites and […]

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Blog in Two Parts: Deadlines, and PR for Newbies

Yeah, I know. No correlation in subject matter. But, I’m going for it anyway.

Part One: Manic-Deadlines Update

In case you may have forgotten, I claimed manic-insanity in my last post. Since then I’ve gotten some sleep, thank God!) gotten some moments pain-free after my fall (I did tell you guys I’d been in pain?) and gotten most of the deadlines met. I found a publisher for the rest of the English-language rights publication of Cat Tales, negotiated that with Lucienne Diver (agent) launched Easy Pickings with Catie Murphy (in PDF only) from our websites with Paypal auto downloads. We are now ready to launch it from Kindle and Nook as a e-book. Cat Tales is out and is doing very well. {Squeeeee.}

My other NYC agent has sent out a manuscript and is awaiting replies. I’ve shopped hard and either made or bought my Christmas presents […]

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PR Part 6

(subtitle) How to tailor the interview/PR moment.

I’ve talked for the last few sessions about the interview and its importance to any PR effort. The great thing about an interview is that (if you work it) you can twist a basic interview into all sorts of new and fantastical shapes.

When a new book comes out, I have to come up with at least 5 good interviews (and maybe as many good blogs, but this post is about interviews). If someone Googles or Bings (or whatever search engine they may be using) Faith Hunter, it should be easy for that reader to find interviews that tell them something new at every site. If they learn the same thing in every place, they’ll stop after the second try. I want them to keep digging, like a stalker on the hunt, because I want them to talk about my books, about me, […]

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