But first, the publishing links worth reading this week:
How To Be an Author Publishers Fight For: And Get a Publishing Deal without Writing a Book Proposal (Chad R. Allen): It’s true–publishers often fight over the most desirable (read: platform-backed) authors. That’s what happens every time we take a book to auction, and it’s a situation every author wants to be in. Here’s a great look at how to be that lucky author.
Publishers’ Dilemma: Judge A Book By Its Data Or Trust The Editor’s Gut? (Lynn Neary for NPR): “Publishing is a notoriously risky business. A publishing house might give a first-time author a six-figure deal, only to see the book flop. It’s always been hard to predict what will sell. Now publishers are getting some help from data that tells them how readers read — and that makes some people nervous.”
10 Fundamental Ways To Boost Your Facebook Organic Reach By 193% (Diana Adams for CoSchedule): Understanding the Facebook algorithm is essential for anyone working to build their author platform. Here’s a great, snappy rundown of what you can do to increase engagement on the most highly populated social network out there.
Neil Gaiman on Why We Read and What Books Do for the Human Experience (Maria Popova of Brain Pickings): “The question of why we read and what books actually do for us is as old as the written word itself, and as attractive. Galileo saw reading as a way of having superhuman powers. For Kafka, books were ‘the axe for the frozen sea within us’; Carl Sagan held them as ‘proof that humans are capable of working magic’; James Baldwin found in them a way to change one’s destiny; for Polish Nobel laureate Wislawa Szymborska, they stood as our ultimate frontier of freedom.”
Literary Agents and the Hybrid Author: A Conversation with Bob Mecoy and Kristin Nelson (Sangeeta Mehta for JaneFriedman.com): Book publishing is changing so quickly, and this is a great look at the hybrid author space, where authors can work with traditional houses while still self-publishing some of their works. As most people know, there are pros and cons to both approaches, and that’s why I think Kristin’s advice here is so essential: “Know thyself.” Only you can determine what your goals as an author are and what path will get you toward those goals.
Greeting Cards for Writers & Creatives
Remember last week when we talked about rejection? And I promised you all I’d give you something this week to cheer you up?
Well, they’re heeeerrreeeee.
Meet your new pep talk cards for writers:
These greeting cards are perfect for any writer, blogger, or creative in your life who’s feeling down-and-out about their work. You can print them out on nicely textured paper (this Classic White Laid Card Stock #100 is my favorite and what we used for our Save the Dates, but any nicer paper you have lying around will work well, too), cut them out, and fold them into little greeting cards. Use them two ways:
When you’re feeling inspired, motivated, high on life, just all around on top-of-the-world, write yourself a note about how it feels and why it’s worth it. Scribble down why you have so much to be proud of and how very good those triumphs feel.
Then tuck it away until that rainy day when rejection comes calling. (But tuck it away someplace you’ll remember, because good lord, I would lose it in a flat second.) When you have that day where you feel defeated, depressed, and very, very done with it all, pull out your card and sit with it awhile. Remind yourself that this feeling will pass, and you don’t have to be so hard on yourself until it does.
You can print 10 pep talk cards and sprinkle them around your house, or do just one at a time when the mood strikes you. As long as your little card makes you feel a bit less alone and sad, it’s doing its job in the world.
For a friend:
Know a friend going through a rough patch or creative drought? Sending her a cheer-up card will probably mean more to her than you can imagine.
Just last week I was curled up on the couch after work, moaning to Jarrett about how overwhelmed I am (the whole close-on-4-books-and-take-2-business-trips-just-3-weeks-before-my wedding-thing has been my dumbest idea to date). Then he handed me a package that had just come in the mail. It was a gift! For me! From an author! (My actual reaction had many, many more exclamation points to it than this.)
But that small little gift and the thoughtfulness that went into it cheered me right up. You have the power to do that for someone else, too.
So go right ahead, print these bad boys out, and go cheer up someone who’s having a rough day. They’ll love ya for it.