In this mid-week update, three things, one of which also has three things in it.
How Does I Read?
I’ve had feedback here, and on Twitter, that my last post seemed a bit too confrontational and absolute. Some readers felt that I was making very definite statements that any form of backstory was bad, no exceptions, and if you like backstory or want to explore it in your work I was saying you’re a bad person, yes, I mean you, right there, drinking coffee in your underwear while reading the internet, I hate you SO MUCH.
Well, if that’s the message that came across, I’m sorry about that. These posts and mini-essays are more theoretical polemics than anything else, and such things lend themselves to a bit of blood and thunder in the authorial voice in order to gain attention. After all, if Warren Ellis has taught us anything, it’s that
a beard full of whiskey dregs can provide an ecosystem for an entire family of wrens an aggressive writing style can garner a legion of fans. Plus, well, it’s more fun to write in definites than in maybes and sometimeses.
But still, I’m going to work on that, and try to get these ideas out in a way that doesn’t alienate readers or nearly spur fistfights on social media. Honest.
Who Do You Read?
But of course, the internet’s not a vast echo chamber where you can only hear my voice commanding you to burn your Mercedes Lackey novels, thundering over and over until bloody grey wax trickles from your ear canals to pool on your trembling shoulders.
Not yet, anyway.
There are other writer blogging, tweeting and generally pontificating out there, and I’m curious to hear about who else y’all read on a (semi)regular basis. Who’s out there, laying down the wisdom and gaining an audience, and how do I steal their vital essences?
Here are three of my must-reads, who you (obviously) must read if you aren’t already.
Chuck Wendig: I know, I namedrop Chuck all the goddamn time, I must want his little Wendibabies or something. (In truth, he only has the one, and it would be inconvenient to take it off his hands.) But the reason I do that is because Chuck is a terrific writer, and more importantly a terrific blogger who uses his thinkspace Terrible Minds to pump out new, interesting, thought-provoking stuff nearly every single goddamn day. I wish I had his energy. Or his sweet glands.
Cameron Rogers: A great writer, an excellent blogger and a good friend, the author of The Music of Razors and someone who writes from the gut every time he sits at the computer. Cam blogs every week at Wait Here For Further Instructions and has been putting together a great series on the need for creative people to make connections and work together, not out of shallow networking but from friendship and for shared energy and visibility. Smart, high-level stuff.
Foz Meadows: I met Foz when she worked in my day-job office last year, then realised she was a talented writer and whip-smart blogger, even if she had the temerity to argue with me in the comments to my last post. She’s been writing some excellent stuff this year about representations of and assumptions about gender in fantasy and young-adult fiction at her blog, Shattersnipe, and it’s really worth a read.
What about you? Who are your three writer-bloggers everyone should read?
Why Don’t They Read?
Hotel Flamingo and Godheads have each sold precisely fuck-all copies this month, despite a half-price sale at Smashwords – they’re still doing better (and making me a better royalty) there than at Amazon, but that’s not saying much.
I’m not dispirited about this, really, but I can’t say I’m particularly happy about it either. I’ve tweeted and blogged and social-mediaed about these books, and I really think they’re worth reading, but that only goes so far. There are three things I need, and I’m hoping you can help.
Sales-site reviews: More reviews on SM and Amazon would help, especially for Godheads. If you’ve read either book and liked them, post a quick review on either site, or preferably on both.
Other-site reviews: I’m submitting them out for reviews here and there, but it’s proving tricky to find the right sites. Do you know of any sites that review ebooks? Send me recommendations and details!
Word of mouth: More than anything else, this is key – if you liked these books, tell someone else about them, especially if that someone doesn’t know me or already follow me here or on LJ/Twitter. Honest word of mouth recommendations make a huge difference, as does every $2.99 sale.
I’m not looking to make a fortune on these books; hell, I’m not really trying to break even on them. But they’re books more people could enjoy, I think, and I’d like to make that happen.
As always, details of both Godheads and Hotel Flamingo can be found on the Books page here, if you want more details or want to direct people this way.
Next weekend, the start of a three-part series on character, filled with the usual blustery statements and controversy. But I may put a photo of a kitten in the background, just to keep everyone happy.
You see? Flawless. No-one can hate me now.