Archive for the ‘agents’ Tag

What Is Your Dream Worth?   6 comments

Hi, Gang.

You know, as writers and aspiring authors, this is a question we should often ask ourselves. Some of us do, I’m sure, but all too often I have a feeling we tend to answer it with a get-the-pain-over-ASAP answer instead of giving it the attention it deserves. You know, one of those quick, “Anything! Now, let me get back to my life,” answers we tend to forget all about just as soon as the dog craps on the carpet. Or until the latest episode of our new favorite popular TV show comes on. Truth is, they’re both about the same in value.

This kind of answer, in and of itself, is a perfect clue as to how much we really think our dream is worth. For one thing it’s absurd. I would give all I can for my dream of making a living writing fiction, but certainly not everything. It’s definitely not worth my family, my good friends, and if you think I’d give up the family jewels, guess again, chuckles… It ain’t about to happen. I’m too fond of the old boys for that.

So, now that we’ve established that the standard answer is a huge pile of steaming horse nuggets, let’s give the question the consideration it deserves.

In many ways this is a question that we must, and will have to answer for ourselves. The funny part, at least to this long-haired country boy, comes when we believe we can put next to nothing in, and get tons back in return. Where this notion came from I can’t begin to say, but I know it’s yet another outright lie. The amount of fuel needed to keep your body running for a month outweighs you by quite a few pounds, and don’t get me started on the internal combustion engine.

Now I’m not saying we have to spend a fortune to make one. But the plain fact is, we are going to have to invest heavily in our dream if we really want it. And some of the areas we have a tendency to waste our resources in can only make an outsider shaker their head in wonder when we give that standard answer, “Anything.”

We all know of aspiring writers who will say that, spend $85.95 on The Super Season Sports Package, and go for a ‘free’ site to set up their author’s web page. Or the wan’na be writer who will think nothing of spending $50.00 on the latest Playstation 3 game, but can’t seem to find the extra cash for a $24.99 book on how to write fiction that sells.

I don’t know about you, guys and gals, but it looks to me like that, “Anything,” is quickly turning into an, “Anything, but.” And you have to wonder just how seriously to take that answer, or the person making it. Worse, you have to wonder how seriously the people who count, (Agents, editors, readers.) are taking him/her?

Particularly when you consider the fact that neither one of those examples helped the writer so much as a micrometer towards their dream of becoming a successful author. But the latter of those two choices could have brought them one step further towards that cherished goal.

Those, of course, are just two of a blue-million other examples I could go on about. And the truth is, all of them are leaching precious resources away from your dream. The odds are, you might not even be aware of them. Thanks to the impulse buying, keep up with the Joneses attitude that our consumer culture has ingrained in us, they’re almost a knee-jerk reaction. But, fortunately, it is one we can take control of. Or I should say, those of us who really do want to make it in this business can take control of.

At least we can if we are aware of it, and that is the point to this whole post. Now, you are aware of it. The only question is: “What are you prepared to do about it?”

Before any of you smartypants out there start leaving comments about my being hypocritical and giving out advice I don’t follow myself… this post was inspired by exactly what I’m preaching above.

The reason my blog has fallen by the wayside more often than not was dial-up. I live in the country, there is no cable, and satellite internet is expensive. At least for me it is. But, I could not get away from the fact that the writing game is fast becoming dominated by the Internet. And if you don’t have broadband on the ‘Net, you just became a push-cart trying to win a NASCAR trophy. Ain’t a gonna happen.

Given that, I scrimped, saved, and was finally able to get broadband. It wasn’t easy. I had to deny many of the luxuries I hinted at above, but you know what. I thought about that question long and hard. My answer?

My dream is worth anything I can give to it, and those needless accessories are not.

Later, Gang. 😉


Rejection Inspection   Leave a comment

Is there anything as frustrating as having a partial request, or a full for that matter, form rejected by an agent or publisher? Well, if there are, brothers and sisters, I sure as Hell do not want to know about it. This business is rough and depressing enough without you lot making things worse by introducing my virgin sensibilities to the negativity I’ve been fortunate enough to avoid so far. So there! 😛

Now, truth be told, we all know just how much of a pain in the ass the above question is. It probably wouldn’t be so bad if the gatekeepers would just give us a hint as to why they didn’t want our story… or at least come right out and tell us we suck mountainous rocks. But, no. For the most part they just leave us to twist in the wind like an old plastic bag that got caught in the limbs of a dead tree.

To be fair, though, you’d have to know how busy agents and editors really are. And I’m not even going to go into how much they actually have riding on the decisions they make daily. Agents a little less so than an editor. All the agent misses out on with a bad decision is a potential commission. The editor risks their job if they make too many gaffs and start costing the publisher money.

Ok, you caught me. I did it anyway. But you can’t begin to understand why you may have gotten that form rejection without understanding what the other guy has laid on the line.

Quite honestly, almost every rejection you get will be a type of form rejection. Face it, brothers and sisters, your manuscript is one of hundreds that come in the P.O. box, or e-mail, daily. The gatekeeper’s ‘to do’ box grows at a rate that would make a politician’s bank account jealous. Odds are, unless the ‘personalized’ rejection was hand written expressly to you; it’s just a gentler form rejection that has probably been sent to quite a few other would be authors, verbatim.

Like it, or not, we’re just another faceless manuscript in an ever growing pile of manuscripts. If you have ever done a well thought out critique, then try to imagine doing that for several 100,000 plus word stories a day. Starting to see why you get a form rejection instead of a personal response that will take twenty or more minutes to write, yet?

Hell, it takes me a whole day to do a critique of one chapter for one of my crit partners. I can’t even imagine trying to do it for a whole novel with a hundred more waiting for me to get to them. And we want an agent to drop what they’re doing and give us detailed reasons for our rejections? Would you, if you had all that work to do? (For those of you who said, “Yes.”, I’m Henry the Eighth… pleased to meet you.)

So, I’m going to let you in on a big secret in the publishing industry. When you have a polished story that has been put through all the proper channels of beta reading, critique partnering, revisions and rewriting, then still get a form rejection. The most likely reason is this: The agent, or editor did not think they could sell it.

It’s actually that simple. This is a business, and if they don’t believe they can make a buck or two off the work they are going to reject it. None of the gatekeepers are in the business to give you, or me, writing lessons. That is our job, not theirs.

If you suspect it is your writing, then you need to get busy with your end of the deal and work on your art. If you do have a good story that the gatekeepers don’t think they can sell, then you have two options. Trunk the book as a non-commercial idea whose time has not yet come, or prove ‘em wrong and put it out there yourself. After all, the reading public is the only critic whose opinion is worth a damn, anyway.

If you can sell it big, I’ll personally guarantee the agents and editors will be beating a path to your door to represent your next book. As I said, this is a business, and you just proved beyond doubt that you are a saleable commodity.

Does the post seem a bit cold so far? That’s probably because this is a cold business to try and break into. It always has been, and a little research into the struggle of famous authors will prove it. But, I am not a cold person, and neither are a lot of other writers I know of. So, in that spirit, and being true to my real nature, let me offer you some help in getting where you want to go. (If your still reading this, that is.)

There is wonderful on line community of writers in all phases of the publishing experience known as AgentQuery Connect. You can find all sorts of help on every phase of this job there. I warn you though, it is an addictive place to be.

Another fantastic on line resource for writers is WritetoDone. I would also highly suggest downloading their free EBook, The (nearly) Ultimate Guide to Better Writing. The link for it is on every page there, so you won’t have any trouble finding it.

Ok, so much for the free resources that can help you cut your odds of being rejected. Time to see just how serious you are about becoming a published writer. How bad do you want it, and how much are you willing to invest in yourself, and your craft? I’m not talking a fortune here, but if you are unwilling to spend a little on yourself and your craft, then I have to question just how badly you really do want to be a writer.

There are two books from The Writer’s Digest that are really helpful. Bargain hunters can probably find them cheaper on Amazon, but however you get a hold of them, by all means, stop being so cheap and get them. They are:

No More Rejections: (50 Secrets To Writing A Manuscript That Sells), by Alice Orr


Writing the Popular Novel, by Loren D. Estleman

Google both titles, or follow the above link to The Writer’s Digest, and acquire them both. At the worst you’ll spend about $45.00 on yourself and your craft. Surely you’re worth $45.00? Well I think you are, and you’ll be very happy if you think so, too. (C’mon, be honest. You spent at least that much in one month on entertainment that didn’t do a thing for your career.)

Best of luck, and…

later, Gang! 😉

Who’s Working For Who?   2 comments

Recently AgentQuery Connects own AQCrew, (Our version of The Dread Pirate Roberts.), posted an article from The Telegraph about author J.K. Rowling’s decision to dump her long time agent.

After reading said article, I had to take a few hours to cool off before blogging about it.

First, let me state beyond contention that I am the last person to diss having a good agent. In my own humble opinion, a good agent is nearly indispensable, and landing one is the whole point of AgentQuery Connect. However, this particular article had me as pissed off as a Hebrew man at a Neo-Nazi rally. And, for me, that’s saying a lot.

To read the article you would think that Ms. Rowling had done little more than write a NaniWriteMo piece, and her agent did all the work on the novel. That HE was the one who made Harry Potter the mega success it became. This speaks volumes for the illusion of the agent’s role in the literary world, and like it, or not, I’m about to shatter that illusion into teeny-tiny little fragments.

The agent’s job is to find a publisher willing to take a chance on your book, and negotiate the best deal they can get for the author. That is IT! The agent does NOT sweat over plot. They DO NOT stay awake at night searching for the right scene to make the novel something special. They DO NOT spend years polishing a manuscript until it shines enough to be accepted by another agent. They DO NOT bust their brain into Excedrin headache #1,426 coming up with unique plot twists to entertain the reading public.

To imply that the agent is the person who made a writer’s career a success is not only insulting beyond belief, it is akin to saying that Leonardo Dicaprio’s agent did all his acting FOR him.

Now, I don’t know if this blog is going to totally ruin my chances at landing an agent, or not. But I can, and will say; at this point I’m not sure I really care. The only time in my 50 some odd years on this planet that I have felt this insulted was when I was working as a graphic artist.

True Story:

Like all graphic artists I also held the dream of one day having my paintings hanging in a gallery somewhere. Of turning out art that would pay my bills, and maybe leave a legacy to make my small mark on the world. A long shot, I know, but one worth taking, at the time.

One day, while channel surfing, I was halted by a news report of a brand new artist who was commanding an average of $15,000.00 per painting. I had to stop. To know that there was hope for me. To applaud another artist who had made it. Until the story revealed the artist in question.

A raccoon!

It’s the closest I’ve ever come to kicking in the television screen. It also marked the downfall of my desire to be a gallery artist, and probably my career as a graphic artist as well. The life just drained out of the whole scene for me that day.

Giving an agent, no matter how talented, kudos for an author’s success with the public is dangerously close to the same thing. I don’t care how good an agent is, if the public isn’t buying the story they are not going to be able to change that. In fact they are not even going to try. They will simply move on to the next client, and the next commission.

I’m not saying this is bad, it’s just how the business works. If an agent doesn’t earn any commissions, they can’t feed their children. They are, for the most part, hard working, intelligent professionals. But, to give an agent this much credit for a writer’s hard work is unconscionable, and in damn poor taste.

The story lives, or dies by the writer who penned it, not by the will of the agent. The agent is a broker, not the product. And that is all there is to it. No more, no less.

Besides, without a writer’s manuscript to sell, I seriously doubt the agent would be in business.

So, let’s give credit where credit is due. It was J.K. Rowling’s considerable skill as a storyteller and writer that conjured up those millions for her, not her agent.


You Want Me To Do What?!   4 comments

I’ve not spoken much about my standing in the Speculative Fiction Marathon, and there is good reason for it. Thus far I have either been very good, or very lucky. In the reviews of the first three chapters I have received only one ‘No’ vote. I didn’t address the issue because it would feel like bragging to me. I hate bragging, especially from myself. Bragging seems like an open opportunity to stick your foot in your mouth, and I haven’t sucked my toes since I was about 14 months old. At least, not if I could help it.

So, why bring it up now? Simply because it appears that I will be re-writing and re-posting chapter four. The vote stands at two ‘Yes’, and two ‘No.’ (See? If I had been crowing about my ‘stellar record’, I’d be dining on that same crow right about now.)

But, I digress. This offers me a perfect opportunity to muse about re-writing, plot holes, and editing in general. It also allows me to muse about these bumps in the road leading to published author, and the aspiring writer’s near phobic aversion to them.

If you are really serious about making a career as a writer, that’s all they are. Bumps in the road. If small things like this are major disasters for you, my sympathies when the really big things hit. You’re gonna get splattered across the literary landscape like semi-truck roadkill.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am definitely NOT saying that you have to roll over for every little nit that someone discovers in your manuscript. What I am saying is there will be things that you didn’t think of, and to let them go unaddressed simply because the reviewer, critic, or editor doesn’t see your ‘genius’ is just plain s-t-u-p-i-d. 99.99% of the time, you are passing up an opportunity to turn out something of a masterpiece for the sake of your ego.

I don’t know about anyone else, but my ego isn’t the one paying the bills, or trying to get this career off the ground. I am.

Wait a minute! Isn’t my ego the same thing as me? No. My ego is that very small part of me that has a bad habit of getting in the way and screwing up a good thing. Robert L. Ringer, in his seminal classic “Looking Out For Number One”, compared ego to a dinosaur. As long as you feed it, everything is fine. The moment you reach a point where you can’t feed it; it will step on your house.

I’m sorry to say that over the years I have tested this little theory of Robert’s. Know what? There are a few crushed houses in my wake that used to belong to me. Relationships where I just had to be right, jobs where I knew better than the boss, small businesses where I was the Boss and knew better than anyone else. Sometimes I wonder where I would be right now if I hadn’t let ego get in my way.

Think I’m going to let that little S.O.B get in my way this time? Oh, Hell no! If this is going to fail, I can do bad all by myself, thank you.

The point to all this meandering? Mostly it’s been to remind myself what letting my ego get in the way has cost me in the past. But, also to let any other, younger writers know what they have in store for them by letting their own dinosaur run unchecked.

One of the trickiest areas to deal with is knowing when something is a legitimate point, and when it actually is a story destroying opinion. Most things are not. They are simply something you didn’t notice, or a way of handling something that you didn’t think of. I’ll let you in on a little secret, too.

Even the best actor you can think of has a director telling them what to do. It’s the same in the publishing world. Editors, beta readers, agents, and critics are all doing the job of the director. Actors who puff up their ego, no matter how famous, soon find themselves without work. The actors who work with the director find themselves in demand, and very often on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. The same rule holds true for authors… in particular aspiring authors.

For myself, I’ll be re-writing chapter four, regardless. To be truthful about it, I’ll be re-writing the other three chapters as well. Even though they passed, there were many points made that I needed, and I’m sure going to use them. So, in the end it doesn’t really matter if I pass this week, or not. The only difference will be, if I don’t, the rest of the group will get to see the re-write before the story is finished. 😉 😀

But, before anyone thinks I’m totally wishy-washy; I will be keeping the term knight. There is ample evidence that the term could have originated with the Celts, as well as the practice of dubbing.

In The Epics of Celtic Ireland, by Jean Markale, (Which analyses the few surviving written accounts of Celtic mythology.) The Celtic God Mananann Mac Lir was often called the Knight of the Sea, and was referred to in the translations this way. Since the Celts did have a word for King, the word used to describe his title is obviously something else, and this word was translated as knight.

See? You don’t have to give up everything. 😉


Taming the Wild Cliché   3 comments

There is probably no greater temptation for the aspiring author than that of the wild cliché. That is with the exception of selling your soul to the Devil for a best seller, of course. The plain fact is, clichés are just too easy to use. You know that nearly everyone, and their uncle, reading the darn thing is going to get the point. And let’s face it, our lives are simply riddled with clichés. We can’t seem to live without them.

Clichés also seem to breed like cockroaches under a damp sink. Every time you turn around there’s another one taking its first steps into the collective consciousness. On the internet they are called memes, in business they are called catch phrases, in linguistics they are known as slang. But, make no mistake, all of them will grow up to become full fledged clichés sooner, or later. Words and phrases that were at one time popular are now looked at like something the cat dragged in.

Even presidents have used clichés. My fellow Americans can remember more politicians than you can shake a stick at asking, “Where’s the beef?”. Not to mention, the examples of presidential speech writers using clichés would fill several blogs. But, let an aspiring author use just one in a query letter, or a manuscript, an it’s Katy bar the door. Agents, and editors will drop you like a hot potato. They despise clichés with a passion.

I don’t care how many clichés you find in a published author’s novel, do it while your trying to get your foot in the door, and your ass is grass. Of course, when we look at all the rule breaking that seems to get by in the publishing world, it’s hard not to think that you can’t win for losing.

But, I am a sneaky cuss, so let’s put our heads together and see if we can’t come up with a solution. Let’s see if we can sneak in the back door, and tame the wild cliché.

There is the slick-it-by method, but you really have to toe the line to make this one work. In this method you are taking a gamble and putting all your cards on the table. Let one, or two clichés pass as is. The idea here is to teach an old dog a new trick. You carefully choose a cliché that’s old as the hills, one that hasn’t been used in ages, but is still young enough to be remembered with nostalgia instead of nausea. After all, agents and editors are human, too. A cliché that can invoke a bit of nostalgia can have the same effect on them, and they let it pass. After all, you only did it once. Who knows, you might just get away with murder here.

The second method of taming the wild cliché is the fix-it-later technique. While effective, you have to watch this one like a hawk. I have good news and bad news about this method. The good news first; it will not interrupt the flow of your writing. When you decide to use a cliché, you just go right ahead and use it. Don’t worry about it. The bad news is that you have to go back through your story and reword all those clichés you just used. Every single one must be reworded so that you say the same thing but it doesn’t look like you used a cliché.

Since there is no risk of actually using a cliché in the second method, unless you accidentally leave one in, the agents and editors will be none the wiser and you get to use all the clichés you want. Just make sure you have an eagle eye and reword those suckers before you send your masterpiece off.

Sneaky, huh?

Now, incase you haven’t noticed, this post is up to its eyeballs in clichés. I had to shut the cliché finder off on WordPress just so I could write the thing. To any agents, or editors out there who notice all the god awful clichés that I riddled this article with: I can assure you it was deliberate, and I don’t normally write this way. Cross my heart and hope to die.

Clichés are a subject we have discussed many times at AgentQuery Connect, and I’m sure we will discuss them many more times. To use them, or not. Are they effective, or not. But, what the hell. When it comes to getting published, we’re all just squirrels trying to get a nut.


Per-Severe-Ance   8 comments

You’ll probably notice a few things change on here from time to time. Mostly because, I’ve never administrated a blog before and I’m still learning WordPress. Oh sure, I ghosted a few, but all I had to do then was pretend to be someone else, write whatever they wanted me to, and make a couple of bucks. The administration stuff I left to them.

Fortunately, I had a bit of HTML, (Which in my case stands for Help This Moron Learn.), so posting wasn’t a problem. All it took was a little perseverance. The one quality that anyone looking to become a writer needs more than any other.

One of my fellow AgentQuery Connect members, Cherie, has a really inspiring quote by Richard Bach on her signature:

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”

Truer words were never spoken. Especially for anyone wacky enough to attempt this career. But we’ll get back to that in a moment. Cherie also has a very proficient blog of her very own, and I think you’ll find it well worth your while to check it out. Ready. Write. Go at Blogspot.

Side note: You’ll notice that I mention AgentQuery Connect quite often in my blogs. The reason for that is, AQC is the best writer’s community on the web, bar none. Also, because the other great members there haven’t lynched my fanny for being a complete A-hole. Yet. 😉

Back to our subject.

While it is true that a writer needs the basics of the craft, such as good grammar and spelling, all the technical aspects of authorship won’t amount to a spit in the Pacific if you don’t have perseverance. (Please, don’t spit in the Pacific. It has enough trouble dealing with all the other crap we’ve dumped into it.)

Some of the harsh realities of this business should be enough to make any sane person walk away saying, “Oh, Hell NO!” Which, indecently, is why I’m still working at it.

You will encounter enough form letter rejections from agents to wallpaper the Whitehouse and the Senate building. Assuming they are into Avaunt Guarde. You will have every editor who so much as looks at your work mangle, uhhh… improve it. (Yes, that was a joke. A good editor is priceless, if you can afford one.) And should you be lucky enough to weave your way through all the myriad roadblocks between you and your dream, you’ll spend more time promoting and marketing than you ever did writing.

Hmmmm? Am I sure I want to do this? HELL YEAH!

Then to top it all off, if you think that every writer who makes it to a contract instantly becomes a wealthy upper class person. Sorry, but your dead wrong. For every name author out there, there a couple thousand who are published, but still barely making a living doing what we love to do.

And, really, that is the point for an aspiring author’s walk through Hades. I didn’t make much more than a couple dollars above minimum wage when I was a graphic artist. I made even less on the independent pro wrestling circuit. But, I did love doing both, and that made it all worth it to me. So what if I didn’t get to work on The New Yorker, or shill for Vince McMahon for mega bucks? I was still getting paid to do something I loved to do.

Now, all this isn’t meant to put anyone off of a career in writing. For all I know the next Steven King, or J.K. Rowling could be reading this right now. One thing I can guarantee; you’ll never know if you give up, or let any of these obstacles stand in you way. You’ll have to persevere to find out. 😉


Slush Puppies   4 comments

No, I am not talking about the delicious and often fattening ice drink that can give you a migraine if indulged in too fast. I’m talking about the untold numbers of dedicated, desperate, and generally destitute masses known as the aspiring authors. You know, people like ME!

For the readers out there who may not get the joke, a slush pile is any pile of manuscripts, or queries, that we hope to work our way up through just to get some attention for our stories. Come to think of it, a few bucks wouldn’t break any hearts either. Put untold years into working for peanuts, or for free, in a career you love and you’ll see what I mean pretty darn quick.

An ongoing discussion on the AgentQuery Connect boards about the rise in E-books started my musing about this and I realized that, “I AM a Slush Puppy!” Don’t laugh too hard. If you happen to be an aspiring author, so are you. Just choose your flavor, and in a moment we’ll try to figure a strategy out of this mess. I dibs Blueberry!

Whether your trying to land an agent and get into the continually shrinking world of traditional publishing, or thinking about self-publishing, the result is going to be the same. Your work is still going to be mired in the La Brea Tar Pits known as the slush pile.

If you DO happen to land an agent, then your work ends up in the publisher’s slush pile. If you DO get a contract with a publisher and get published, (Please, please, please!!), then you wind up in the slush pile known as the book rack. Barring all this and going the self-publishing route, Print On Demand, or E-book, you wind up in the biggest slush pile of them all! Why? Because nearly everybody, their giddy aunt, and their uncle thinks they can write.

That last part probably made me sound like Simon Cowell with a bad case of hemorrhoids, but it is the truth. It is also true that some would-be writers should have restraining orders put on them, barring them from coming within twenty yards of a keyboard. As far as I know, I could be one of them!

The point is, if you do have a good novel out there it is not only stuck in the slush pile, but jackasses like me are competing with you. And we’re probably making it harder for you to get noticed so you can get out of the slush pile. But, there is hope.

First, and foremost you must be willing to work your backside off on your story. Do not make the mistake of thinking that every line, every scene, every word of your story is golden. It isn’t. The goal is to turn out the best story you possibly can, and little snits like the ones below are just going to see you sucked further down into black tar oblivion.

“I can cut a thousand words from my epic 530,000k story, but that’s it! I refuse to cut anymore!” Well, then, I don’t think much about your ability as a writer. If you can’t be more concise, or have the imagination to rework the story and have the same thing with fewer words, your in a whole heap of trouble, my friend. At the very least you should be able to find a reasonable cut off area and make two stories out of it. Psssst! The editors aren’t going to think much about your abilities, either, Chuckles.

“This reviewer sucks! I are a great writer, and I has the reviews to prove it!” No. You are a whinny little snot who can not take criticism, and you’ve just proven to every agent and editor out there that you would be the most difficult SOB to work with since Adolph Hitler. Not to mention you just turned off thousands of potential readers by showing them your not willing to improve for their sake. Get over yourself, and grow up. You were lucky enough to get a review, but too stupid to turn a negative into a positive.

Those are just a couple of examples, but I’m sure you have the picture. As a writer it is our job to tell the best story we can, and be willing to do whatever is necessary to improve. That’s the first step out of the slush pile.

The second step is to get out there and make friends. Without them you are sunk. Now, what I’m talking about here are literary friends. Although technically other writers are your competition, they are also your greatest asset. It’s just like any other part of the entertainment business. Celebrities have friends in their line of work who are potential competition, but they still support each other. It’s the same thing in the literary world. You can’t make it all by your onesies out there and without your fellow writers, Gods help you… because no one else will. Above all, do not… I repeat, do not try to fake this. You will be found out eventually.

Make friends with your readers as well. No matter how few. They are your bread and butter. Without them, you might as well go back to writing on role playing fan sites.

The third step is the hardest, and takes more time. Promotion. If no one knows about you, they can’t check out your work. This hearkens back to making friends. Socialize, let people know who you are and what you do. Odds are they will be interested, if you are sincere. People like to know you care about them and their opinion as much you care about your own.

Now that I’ve probably stuck my foot so far in my mouth that I’ll have to call in a surgeon and a Swiss watchmaker to remove it; I’ll end by saying these are certainly not the only steps involved in the transformation from Slush Puppy to author. But, I’d say they are a darn good start.

Remember though… At this point in time, I am still a Slush Puppy. So WTF do I know? 😉